Pizza has a long and delicious history in the United States. The history of pizza in this country started with Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. New York City and Chicago were two hotspots early on for pizza, but those two styles today couldn’t be more different.
There are many other types of pizza in the U.S. as well, and the diversity of pizza here can be thought of as a beautiful metaphor for the melting pot of cultures that make the country what it is. Here is some more information about the different types of pizza in the U.S.
New York style
New York style pizza has a thin crust, often with no more than three toppings. New Yorkers are always on the go, so it’s imperative that the pizza in New York be portable. This pizza is often purchased by the slice, and folded in half longways to consume. Whether you get it from a pizza cart in Manhattan or an old brick building in Brooklyn, this thin, chewy style is truly a New York staple.
On the opposite side of the spectrum from New York style is Chicago style pizza. This is deep dish, baked more like a traditional pie. This is pizza that often needs to be eaten with a knife and fork, at least to start. In this unique style, the sauce is spread over the toppings rather than underneath them. The crust is usually thick and crispy, and this pizza takes significantly longer to cook than other styles.
The most traditional of American pizzas is the Neapolitan style. This is closest to the original pizza of Naples, Italy. It has a chewy, thin crust (but not as thin as New York style), and is usually topped with sweet and tangy San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. The key to this pizza’s greatness is the freshness of its ingredients and using 00 flour for the dough.
Sometimes pizza can be more like enhanced focaccia. That is a hallmark of Sicilian style pizza. This is served in squares, with the crust resembling focaccia bread that’s soft and chewy. It’s often smothered with toppings like strong cheese, tomato sauce, onions, fresh herbs and anchovies.
Combining Chicago deep dish and Sicilian squares is Detroit style pizza. This fluffy dough is baked in square pans and brushed with butter for crispy edges. It’s usually topped with American favorites like pepperoni, mushrooms, cheese and tomato sauce.
St. Louis style
Wafer-thin crust is the key to a good St. Louis style pizza. The cheese is usually a mix of provolone, Swiss and white cheddar, and you’ll often find it topped with tomato sauce, oregano and bacon as well.
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