If Middletown had a taste, it would be Jerry’s Pizza. And if Jerry’s has a signature dish, it is undoubtedly the locally famous white Sicilian pizza. Nothing speaks to the Italian — and specifically Sicilian — identity of the city like this dish. The intense flavor of the pizza is no joke: you either love it or hate it, and those who love it, really, really love it. So much so, in fact, that you have to plan your day around it. The specially made dough for the white Sicilian takes roughly two hours to rise properly. The pizzeria has been around since 1968, when it was opened by Jerry Schiano, an Italian immigrant from Naples. Though Jerry is now retired, his daughter Carmela Lockwood operates the restaurant, and says the recipe comes from her grandmother, who used to make the dish back in Italy. (Her family is not Sicilian, but the style of thick dough is distinctively from the island.)
The white Sicilian is a sauceless pizza with a wonderfully chewy crust, topped with a mixture of parsley, minced garlic, chopped anchovy, extra virgin olive oil, hot pepper flakes and oregano, all blended together. Like a wonderful pasta dish in which the sauce merely complements the pasta itself, the crust is almost the star of the show in the white Sicilian. It has a subtle flavor, and is chewy and buoyant. The topping is salty and intense, to be sure, but you certainly won’t forget it.