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What makes a ‘Spokane-style’ pizza? A TikToker came up with a joke recipe, but here’s what local foodies say really belongs on there

UPDATED: Fri., April 15, 2022

Fry sauce, sure. But canned salmon and strawberries? What does that have to do with Spokane?

TikToker and YouTuber Josh Scherer published a video on his various streaming platforms earlier this week explaining a supposedly “Spokane-style” pizza recipe.

Scherer starts the video by spreading a ball of pizza dough out in a casserole dish, the first hint that something is askew with the recipe to follow.

Scherer then adds fry sauce, “a local delicacy,” he calls it.

Next, he adds canned salmon. That’s right. Canned. Another red flag.

After the salmon, he adds bell pepper, onion and mozzarella cheese.

Then he tops the pie with “wild foraged strawberries” and more cheese. At this point, locals may ask: “Strawberries? Don’t you mean huckleberries? Apples, even?”

Adam Shove, head chef at the Flying Goat, said he agreed there was something to the idea of adding foraged ingredients. But if it were up to him, he’d be looking for morel mushrooms or nettles.

“My first instinct is that this is a joke,” Shove said of Scherer’s video. “All the components that he put in there obviously can go on pizza, but all together? I’m not sold on that.”

When it comes to a pizza, Shove knows Spokane can get behind some unconventional favorites, such as the Flying Goat’s Fairview pizza, made with heavy cream, cheese blend, back bacon, pears and Gorgonzola crumbles, finished with white balsamic reduction; or the “D” Street pizza with yellow coconut curry, cheese blend, potato, carrot, chicken, jalapeno, sriracha, cilantro and lime juice.

At Pizza Rita, locals are fond of “the Rita” (pepperoni, beef, sausage, onions, mushrooms, olives and green peppers) and the even meatier “5-pounder,” pizza chef Tiffany Brown said.

“We love our toppings and we always try to get all the flavors to come through. But this is a lot,” she said of Scherer’s creation.

Online, Scherer is also known as “The Mythical Chef,” a nickname he earned for his affiliation with the YouTube channel “Good Mythical Morning” and its hosts, Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. On YouTube, Scherer often prepares increasingly absurd meals for the duo.

Brown, who is familiar with “Rhett and Link,” says this recipe wasn’t far off from the kind of dishes Scherer usually presents.

“I’ve seen what they eat … it’s fun to watch,” she said. “I just want to know how confused their palate is – because what they eat – it’s all pretty mythical.”

“Huckleberries and salmon? Why not?” she said. “Go crazy with it – not that I particularly want to eat that on a pizza either.”

David’s Pizza’s kitchen manager was almost at a loss for words.

“I guess, I’d just have to ask, how did he come up with this?” Adam Grove said. “How is this Northwest? We’re pretty traditional around Spokane – people don’t get that wild with their pies.”

At David’s Pizza, the local favorite is “the Da Vinci,” with red sauce, mozzarella, feta cheese, a big swirl of basil pesto, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan.

David’s Pizza owner Mark Starr remembers making a salmon pizza for friends and family about 15 years ago.

“It was olive oil-based, basil pesto, mozzarella, fontina cheese, salmon and a little cilantro just as it’s coming out of the oven,” he said.

Unfortunately, Starr felt it was a little too adventurous to ever make it on an official menu.

“If I told anybody I was putting salmon on a pizza now, I don’t know what they’d have done with me,” he said.

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