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Maine’s Eight Pound Pizza

What does Slab’s famous Sicilian pizza have in common with a newborn baby, a gallon of milk, and an Xbox one console? They all weigh eight pounds! Slab is located on 25 Preble St in Portland and is famous for its massive pizzas using old-world recipes. People come for the pizza, and then they keep coming to try all the other delicious menu items. Everything from their apps to their sandwiches is inspired by Sicilian cuisine, so you don’t even need to board an airplane to get a taste of Italy.

What is Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian pizza originated in Palermo, the capital of the Italian island of Sicily. Its original name, sfincione, loosely translates into “thick sponge,” which describes this pizza’s characteristic spongy dough. It is always baked in a square tray and topped with a meatless sauce. As Sicily did not have any cows in the 19th century, sfincione was traditionally topped with hard cheeses from sheep and goats.

In Sicily, this pizza is traditionally served on December 7 (The Eve of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic church), Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Good Friday.

From Italy to America

Sicilian immigrants brought sfincione with them to America, specifically New York City. Here the hard cheese they used in their home country was replaced with mozzarella, which was much more affordable thanks to New York’s dairy cow industry.

When WWII was over, returning American soldiers that had been stationed in Italy were craving the delicious sfincione they had come to know and love. This style of making pizza spread throughout the country and became the inspiration for Detroit-style pizza.

Pizza by the Slab

At 25 Preble St, pizza is not served by the slice but rather by the slab. A hand slab of pizza weighs an entire pound and is considered a single serving. Many have tried to eat the whole slab and failed, but at least you can tell yourself you only ate half a slice of pizza for dinner, right? 

Pizza can also be ordered by the half slab and the full slab. The full slab is a full sheet of pizza that weighs a whopping eight pounds. Their Sicilian pizza comes in classic flavors such as cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, and spicy meat. They also have a tomato pesto option for vegans.

If just reading that made you feel stuffed, don’t worry. Slab also has thin-crust pizzas with fun flavors such as chicken and broccoli, loaded potato, and pickle and bacon. That last one sounded weird, but it’s actually a big seller.

But wait, there’s more! Their baked beans, made with lima beans and fennel sauce, are a must, as are their homemade meatballs that can be ordered as an app or sandwich. The muffuletta is one of their best-selling items and is every meat lover’s dream come true. It is a towering sandwich stuffed full of rosa salami, prosciutto cotto, biellese pepperoni, provolone, and pickled pepper salad.

Grab a Frozen Slab

Slab sells its products in about a dozen markets across the state, including Pat’s Meat Market in Portland, Royal River Natural Foods in Freeport, and Great East Butcher in Scarborough. Their frozen pizzas are a must-have for anybody’s freezer for those nights where you just don’t feel like cooking but still want something delicious. Don’t forget to pick up some of their waffle cone cannolis for an after-dinner treat.

-Written by Stacy Oswald & Photo by Danielle MacInnes