The classic Il Taco Pizza Puff, Source: Il Taco
Every knows about the Chicago-style hot dog, our deep dish and stuffed pizzas, and of course Garrett’s Popcorn. One overlooked food that’s been a Chicago staple for the past thirty years is the pizza puff. The tastier deep fried cousin of the calzone isn’t universally known by Chicago natives but its authenticity as a Chicago food remains undisputed.
Pizza puffs were invented in Chicago by Il Taco and you won’t be able to find them almost anywhere else in the country. Where can you find pizza puffs? If it’s serving some fast food and using a combination of Vienna or Scala Beef, chances are you’ll be able to find a pizza puff on the menu, just don’t try looking for a pizza puff on certain chains such as Portillo’s or Al’s Beef.
In fifth grade a friend of mine dragged me out to some restaurant out in our northwest side Albany Park and we had some food. I saw him order a pizza puff and wondered what he ordered. My friend was shocked that I never had a pizza puff before, so he sliced me off a piece and I bit into a crunchy pastry filled with mozarella, tomato sauce with some sausage mixed in and of course all greased up from being deep fried.
A few years back some friends from college dropped into town and I made it a point to introduce them all to the pizza puff. We all went in and ordered two apiece, and then took them back to another friend’s apartment to enjoy our bounty. Twenty minutes later, we were all struck with a fierce case of the “itis” and were rendered much too lazy to go out for the rest of the night’s festivities. Lesson learned: pizza puffs are not to be consumed in mass quantities, lest you seek a food coma to knock you into a complacent nap.
Last month, I had a great brunch over at @RockitWrigley and had some of their savory truffle fries. Truffle oil is much more flavorful than regular oil and will send neurons firing at overcapacity from the taste sensation. Being a great chef de cuisine, @amanda2581 took suggestions on things to make and the first thing on my mind was a truffle pizza puff!
After seeing pictures of this truffle pizza puff and hearing @MannyNevar tell me that the truffle pizza puff was real, me and the rest of my friends were dying to try out this legendary food. What would a truffle pizza puff taste like? How much truffle pizza puff can we eat before we are knocked unconscious? It own’t matter now because the search for the truffle pizza puff is over, it’s coming on December 2nd and Christmas is coming early!