The fourth-generation business is gaining a new legion of fans with it's curly pepperoni.

Darren Ezzo doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. “There’s no reason to pay attention to a company that grinds meat all day,” he says. But pizza-lovers and national publications have noticed Ezzo Sausage Co., the fourth-generation business Darren runs with his brother Jonathan. Recently, The New York Times, Eater, Thrillist and The Wall Street Journal have written about the company, based near Hilliard, for doing something it’s done since 1978—making pepperoni.

“In New York, they’re talking about this stuff like we invented it yesterday,” Darren says. “I told a bunch of people in the city that there are people in Columbus that have been using this stuff for 40 years. [Curly pepperoni] is not a new trend.”

But curly pepperoni (aka cup-and-char pepperoni)—as ubiquitous in Columbus as square-cut pizza—is what people on the East Coast want. The bowl-shaped pepperonis (a shape that occurs naturally as the sausage is heated because of its edible collagen casing) are an Ezzo specialty. Locally, you can spot Ezzo’s handiwork at Rubino’s Pizza, Flyers Pizza & Subs, Massey’s Pizza, Tommy’s Pizza, Adriatico’s, GoreMade Pizza and Paulie Gee’s Short North.

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