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Ermanno's Pizza Named 'Fifth Best in the Midwest' at North American Pizza & Ice Cream Show

Which pizza helped them nab the title? It was Ermanno's Zen Pie, featuring creamy ricotta cheese, cajun sausage and banana peppers.

The pizza pie-making duo behind Ermanno's Legendary Pizza won't stop until they're No. 1.

Owners Lisa and Alan Frank gave it another go at this past weekend's North American Pizza & Ice Cream Show in Columbus, placing fifth in the competition that pits about 65 pizza makers from about 15 states against one another.

Although fifth-place is nothing to sulk about, Alan Frank said he is still dreaming of a first-place finish.

"It's a little bit luck, but you do see the same people making the finals every year," he said. "You can tell who knows what they're doing and who's new."

The Franks have competed for four years now, earning 17th place in 2010, fourth in 2011 and ninth in 2012. Nine of their 12 pizzas submitted in the competitions have placed in the top 20.

The couple always experiments with ingredients to see what makes the best pie, and this year, the two had it down (even if the judges didn't agree).

"That pizza came out exactly the way it was supposed to," Alan said.

He made a Zen Pie, featuring creamy ricotta cheese, cajun sausage and banana peppers, which took fifth place in the gourmet category.

Every year they learn a little more about the competition and how to transport their ingredients from North Canton to Columbus. When North Canton Patch interviewed Alan in 2011, he said the couple had strapped two trays of dough onto the roof of their car to keep the dough cool. And now, they've upgraded to packing the dough in coolers in their trunk.

“I know one guy there who mixed it in the hotel room sink,” he said in 2011.

The couple has their sights set on a Las Vegas competition (maybe next year, Alan says) and a Blue Grass Pizza Bake-off in Kentucky at the end of the coming summer.

No matter how it's mixed, North Canton Patch readers know they like it. They voted Ermanno's Legendary Pizza best pizza in North Canton through the site's Readers' Choice Awards in 2012.

Editor's note: Looking for a job? The business is hiring part-time drivers to deliver, answer phones and make pizzas.

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