Rhode Island's Red Strips Offer Cheese-Free Take on Pizza

Is pizza really pizza if it doesn’t have cheese? According to USA Today, that’s one of the chief characteristics of a style called “bakery pizza” that’s unique to—but ubiquitous throughout—Rhode Island.

Also known as “red strips,” these pizzas are served at room temperature and cut into rectangles. “So if it’s easier for you to think of it as focaccia, go ahead, but either way, try it,” food-and-travel writer Larry Olmsted explains in USA Today. “It is a very satisfying, even slightly addictive comfort food.”

Olmsted describes bakery pizza as “a rectangular tray of baked dough covered with tomato sauce. It has a thicker crust than most other pizzas, but thinner than New York Sicilian-style pizza, and the sauce is very thick, almost a paste. Some places sprinkle a little grated cheese on top, but you can forget about a layer of melted mozzarella.”

One well-known Providence-area bakery, DePetrillo’s Pizza & Bakery, also offers pizza chips, essentially snack-sized red strips on thin squares of crust. “These are brilliant, the pizza lover’s answer to potato chips,” Olmsted notes.

Bakery pizza is the “perfect food for road tripping through New England,” Olmsted adds, “since it is easy to eat in the car, requires no heating and can be found all over the place.” He says it’s also “shockingly cheap.”