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There are around 78,000 pizza restaurants in the US. With that number, there’s no doubt that pizza is an American staple despite its Italian roots.
Pizza made its way to America in the late 1800s through Italian immigrants. Yet pizza remained more or less obscure despite American’s growing taste for it.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that pizza became ubiquitous. This period saw the domestication and commercialization of pizza. Thanks to economic and technological developments, pizza became an accessible convenience food.
The core composition of pizza involves dough, sauce, and toppings. Yet there are various kinds of pizza. Since its introduction, chefs and pizza-makers have adapted it to diverse local tastes.
Want to explore your options for pizza night? Read on to learn seven different kinds of pizza you can try today.
1. The Neapolitan
Named after Naples, Italy, the Neapolitan is the original pizza. This is the pizza that came with Italian immigrants to the US.
Its Italian origins date back to 18th century Naples. During this period, the poor of Naples were wont to buy food that was cheap and quick to eat. The Neapolitan pizza met their needs by being affordable and available through common street vendors.
Due to its role in popularizing pizza in the US, Italy sought UNESCO heritage protection for it.
The traditional toppings include fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, oregano, olive oil, and basil leaves. The Neapolitan is thin, so it isn’t made to hold too many toppings. In fact, it’s so thin that it’s usually eaten with a fork and knife.
2. New York-Style Pizza
This is one of the most popular regional types of pizza. The New York-style pizza has big foldable slices and a crispy outer crust.
The New York-style pizza was a modification of the Neapolitan pizza. It has since distinguished itself. Some say it owes its fame to a unique flavor that comes from the minerals in New York’s water supply.
The base toppings for New York-style pizza are tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Unlike the Neapolitan and its thin crust, the New York-style pizza can hold more toppings. This can range from sausage and pepperoni to mushrooms and anchovies.
The New York-style pizza can have almost any topping added to it. Yet, it’s common to top it with condiments like red pepper flakes and oregano.
You can also add Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. If you’re finding the New York-style pizza enticing, try one at Wiseguypizzapie.com.
3. Sicilian Pizza
Also known as Sfincione, this is one of the types of pizza best recognized by its rectangular shape. The Sicilian has a pillowy dough, 1-2-inch crust, and a crunchy thick base.
As its name suggests, this pizza made its way to the US through 19th-century Sicilian immigrants. It gained popularity after the Second World War.
A Sicilian has minimal toppings. It’s served with or without the cheese. If it has cheese, it’s often underneath the sauce to prevent the dough from becoming soggy.
The traditional toppings include bits of tomato, anchovies, onion, and herbs. If you want to bring out a Sicilian pizza dough’s flavor, line the pan with an olive oil blend.
4. California Style
The California-style pizza dough base is like the Neapolitan’s. Yet this American pizza is popular for its uncommon ingredients.
This pizza style owes credit to Chef Ed LaDou. Experimenting with recipes, he made a pizza with mustard, ricotta, red peppers, and pate.
LaDou happened to serve his recipe to Wolfgang Puck. Impressed by LaDou’s take, Puck hired him as a head pizza chef at Puck’s restaurant.
The pizza recipes LaDou created here would form the menu of the California Pizza Kitchen. This gave the California-style pizza a national audience.
When it comes to toppings, the California pizza doesn’t adhere to a standard recipe. Because of this, you can get creative with the toppings. Top it with chicken and artichokes to egg and got cheese as you like.
5. Detroit Style
The Detroit pizza is another one of the square kinds of pizza. It reflects Detroit’s links to the auto industry. This pizza style was originally baked in square pans made from automotive parts.
The Detroit pizza has a deep-dish crust. It’s thick and crispy yet airy and tender on the inside. You can serve it with marinara sauce on top.
It’s usually baked in a well-oiled pan. This helps develop the crust’s crunchy caramelized edges.
This pizza style features pepperoni, tomato sauce, and brick cheese toppings. Other toppings also include olives and mushrooms.
6. Chicago Deep Dish
This pizza has a deep crust lining a deep dish. The whole pizza is thick, yet the crust itself has only a thin to medium thickness. Crowning the crust is a thick and large layer of toppings.
The Chicago pizza is a recipe by Ike Sewell. He made a pizza that’s like a pie yet has ingredients in reverse. Mozzarella slices line the dough, followed by vegetables, meat, and topped with crushed tomatoes.
Other traditional toppings include sausage, mushrooms, onion, pepperoni, and green peppers. These position under the tomato sauce. Some pizza places top this off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
7. St. Louis Pizza
The St. Louis pizza is a modification of the New York-style pizza. It originated from Ed and Margie Imo of Imo’s Pizzeria in the 1960s.
The St. Louis pizza has a cracker-like thin crust that’s made without yeast. It’s topped with Provel processed cheese instead of mozzarella. Because of its crispy crust, this pizza is usually cut into 3-4-inch rectangles called a party or tavern cut.
Provel cheese is a combination of swiss, cheddar, and provolone cheeses. The St. Louis pizza has a sweeter tomato sauce and a generous amount of oregano.
Try These Diverse Kinds of Pizza
The pizza has long since evolved from its Italian roots. The American pizza has many creative takes on the 3 basic components of the pizza. This results in the diverse kinds of pizza you’ll find across the US.
What kind of pizza are you looking for? Try one of these recipes for your pizza night.