Author Topic: Norma's at Roots Market  (Read 3407 times)

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Offline communist

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Norma's at Roots Market
« on: April 03, 2012, 08:54:04 PM »
I have been eager to join the big boys on the recent New York City Pizza Tours, about 2 hours east of my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but gambled and instead headed south to Lancaster County in pursuit of the New York Pie at Norma's at Roots Market.  And I hit the jackpot!  In the heart of Pennsylvania German farm country, at a cultural treasure known at Roots, Norma is cranking out NY pies that are fabulous.  It had been a decade since I had been to Roots, and by noon today, the local crowds were swarming. With my family in tow, I brushed past arstisans at the local farmers market, include an Amish woman hand crafting leatherworks.  Then I located Norma's shop, with her assistant Steve.  I was greeted with a smile and a special down home friendliness that revealed that Norma and Steve have deep Lancaster County "Roots".  Norma showed me her compact, efficient and unique set-up.  Her gas powered oven was set to 525, with cordierite stones.  She was working with a 24 hr cold ferment Lehmann dough ( 60% hydration I believe ).  She gently spread the dough ball on marble, and I was struck with the paucity of bench flour used.  Because my daughter loves pepperoni, we ordered a 16 inch pie with half pepperoni.  I like to start with a plain pie to see what the pizzamaker can do without hiding the product under toppings - I was interested in the plain half.  She tossed the pie in and I clocked it at 6 minutes.  Steve slid it into a box and cautioned us not to let a hot pizza sit around in a box too long, it could cause the crust to get soggy.  We grabbed five cans of soda ( orange for me ), and the pie and paid $15 bucks ( that's right ) and scurried for some seating.  Some local farmers filled some cheap plastic chairs in a corner; the seating was just too close.  Besides, we were in no mood to share our slices today.  We darted out a side door and found a picnic bench.  We devoured the pie in 5 minutes!  A puffy crust, with moist tender crumb.  The bottom was on the dark side, and I worried I would taste some char, but instead I was greated with all flavor and no burn!  The sauce was silky smooth, bright, uncooked, with a hint of sweetness ( perhaps a bit of added sugar? ).  A generous topping of nicely melted but not browned mozzarella crowned the pie.  A sensational New York Pie!  We returned to talk to Steve and Norma.  They showed us their experimental doughs they were going to bake later in the afternoon, and even invited me to work behind the counter.  Unfortunately, because we were heading to Crystal Cave in Kutztown, I could not stay. But my family and I cannot wait to get back.  Great pizza from really fine people, with a unique cultural setting you have to experience.  Pics to follow ( hopefully )


Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 08:55:11 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 08:55:56 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 08:56:47 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 08:57:42 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 08:58:24 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 08:59:17 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 09:00:31 PM »
pics

Offline communist

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 09:01:06 PM »
pics

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 09:55:49 PM »
Mark,

Thank you very much for the nice write-up!  It was a pleasure to meet you and your family!  I am glad you liked the 24 hr. Lehmann dough pizza.  I usually use another tomato product which is Stanislaus Heavy Duty Pizza Sauce with basil, but my distributor had delivered the wrong sauce.  What you tasted was Full Red with added garlic, herbs, a tiny bit of sugar and Red Cow Parmesan cheese.  You are right that the sauce was uncooked.  You are also right that the Lehmann dough was 60% hydration.  Wish you could have stayed for he experimental doughs, or could have come behind the counter to open dough balls and bake pizzas. 

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 09:34:26 AM »
You are living the dream Norma!

John

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 09:58:24 AM »
Mark,

Thanks for the great write-up and pictures. I'm jealous of your visit! Norma and Steve are good people for sure! I love spending time with them.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 10:05:45 AM »
That's the "first lady of flour"! If I'm ever in the area (maybe in late May), I'm gonna be sure to stop in for pizza and a "norma's pizza hat".

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 12:25:36 PM »
John,  It is fun to be able to live the dream if only for one day a week at a very small pizza business.  As I told Mark, even though the pizzas are made from the same dough, mixed at the same time, each pizza bakes and looks different.

Craig, Thanks for saying Steve and I are good people.  I also loved spending time with you.

Dave, I still love the name ďfirst lady of flourĒ!  Thanks for giving me that name. Stop in anytime.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline thezaman

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 06:44:49 PM »
norma, planning my trip to roots.I'm hitting your joint first for some great pizza and hopefully some of steve's beer. I'll hide it in a paper cup. .i am also looking at norms pretzels to compliment the beer.then a beef sandwich from broty's. and back to you for some more pizza and beer. does this sound well planned or did i miss some of you favorites. this will happen early june.

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2012, 07:50:32 PM »
norma, planning my trip to roots.I'm hitting your joint first for some great pizza and hopefully some of steve's beer. I'll hide it in a paper cup. .i am also looking at norms pretzels to compliment the beer.then a beef sandwich from broty's. and back to you for some more pizza and beer. does this sound well planned or did i miss some of you favorites. this will happen early june.

Larry,

Great to hear you are planning your trip to Rootís in early June!  ;D  I am sure Steve will bring some of his homebrew for you.  Let me know what kind of pizzas you would like to try.  Iíll make some special doughs.  You donít have to hide the beer in a paper cup.  Steve and I both nip at times.  :-D  I am sure you will like Brotyís beef sandwiches.  He always has long lines waiting for his beef sandwiches.  Normís soft pretzels are also good.  He makes them the old-fashioned way with lye and on a long conveyor that is very old.  There are so many foods at Rootís you might enjoy.  Across the street as the flea market they sell really good Philly steakís.  I think you can taste your whole though the whole market.  There are really good French fries at Rootís too, and two places that sell sub sandwiches.  If you are going home after Rootís, bring a cooler.  They also have great meats, veggies, baked goods, pasta salads and so much more at Rootís market.  If you want me to I can make a list of the foods I think are good.

Canít wait to see you again!  ;D

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline thezaman

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2012, 11:57:03 PM »
mrs. za is coming with me.what is popular that is non food related?

Offline norma427

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2012, 08:00:27 AM »
mrs. za is coming with me.what is popular that is non food related?

Larry,

I donít know what Mrs. Za likes, but if you let me know what she likes I should be able to tell you if it is at Rootís since my husband and I had the Caramel Popcorn stand for many years at Rootís.  There is a big flea market right across the street from the market that sells all kinds of antiques if it isnít raining.  I donít know if your wife likes antiques or not.  There are about 200 standholders on the market side and almost that many standholders on the flea market side.  On the antique and flea market side the standholders get there about 7:00 am in the morning and most leave by 1:00-2:00 pm..  There any many plant places, Amish that make many things, and much more.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Ev

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2012, 10:03:45 AM »
Hey Larry, If you're going to be in the area for more than just that Tuesday, I'd be happy to fire up the oven and bake for you! :chef:

Offline franko9752

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Re: Norma's at Roots Market
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2012, 06:23:32 PM »
Me too! I plan on playing hookie from my pizza gig some Tues. soon and field trip to Roots to taste the First Lady of Flours great looking pies. I am near Altoona Pa so not a long ride. See you and Steve soon Norma. :chef:  (maybe try that home brew too ::) )
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 06:25:19 PM by franko9752 »