09 Jun Celebrate the Pizza Uomo with Us!
People ask us, does it really take 36 hours to make a Mario’s Pizza? Yes, but the truth is, it has actually taken us much longer.
To make a Mario’s Seawall Italian pizza, it has taken us several generations. To truly understand, you have to go back to Italy, and the first pizza Italiana and the concept of the pizza uomo, or pizza man.
With a one-thousand year history and a world-renowned reputation, pizza is one of the most important symbols of Italy. The pizza uomo, or pizza man, has been passing on this tradition for many generations.
To understand the origins of the Smecca’s family pizza recipe, you have to go back to the island of Sicily. Anthony Smecca was born in the coastal town of Gela, a town remarkably similar to Galveston, where he would eventually settle with his family. Pizza was very important to Anthony, a tradition he shared with his brother.
While he brought a recipe with him and combined it with the recipe his wife, Nilde, learned from her grandmother, the recipe has changed over the years, as all good recipes do.
Regardless of what toppings you add, an amazing pizza consists of three things, the perfect crust, a delicious sauce, and the right blend of cheeses. The best way to make those is with vine ripened tomatoes, picked fresh to make the sauce, a quality mozzarella, and a top of the line flour to make the crust.
There is more to it than that, however. Making the pizza is also a process passed down from generation to generation, from father to son and mother to daughter.
A Mario’s pizza starts it’s journey 36 hours before you order, with the dough. The pizza uomo gets up early in the morning to make sure that the dough is made and ready for lunch the next day. The dough is the foundation, and you can not rush the process.
Once it is ready, you must properly toss the dough. Flying a pizza is a skill passed down through the generations. It helps to make sure the dough is evenly distributed and prevents small tears, resulting in a tender crust that does not dry out.
Next you must carefully make the sauce, using only the best quality tomatoes. By mixing just the right blend of spices, the pizza uomo gives the pizza sauce it’s authentic flavor, which makes it stand apart.
Next we take just the right blend of cheese in just the right amounts. The quality and blend must be exactly right to make the best possible pie.
Then we either cook it in a commercial pizza oven, or the traditional way in front of an open fire. This also imparts a unique flavor that is distinctive to the oven and wood that is used.
Regardless of how you eat your pizza, or what crust or toppings you enjoy, the real secret to great pizza is the time and care that is taken by the pizza uomo. Making amazing pizza is not just tradition, but a true art form.
So, the next time you order a pizza at Mario’s, I hope you will tip your hat to the Pizza uomo, and think of the many years that have gone into the making of that pizza. At Mario’s, pizza is not just a delicious meal, it’s a family tradition.