The Big E: The 5 craziest pizzas to try at the fair and where to find them

Designing a pizza at The Big E is a bit like MadLibs.

Choose three ingredients from your fridge door. Choose something from the pantry and name a cheese. How else does pickle or peanut butter end up on a cake next to mozzarella?

But the results work surprisingly well in some cases — even if they push the limits of the human palate.

In keeping with other culinary creations at the West Springfield fair, pizzas at The Big E vary widely. Lovers of Chinese cuisine can enjoy a piece topped with General Tso’s chicken. McDonald’s fans should try the “Mac Daddy” – made with the ingredients of a Big Mac. And yes, the most adventurous among us might be inclined to try a peanut butter and bacon pizza.

All this and much more can be found at the fair this year. Here are five of the “Big E” pizzas you can try.

Pickle Pizza

Pickle pizza—topped with pickles, white garlic sauce, ranch dressing, and mozzarella cheese—can be found at Angela’s Pizza on Commonwealth Ave. in the Big E. (Will Katcher/MassLive).

Pickle Pizza | From Angela’s Pizza | On Commonwealth Ave.

It works somehow. Pickle chips play phenomenally with ranch dressing, a gentle blend of salty brine with a creamy dressing, all over a bed of mozzarella cheese and white garlic sauce. This pizza was not put together at random. Every ingredient has a reason and it’s not too much flavor. It just sort of works.

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“Some people are skeptical, others are pickle lovers,” said Angela’s owner Tonio Viscusi last year when the pizza debuted. “Overall people love the pizza.”

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Big E

The Mac Daddy Pizza – hamburger, cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions and Thousand Island dressing – from the Deep South Food Company on Industrial Ave. (Nick O’Malley, MassLive)

Mac Daddy Pizza | From the Deep South Food Company | On Industrial Ave.

Another pickle pizza, but with a very different take, can be found on Industrial Avenue under the Deep South Food Company tent. If there’s one certainty about Mac Daddy pizza, it’s that it stays true to The Big E’s extravagance. With ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, Thousand Island dressing and — yes — pickles, it’s about as close as a pizza could come to a Big Mac.

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The Mac Daddy is sold as a whole pizza — a personal size, maybe 10 or 12 inches in diameter — cut into four slices. It’s overkill — but so is The Big E.

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General Tso's chicken pizza

The General Tso’s Chicken Pizza, served at the Sam Adams Beer Garden on the Avenue of States at the Big E. (Will Katcher/MassLive).

General Tso’s Chicken Pizza | From the Sam Adams Beer Garden | On the Avenue of States

The flavorful, sweet, slightly salty chicken mixes well with a thin, slightly crispier crust. With spring onions, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a reasonable – not overdone – portion of cheese, the ingredients of this pizza come together well. It doesn’t feel like a crazy, over-the-top pizza. It almost feels like a flatbread. Like the Mac Daddy, General Tso’s Chicken Pizza is served in a personal size with four small slices.

You’ll find it in the Sam Adams Beer Garden, a cool and shady seat across from the state buildings. It’s just enough apart from the rest of the fair for a relaxing break when the day heats up and you’ve been on the tarmac too long.

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Skippy's Dare

Skippy’s Dare – white pizza with peanut butter, bacon, mozzarella, and provolone – is sold at Randy’s Wooster St. Pizza in the Connecticut Building at the Big E. (Will Katcher/MassLive)

Skippy’s Duty | By Randy’s Wooster St. Pizza | In the Connecticut building

Maybe you think you know how it will taste. Maybe you are unsure. However, The Big E doesn’t stand for comfort food and simplicity. Take the leap of faith and order a slice of Skippy’s Dare from the lovely folks at Randy’s Wooster St. Pizza in Manchester, Connecticut.

Skippy’s Dare really isn’t complicated: it tastes faintly of warm peanut butter. But also cheese. And bacon?

“Don’t knock until you’ve tried,” says the menu. This white pizza with peanut butter and bacon, provolone and mozzarella isn’t for everyone. But there’s a reason the Wooster St. Pizza booth in the Connecticut Building draws a consistent line. Try it.

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Buffalo Mac and Cheese Pizza | From Rudy’s Pizza and Slush | On Commonwealth Avenue and Springfield Road

While it’s not served every day, head to Rudy’s Pizza and Slush for a slice of Buffalo Mac and Cheese Pizza. If it is not available, there will surely be another delicious concoction.

The pizza stand has two locations, on Commonwealth Ave. and on Springfield Road. When buffalo gravy and macaroni and cheese don’t top the tarts, the owners plan to whip up another special creation for the fair. Both cheeseburger pizzas and Hawaiian pizzas are planned. Stop by the Rudy’s stands each day to see what they have to offer.

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