Advertisement
  1. Life & Culture

Meet the creator of the pickle pizza, the talk of the Florida State Fair

Tonio Viscusi says it was based on customer demand.
This pickle pizza is one of the new offerings at the Florida State Fair this year.
This pickle pizza is one of the new offerings at the Florida State Fair this year. [ Florida State Fair ]
Published Apr. 19
Updated Apr. 19

The pickle pizza at the Florida State Fair is getting buzz – some of it good, some of it not so good.

The creator is Tonio Viscusi, an Albany, N.Y.-based vendor who travels the country working fairs and festivals as Angela’s Pizza. He says the pickle pizza wasn’t his idea. It came from customer demand as word spread of putting pickles on pizzas.

“I’ll say we didn’t invent it, but we perfected it,” Viscusi said.

Tonio Viscusi, and his wife, Corina, travel the country as the owners and operators of Angela’s Pizza at fairs and festivals, including the Florida State Fair. Photo courtesy Tonio Viscusi
Tonio Viscusi, and his wife, Corina, travel the country as the owners and operators of Angela’s Pizza at fairs and festivals, including the Florida State Fair. Photo courtesy Tonio Viscusi [ Tonio Viscusi ]

He found a way to marry this uncommon pair with a white garlic sauce base, figuring a traditional red sauce would conflict with the vinegary pickles. Then there’s some gooey mozzarella cheese and crunchy dill pickle chips, like the kind you find on hamburgers. When it comes out of the oven it gets a generous drizzle of Ranch dressing and a dusting of dill seasoning.

“I think it works because its New York style so it has some crunch and a combination of textures,” Viscusi said.

If you remain an unbeliever, think of Viscusi’s last big state fair hit, which is also coming back this year. He said his father nudged him to come up with something “on a stick” because that’s what fair-goers love. So in 2018 he came up with a whopping quarter pound of mozzarella cheese rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried on a stick. It was a smash success and is returning this year.

You can find Angela’s Pizza kiosks under the big Ferris wheel and at the very back end of the midway.

If you go

Florida State Fair: With rides, food, exhibits and a midway, the fair runs April 22-May 2. Masks are required and sanitation stations are available through out the midway. 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa.

Admission: $9, $7 seniors, $5 ages 6-11, 5 and younger free. Tickets are on sale now at floridastatefair.com.