Pizza is a food loved by millions of people and can be found everywhere in the United States. Originally from Italy, pizza has transfigured into numerous forms, with people creating pies in their own style to give it a unique flair. Around the country, we can see just how pizza has changed with different regions featuring different types of pizza.
In this article, you can learn about eight different types of pizza and what makes each one unique!
Neapolitan Pizza is how pizza got its start. Originating in Naples, Italy, poor peasants created Neapolitan pizza when they began to top their flatbread with tomatoes in the 18th century. With the ingredients being cheap and easy to acquire, this was a delicious option for them to make. There are three official variants:
- Pizza marinara: This variant includes tomato, garlic, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.
- Pizza margherita: The margherita has tomato, fresh sliced mozzarella, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
- Pizza margherita extra: This expansion on the marghari includes tomato, sliced buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.
Typically, Neapolitan-style pizza has a soft, thin crust and is baked in a wood-burning oven at between 800 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for 70 to 90 seconds. At this temperature, the crust will bubble up and char, leaving you with a delicious meal.
Also known as deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style pizza is very different from traditional Neapolitan-style pizza. Instead of a soft, thin-crust pizza like the Neapolitan, Chicago-style pizza utilizes a thick crust with raised edges. In addition, the order of the ingredients is different, with mozzarella slices lining the dough, the toppings like meat and vegetables going on top and a can of crushed tomatoes topping off the pie.
Traditional toppings for Chicago pizzas include ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, onion, mushroom and green peppers. More toppings and dough means that the pizza will take a little longer to cook all the way through, so it has a typical baking time of 30-35 minutes.
New York-Style Pizza
New York-style pizza is one of the most famous pizza styles in America. Identifiable by its crisp crust and large, foldable slices, New York pizza started as a variant of Neapolitan pizza in the early 1900s but has grown into its own style. Some people even say that New York-style pizza gets its unique flavor from the minerals found in New York tap water.
While New York pizza can handle a large number of toppings, you’ll traditionally find it with just tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Oregano, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese and garlic powder are common condiments for people to add on, but you can’t go wrong with plain old tomato sauce and cheese!
Sicilian-style pizza originated in Sicily and is a square pizza with a fluffy, spongy base topped with sauce and toppings. After World War II, it became popular in the United States and began to evolve a little from its original Sicilian roots. In the United States, it’s typically made with mozzarella cheese underneath the sauce to help prevent it from getting soggy.
Traditionally, you top Sicilian-style pizza with sauteed onions, chopped anchovies, tomatoes and spices. However, it’s not uncommon to see it with other toppings such as sausage or oregano. It features a thick crust similar to Chicago-style pizza but not as pie-like and offers a great-tasting pizza with historical roots.
Created by Greek immigrants who tried Italian pizza in America, Greek pizza has a thick, chewy crust and is popular in the New England states. Its crust is thicker than traditional thin-crust pizzas, but not as thick as Sicilian or Chicago-style.
Greek pizza incorporates a tomato sauce with a strong hint of oregano and may feature more traditional Greek toppings such as black olives, red onions and feta cheese.
California-style pizzas are known for using non-traditional toppings and unique recipes. Originating in the 1970s, Ed LaDou famously served an experimental pizza to chef Wolfgang Puck, who hired him to work at his restaurant, where he came up with over 250 pizza recipes.
Typically, California-style pizzas mix different pizza styles with unusual toppings. There is no specific crust or topping that encompasses the style. It’s all up to the chef’s creativity and preference. You may even see pizzas with artichoke hearts, goat cheese or eggs.
St. Louis Pizza
St. Louis pizza is unique in that it offers a thin crust pizza made without yeast. The lack of yeast makes the crust almost cracker-like, especially when compared to more traditional pizza crusts, giving you a unique style of pizza. It’s cut into three or four-inch rectangles and uses Provel processed cheese, a combination of Swiss, provolone and cheddar.
The Provel cheese is the defining topping of St. Louis-style pizza. The lack of traditional toppings means you can add whatever you want to make the pizza your own. Though the crust is thin, it’s firm enough to hold several toppings.
Detroit-style pizza is incredibly unique in that it was initially baked in square automotive part pans. Its dough is similar to Sicilian-style, and offers a light and porous crust that isn’t chewy like some other pizza styles. Detroit square pizza may also be called “Detroit Red Top” due to the order in which you construct the pizza. The toppings are placed on top of the crust, followed by the cheese, with the red sauce drizzled on last to avoid a soggy crust.
Traditional Detroit-style pizza toppings include pepperoni, Wisconsin brick cheese and tomato sauce. The brick cheese is spread to the edges of the pan, causing it to caramelize into a golden cheese crust. This style of pizza offers a delicious meal for anybody, and you can eat it with either your hands or a fork and knife!
So Which Type of Pizza Is Best?
With regions making changes to pizza and adapting it to their unique style, it’s hard to decide which type of pizza is best. Every kind of regional pizza has its own amazing traits, making them all great options. However, if it were up to us, we’d without a doubt say Detroit-style pizza! The unique construction and crispness from the caramelized Wisconsin brick cheese offer a uniquely tasty option that you can’t find anywhere else. Coupled with a delicious light crust, Detroit-style pizza is the best style around!
Check Out Green Lantern Pizza Today!
If you’re craving Detroit-style pizza and are in the Metro-Detroit area, find a Green Lantern Pizza location near you! We’ve had the best pizza in town since 1955 and are famous for our “Best in Town” round pizza and deep dish “Detroit-Style” square pizza. Check out our menu and come in to try our pizza today!