Pittsburgh and the Pierogi Pizza: A Regional Tradition
Updated: Oct 26, 2018
Pierogi pizza is to Pittsburgh as apple pie is to America, ramen is to Japan, and cool sweaters are to Mr. Rogers. It's the Steel City's signature, and, boy, is it a wonderful comfort food.
But to really appreciate Pittsburgh's pierogi pizza, we need to understand the pierogi, and that requires a little bit of tasty history.
The origins of the pierogi are debated, but most of them have a common theme: Their roots are in Poland, and they extend back nearly 1,000 years. Pierogies have long been a household favorite in many Central and Eastern European counties, including Slovakia, Lithuania, and Russia. A versatile treat, they can be stuffed with everything from potatoes and sauerkraut to prunes and apricots.
The Link to Pittsburgh
So, why Pittsburgh? During the immigration boom in the the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pittsburgh's population exploded with Central and Eastern European immigrants. They settled in neighborhoods like Polish Hill (see the link in the name?), East Allegheny, Bloomfield, and Lawrenceville, and they immediately set to work frying up pierogies.
Because of their origins, pieorgies used to have a stigma against them, often being associated with the poor. That's all changed in recent decades, as it's tough to resist their warm, comforting appeal. They're now so popular in Pittsburgh, there are entire restaurants dedicated to them, including Cop Out Pierogies down the street from us.
A Pittsburgh-Inspired Pie: The Pierogi Pizza
For a city synonymous with pierogies, it was only a matter of time until they ended up on a pizza. Unfortunately, no one's really sure who did it first in Pittsburgh. Perhaps they fired up in the 1940s, when pizza really started becoming popular.
Anyways, it's tough these days to find a self-respecting Pittsburgh-based pizza shop that doesn't offer a pierogi pizza. Just like piergoies themselves, you'll find every shop does their pierogi pizza a little differently.
At exit4pizza, our pierogi pizza starts with a white sauce layered in mashed potatoes. It's then topped with sharp yellow cheddar and Asiago, before receiving generous helpings of bacon and grilled red onions.
Ready for a taste? Head to our Order Now portal to have one delivered ASAP, or call us at 412-781-1111. We deliver all over northern and eastern Pittsburgh, including Etna, Sharpsburg, Lawrenceville, and beyond!