To celebrate National Celiac Disease Awareness Day on September 13, Steven and Veronica Negri, owners of Mandy’s Pizza (mandyspizza.com) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, created what they hope will be declared the largest gluten-free pizza in the world. Mandy’s, already known for its 30’’pies and gluten-free menu, hosted a celebration that attracted more than 300 people who suffer from celiac disease or similar food allergies. Additionally, they served gluten-free beer and a giant dragon-shaped, gluten-free cookie donated by a local bakery. However, the star of the event was a whopping 32’’ gluten-free pie made by Steven. “We wanted to bring together people who suffer from the same disease and let them mingle,” he explains. “We brought together people’s two favorite things—pizza and dessert.”
Although the event was not certified by Guinness World Records, the Negris have mailed a proposal to have their pie officially named the largest gluten-free pizza during a future event—one of what they hope will be many promoting celiac disease awareness.
For the Negri’s, who have a son with severe food allergies, gluten-free cooking has brought new purpose to their 11-year career in the pizza business. “You can deliver 20 pies to a single house on a Friday night and get nothing rewarding out of it,” Steven explains. “But when you can help a kid have his first birthday party with a pizza right out of the oven, it’s very, very humbling.”