My first word was dough, my second was sauce.
My entire life, I have been the pizza gal. I know the good stuff from a mile away. I’ve only had it shoved into my face for the past 18 years. Seriously. Since the day that I was born, I have been surrounded by the “pizza” business. The only pizza I was allowed to eat was the family’s pizza, and it was frowned upon to eat any other pizza. It was complete betrayal and you would be spoken to about it.
College has brought upon the pizza devil on my shoulder telling me it’s OK to eat that Dominoes at 1 a.m. or Colony on a Saturday night. So when those moments occur and the devil takes over, I basically turn into Hannah Montana and live that double life. No one will ever know I just ate a greasy glob of dough, with a sad excuse for sauce on it, and globs of meat that look like sausage but are probably cow stomach for all I know. I admit it, I’m guilty of the betrayal. But at the end of the day, no one beats my daddy’s pizza.
Circa 1997, your gal was born. I’m pretty sure I made it home and lasted there about a day before I was thrown back and fourth between not one, but two pizza places. My dad at the time owned Anthony’s Pizza in Bridgeport, Conn. At the same time my Nonno, (Translation: Grandpa in Italian) owned Jerry Shakespeare’s Pizza in Stratford, Conn. I wasn’t walking or talking yet, but I was being passed around over the counters and across the tables at both places.
I never let my parents live this one down, but I spent my first Halloween, which is my favorite holiday, planted on the counter of my dad’s pizza place dressed as a pea in a pod. First of all, I would have been better off in a pizza costume, it would have made a lot more sense. Secondly, I spent my first favorite holiday pulling in costumers with my cute face and awful costume instead of being posed next to a pumpkin and having photos to remember of my first favorite holiday.
At some point before Daddy missed too much of his daughter’s early years in a pizza place, he sells his, but the pizza life doesn’t end there. I spent almost every day at Nonno’s place with my little sister. We never had Play-Dough growing up because who needs that when you have real dough. We ate pizza pretty much every day and would sneak sodas out of the cooler. I mastered how to fold pizza boxes efficiently, and could make a dozen in a few short minutes. I knew how to make a bomb pizza all by myself by the time I was eight years old. I’ve yet to master how to throw the dough up in the air and flip it but I was never the athletic type, nor will I ever be.
It was a sad day when Nonno retired in the pizza business and Jerry’s was put up for sale. I cried for a good week and missed having a good quality pizza at the snap of my fingers.
Oh, but it doesn’t end there.
My dad has taken on pizza yet again; this time full-force. Now that one daughter is out of their hair and off in college and the other is also just about there, he has started the concept of take-and-bake pizzas. Let’s be real, frozen pizza is sh*t and it always will be. Take-and-Bake’s are fresh pizzas that are vacuumed-packed and are ready to be cooked at home. They taste like a fresh pizza you would get on the spot. Jerry’s Apizza Take and Bake’s are now being sold in ShopRite stores across Connecticut. With that, Shoprite of Derby has a pizza place right in the store when you can sit down and order your pizza right there.
But wait, there is more. The Original Jerry’s Apizza has now joined the Scinto team and located in the tower on Beard Sawmill Road. It truly never ends.
My fridge at home is still always stocked with pizza and take-and-bakes last in the fridge a lot longer than leftover pizza. From pizza places to take-and-bakes, pizza has and always will be a huge part of my stomach, but more importantly my heart.