It’s no secret that pizza is a having a resurgence. While it may have never left the scene entirely, there are troves of people who are voicing their pizza preference loud and proud. There are even pizza necklaces – slice holders you can wear around your neck like the real pizza guru you are.
While pizza may sound like the country’s most universal food, but dig a little deeper and you will find that no two pizzas are created alike, especially when crossing state lines.
Neapolitan & New Haven
Neapolitan pizza originated in Italy and is a popular pizza served in authentic Italian restaurants and pizzerias around the US. A light crust is baked – usually in a brick or wood burning oven – and minimally topped with fresh mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce and basil.
Normally served at Italian restaurants, toppings can include salame picante, prosciutto, veggies and more. Typically, Neapolitan style pizzas are personal sized, around eight inches. Larger-sized versions are commonly found in places like New Haven, Connecticut and called apizza.
California-style pizza lives up to it’s name by being a somewhat healthy version of pizza. A thin, Neapolitan style crust is baked extra crispy and topped with veggies not commonly associated with pizza.
Think avocado, salmon, spinach and seafood. Cheese and sauce are not usually offered making this more of a traditional flatbread than other pizzas.
Chicago is home of the deep-dish pizza. This kind of pizza is more of a stuffed pie than flatbread-style pizza that you would find in Italy or New York. A medium thickness crust is pressed into a deep-dish pie pan and layers of filling and toppings are added.
Usually, cheese tops the crust, then meat and veggies are piled on and, finally, a layer of sauce. The entire thing is baked (for a while) and sliced like a cake to serve.
Detroit-style pizza pays homage to the industrial history of Michigan by foregoing pizza pans for thick, square industrial parts trays. The thick crust creates a deep-dish style pizza that is layered with a helping of cheese on the bottom and sauce on top. The square slices are commonly seen topped with pepperoni, green peppers and onions, too.
New York-style pizza gets it roots from Neapolitan pizza, but has evolved into something that has no need for a fork and knife. Served very often by the slice, NY style pizza favors a heartier crust that can be folded in half and still not break.
The pie is a large one, normally 18 inches and topped with low-moisture but high fat mozzarella and lots of tomato sauce.
St. Louis-style pizza features a crust so thin, it is more like a cracker than bread. The dough is leavened like the dough used for matzoh crackers. Instead of mozzarella, St. Louis pizza is made with Provela – a blend of three cheeses including provolone,swiss and cheddar. And even though it is round, the slices are cut into squares.