Food - Drink
What Makes Quad City-Style Pizza Unique?
From Chicago style to New York pizza and even an authentic Sicilian pie, some regional pizzas are immediately recognizable, but you might not recognize the microregional Quad City-style pizza. From its taste to its look, Quad City pizza is quite unique, but the region where it’s enjoyed is so small you probably haven’t heard of this unique pizza before.
Just over two hours west of Chicago, where Illinois and Iowa meet along the Mississippi River, is an area known as Quad Cities where locals enjoy Quad City pizza. While the exact origin of the pizza is unknown, it was popularized in the mid-1950s thanks to Italian immigrants, the brothers Frank and Tony Maniscalco, who opened several restaurants serving pizza in the area.
The pizza is unique for its crust which has a dark color and nutty flavor thanks to the addition of malt syrup or molasses to the dough. The pizza is then topped with a smooth, spicy red sauce loaded with red pepper flakes and ground cayenne, a layer of crumbled fennel sausage, and a hefty sprinkle of mozzarella cheese before being baked and cut with large scissors.
To make Quad City pizza, start by making your crust with instant yeast, malt syrup, bread flour, oregano, and paprika, and then make your sauce by combining tomato paste, tomato puree, crushed red pepper, ground oregano, and minced garlic. Finish by topping with crumbled fennel sausage and mozzarella cheese before baking and cutting it into its signature long slices.