See Pope Francis' likeness on a pizza

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Pizza shop in Manhattan now selling pope pizza
AJ Ross reports from Greenwich Village.

GREENWICH VILLAGE (WABC) -- There is all sorts of wild and zany merchandise out there ahead of the pope's visit to New York City and now there's pope pizza!

It's the passion of one man in Greenwich Village. He spent hours creating the pope's image out of pizza toppings.

"We want to do something special for the Pope, he's coming back to the city," said Tony Salihaj, the chef.

The highly anticipated arrival of Pope Francis in New York already has venues across the city cooking up a surprise or two.

At Bleeker Street Pizza, chefs are now transforming pies into portraits of his holiness.

"We decided to make an image of him the best we can," Salihaj said. "We're pizza men we're not artists."

Tony Salihaj says he came up with the papal pizza recipe along with a friend and then quickly put it into execution; with the help of mozzarella and ricotta cheese, tomatoes, anchovies, and peppers to round out the details and adornments.

"This took about five hours to make this one and lots of patience," Salihaj said.

Whether or not Pope Francis gets a glimpse or even a bite of this masterpiece doesn't matter to Salihaj who says he's more excited about the food for the soul Francis has been providing to the masses.

"First, I got great respect for this pope he's trying to change the world," Salihaj said. "He's helping the poor people, he's talking about global warming, and this is a real issue today in the world."

Talk about an unexpected blessing! These rare Pope Francis pizzas are already in high demand with orders coming in left and right. There are so many, in fact the owners worry they will not be able to keep up with them all.