Pictou County, Canada
“I am fully aware of the fact that people everywhere, and I mean around the world everywhere, make bold claims that the pizza from their hometown is the best pizza you could possibly find. This is not something unique to people from Pictou County. What is unique to people from Pictou County, is that when they say it, they’re telling the truth”
True words from an outsider and growing up on this pizza I couldn’t agree more. Anyone living away and coming home has a plan of getting a Sam’s pizza before they even book their plane ticket. I have yet to come across a better pie anywhere in my travels. It has a cult like following, blogs, fb pages and Kijiji posts dedicated to it. UPS will ship across Canada for you if you dare. Halifax restaurants recently have put it on their menu to attract the many Pictou County people living in Halifax to help spread the legend. You can get it frozen in a fancy box or just buy a jar of sauce at the local grocery store and try making at home one night with the Pillsbury dough boy. You can be bold and make dough from scratch I do have the original recipe.. I heard Pizza Hut once tried to set up shop in New Glasgow and didn’t last very long. I grew up with the Kouyas family who opened Sam’s and brought this special thing to small town NS in the early 60’s. Jim, George and Alice started the whole craze and it hasn’t wavered in over 50 yrs with the newest member of the club being Pictou County Pizza. Sam’s was a hangout! We lived there on weekends, it was our last stop after a night at the Cut or River. When I was a doorman at the lounge downstairs we always huddled around a large Combo sent downstairs for the bouncers keeping the peace at the end of the night! What makes PC pizza so good? First, the bread is thick and chewy. None of this thin crust foolishness. Second, we don’t mess around with no generic red sauce on our pie. It’s a spicy brown sauce. Think tomato gravy . A beefy peppery sauce. Third it gets loaded with Brothers pepperoni thinly sliced and loaded up. Brothers Meats & Delicatessen is an institution in themselves in NS. The pepperoni is killer and we even fry it and is featured on every restaurant Appetizer menus across NS. And lastly, the cheese! Yes, real Mozzarella no skimping here. Not that fake chemical stuff they call pizza cheese that so many chains use these days. Piled high and thick to the edges. It is what makes Ooey Gooey good. PC pizza comes with a variety of toppings and my Mother loved her Bacon Hamburg Mushroom one but purist go straight for the Combo or Works.
If you ever find yourself in Pictou County here are a few choices to try some good pizza pie. Besides the subtle nuances, they basically all come from the original family recipe. Sam’s, Andre’s, Acropole, Alice’s and now Pictou County Pizza or try Nayya in Halifax it’s pretty dam good too. Or order up and have it shipped to you, it may be cold when it arrives but I dare you to find a Pictou County peep that didn’t wake up on a Saturday morning hungover and start the day eating a cold slice of Sam’s pie. My personal vote is for Sam’s but everyone will argue endlessly about what is the best but we all agree in the end it’s heaven on earth for a pizza lover wherever you get it from. Simply the best.