Ok, this pizza might be Tampa’s best kept secret. It’s called scachatta and you can get it at the city’s iconic restaurant, La Segunda. It’s thanks to the cultural fusion of Tampa Bay that we have our unique Baby Frankenstein of this godly entree, but few people know about it.
Now, if we could time-travel back to the early 1900s, when the cigar industry was booming in Ybor City, you’d see Cubans, Spanish and Italian immigrants rubbing elbows across those bricked streets. And, we believe one mouth-watering byproduct from all this intense elbow-rubbing is a plump form of pizza called scachatta.
Tampa’s divine, doughy delicacy
On the tongue level – jumping in our Magic School Bus for a second – scachatta is a rustic, yolky dough layered with meat sauce, finished with earthy morsels of parmesan, cooked in a sheet and cut into squares.
In Sicilain, “scachatta” or “scacciata” means “smash the bread” and all of the notable bakeries in the area – Alessi, Housewife Bakeshop, Moreno, Angelito’s at La Caridad – bake this traditional Tampa pizza, but if you are going to try one, try the scachatta at La Segunda Bakery.
Segunda’s baked goods have traveled nationwide
Owned and operated by the Moré family for 103 years, La Segunda literally means “The Second” and its palmetto-fronded Cuban bread has been feeding the masses since those gas-lit early days.
The bakeries’ Cuban bread is now a nationwide staple and the flaky canvas for every priceless Cuban sandwich we have devoured over the years. In short, La Segunda is the fabric of this vibrant community, but there is still even more to love about this local landmark.
The bakery’s version of scachatta perfectly combines a Cuban’s expertise for tasty dough with a well-developed Italian sauce. The result is a square pizza-pie that is salty and hearty, and perfect for sharing on the hood of a car talking with friends or eating as you walk down 7th Street.
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Spices bring scachatta to roaring life
Like most bakery pizzas, scachatta has its origins in the working class men and women who need a filling meal on- the-go. While Segunda’s scachatta overwhelming provides that – as one square makes for a solid lunch – the depth of spices is a treat that will surely grab the attention of even the most discerning Italian.
For some Midwestern transplants in the Bay, it will have nostalgic traces of Chicago-Style deep-dish and those from Philly might recall their bakery tomato pies lined up under warming lamps. But the scachatta at Segunda is a pure flavorbomb embodying some of Tampa’s deepest culinary roots, so hesitate no longer!
Treat yourself to La Segunda’s legendary baked goods
And, of course, if you are in La Segunda, you might as well get a guava turnover and a cannoli to wash that down.
Visit La Segunda Bakery at these locations anytime from 6:30am to 3pm:
Ybor City – 2512 N. 15th Street
South Tampa – Kennedy Avenue – 4015 W. Kennedy Blvd