OPINION: Old Forge pizza is bad


Photo credit/ Alex Weidner

A slice of New York style pizza.

Alex Weidner, Managing Editor

Old Forge style pizza is trash.

It’s less deserving of the name pizza than an English muffin topped with canned tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Nothing irks me more than hearing someone say they’ll bring pizza to work or a party, only to open the box to see a hideous square mess staring back at me.

Pizza should be round. Sure, Sicilian is an exception and there’s always the tomato pie (which is totally not a pizza). But if a community of people want to rally behind their favorite pizza, it should meet some standards. Sicilian pizza is square, but the crust is still good. In my experience, the crust of an Old Forge pizza is dry, like cardboard.

Then, there’s the sauce. This is a bit more trivial, because everyone knows that every Italian family has their own sauce recipe, and they can vary. But a pizza is a savory dish! There’s a reason most people hate pineapple on pizza, and it’s the same reason why Old Forge style sweet sauce is a sin to pizza. Why not just use ketchup while you’re at it? Save the sweet sauce for pasta dishes at home and slather some thick, garlicky, dark red tomato sauce on that pie.

The onions are a bit weird, if I’m being honest. Not because they’re there–onions are great on a pizza with peppers and sausage. In Old Forge, they put whole slices of onion in the sauce. It’s not even a pizza with onion, it’s just an integral part of the recipe. Plain pizza is popular because it’s simple. No extra vegetables, no weird meats.

When it comes to ingredients, however, none is more sinful, more disgusting than the cheese. American! Not even those English muffin pizzas I mentioned earlier should be as mistreated with such a sad excuse for a cheese. Three simple ingredients make up a pizza: the dough, the sauce and the mozzarella. Add provolone, Parmesan, cheddar, Asiago or any other cheese for a blend. But American cheese?

Pizza cheese should be stringy and gooey, with what foodies refer to as a “cheese pull.” Pop culture’s number one pizza lovers, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, may like some weird toppings, but there’s no way that’s American cheese on those slices.

Aside from the terrible ingredients that make up Old Forge’s beloved “pizza,” there’s one more problem that, as someone who grew up outside of NEPA, I just can’t wrap my head around.


Nobody I know who’s from outside of NEPA calls it a tray. Dean Martin’s hit song “That’s Amore” would be a whole lot worse if the moon hit his lover’s eye like a big tray of pizza. A pizza is a pie, it should be round, it should have slices. The tray is the dish on which it is served or cooked.

I can’t ask all of Old Forge to stop making their pizza the way they like it. But if you’re reading this and you plan on getting a pizza to share with friends, make sure everyone is cool with biting into a piece of American cheese-topped sadness. Or play it safe and just get a classic round pie, made the right way.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @WeidnerTWW