Pizza Parlance: What is a Frico Edge?

This is the first in a series of posts that I'll get to over the coming weeks that place down markers on some terminology for the pizza-curious.  It has, thanks to Steve Dolinksy - a title:  Pizza Parlance.  The first term up in the parlance tag is Frico Edge.  The pizza you see in the photo below is really showing off its Frico Edge.  Or, simply Frico for those pizza nerds.  

The guy who gave me "Pizza Parlance" - Steve Dolinsky - describes frico as something that happens.  He writes:  "The cheese darkens as it bakes along the sides, and while it may look like burnt crust, it’s simply a crispy, somewhat charred cheesy edge."  

The frico you see below is one that was better in terms of my history of baking these pizzas.

I made this Detroit-style pizza on Christmas eve and used a white cheddar (Cabot's Seriously Sharp White Cheddar) laid down and kind of 'packed in' to the blue steel pan to create this Frico edge.  


Here's another look at the same pizza with a frico edge that I achieved after removing it from the pan.  If you look *across* the surface of the pizza, you'll see the frico on the far side.  Along with some cup-and-char pepperoni, too.




Cook's Illustrated describes the phenomenon known as Frico in pizza-baking like this:

Crunchy, cheesy edge
Pressing shredded Monterey Jack cheese around the edge of the dough and up the sides of the skillet creates a well-browned, crispy, savory ring of cheese called frico.

I've been taking about the frico edge on pizza here on the blog, well, for ten years.  Yeah...back in January of 2011, we made a trip to Fricano's Pizza in Holland, Michigan where they serve bar pies with a frico edge.  Here's my post from that trip and a mention of frico edge on bar pies.  Here's the photo of said frico crust:

And, just last year, I bought a couple of long pans from Lloyd's pans to make a double frico crust pizza.  

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