Types Of Pizza
Pizza is a mind-blowing food that has become one of the most symbolic and remarkable dishes in the world. Having originated from Italy around the 1800s, pizza has been through numerous transformations to be loved by any foodie worldwide.
Dating back the ancient world in Egypt, Rome or Greece, pizza was recorded as early as 600 B.C in the form of flatbread which was topped with herbs or vegetables. In the 1500s, tomatoes were traded to Italy. Later, people started to bake them into their bread and other dishes. It was not until the 1700s that in Naples, Italy, the Neapolitans created a recipe for the very first pizza that was supposed for poor men only. The first recorded American pizza was in 1905, which was in the form of a street vendor meal. Since Italian immigrants came to the US during the early 1900s in order to look for a job, they headed for Chicago where a number of factories were sited. They brought pizza along with them at that time. Nowadays, pizza becomes an indispensable dish in America cuisine culture. On average, a person eats 46 slices of pizza annually and 13% of United States population consumes pizza on a daily basis.
Pizza lovers these days focus not only on pizza’s appearance but on its specific taste and flavors as well. The article below will help you gain an insight into the world of pizza. By distinguishing different types of pizza and highlight their features, we hope to bring readers the general view of each kind of pizza included. In this guide, many varieties of pizza will be discussed in view of the crust which is the foundation of every pizza slice along with the taste, density, and texture of the pizza as well. All factors contribute to make a pizza masterpiece. If you are mouth-watering, let us get started.
1. Neapolitan Pizza
Neapolitan is the original pizza which is also called Napolitana or Naples-style pizza. The name came from Naples, Italy, in the 18th century. Dating back that time, the poor of the seaside city were looking for a cheap and quick food. This demand promoted the creation of Neapolitan pizza which was affordable and available all the corners of Naples, Italy during that time.
The authentic Neapolitan is typically made with tomatoes, basil leaves, oregano, and olive oil and mozzarella cheese. Nowadays, there are three variants of Neapolitan pizza, namely pizza Margherita, pizza Marinara, and pizza Margherita extra. The main difference among these three variants is the ingredients. Pizza Marinara has tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, Pizza Margherita does not have any garlic, oregano; instead, it includes sliced mozzarella, and basil. Finally, Pizza Margherita extra is the traditional Margherita plus mozzarella from Campania.
When it comes to the crust, Neapolitan pizza is thin. Hence, it cannot handle too many toppings. There is no need to use any machine when making Neapolitan pizza. The dough is kneaded by hand and the thickness of the crust is at the center and 35cm in diameter. To bake the Neapolitan pizza, it should be heated from 800 – 1,000 degrees F in only 90 seconds to ensure that it is as light and slightly crispy as possible.
2. New York-Style Pizza
The opening of America’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, by Gennaro Lombardi marked the appearance of New York-style pizza in 1950. The New York-style pizza stands out due to its large, foldable slices and crispy outer crust. It is one of the most recognizable pizza types and appears much in films and TV shows. Since the 20th century, it has been well-known in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. New York-style pizza can be eaten in the whole or sold in wide slices to go. The whole pizza is quite large, typically 18 inches and cut into eight slices. When it is severed to go, it can be folded in half vertically.
New York-style pizza uses oil and sugar. Unlike its thin crust counterpart, the Neapolitan, it has a wide range of toppings, including mushroom, anchovies pepperoni and sausage, which features more cheese and is cooked for considerably longer on a lower heat due to more oil and sugar being added. The toppings can be added without limits. For example, a number of vegetables, meats such as pepperoni and sausage can be optional. Without additional toppings, you can call it a “plain,” “regular,” or “cheese” pizza. The crust using high gluten flour needs to be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, which makes New York-style pizza unique in texture and flavor. Some people state that the minerals that are merely found in NYC’s tap water create the unique characteristic of New York-style pizza.
For those who wish to bake a New York-style pizza, as long as you have a food processor, making New York-style pizza is not complicated. You can set the oven at 500°F and bake until cheese is melted with some browned spots and crust is golden brown. The whole process is about 15 minutes in total.
3. St. Louis Crust Pizza
The St. Louis pizza is originated from the Italian community, largely from Milan and Sicily. In 1945, a man named Amedeo Fiore opened a small Italian restaurant serving three versions of the original Neapolitan pizza. All these versions were made on the cracker-thin crust topped with provolone cheese. Finally, the famous St. Louis-style pizza was formed by the provolone cheese. The pizza was cut in the shape of a square and served on a napkin to be eaten by hand. Over the years, this type of pizza has become an icon of St. Louis. If you are craving for a light slice, St. Louis pizza is an ideal choice for you. The wafer-thin crust that is made without yeast is extremely brittle. It is cut into three- or four-inch rectangles, unlike the usual triangular cut of other types. The St. Louis cut is known as “party” or “tavern” cut. Apart from this point, St. Louis pizza has a number of unique characteristics. Its toppings include tomato sauce, oregano, bacon and Provel cheese which is the gooey combination of provolone, Swiss and white cheddar cheeses. In addition, its remarkable sauce is reminiscent of the Sicilian influence. Unlike New York-style pizza, St. Louis crust cannot be folded, so it is more suitable for parties and gatherings. St. Louis is served best in rectangular slices.
When coming to the way to make it, it is believed that it is quicker and easier to make at home than other types of pizza. You can use a pizza stone or a thin baking sheet, and remember to put it on the lowest rack position. The total time is more or less 30 minutes including 10 minutes of baking at 425°F.
4. Chicago Pizza
As its name mentions, this kind of pizza gets its name from the city it was invented in. In the early 1920s, when the influx of Italian immigrants was looking for something as similar as the Neapolitan pizza in Chicago, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo invented Chicago deep-dish pizza. They opened Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943.
This type of pizza has a thick crust that is about two inches deep. Therefore, it can handle a large amount of toppings such as gooey cheese, sauce, onions, bell papers, and mushrooms. Sometimes, it will be finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese across the tomato sauce serving as a protective layer. The crust can have a unique yellowish tone thanks to its semolina, cornmeal, or food coloring. All the ingredients create a tasty delicacy. The thickness of the crust can be explained by the way it was baked. Unlike others types of pizza which use a flat pan, Chicago deep-dish pizza is cooked in an iron skillet or a round, steel pan, which allows the dough to be perfectly crisp. You should remember to wipe the pan down with oil in order to get a Chicago pizza out of the pan. The baking process takes more or less 35 minutes. Given its relatively long cooking time, the toppings are placed in reverse order on a pizza, starting with the cheese, followed by other toppings. They are assembled in an upside-down order. If you put cheese as the top layer, it could be burnt. Chicago deep-dish pizza can be made easily at home, provided that our dough rises well and rest for 10 minutes before slicing. When you want to place an order for takeout or delivery, it should remain uncut. This is because if it is cut in advance, moisture from the sauce and toppings may soak into the crust, which results in the pie becoming soggy and losing its crispiness.
5. Sicilian Pizza
Possibly being called by another name as “sfincione” which is literally translated into “thick sponge’’, Sicilian pizza is believed to be introduced by Sicilian immigrants to the United States in the 19th century . Today, Sicilian pizza gains popularity in large metro areas such as Midwest and East Coast. The special feature of this type of pizza is the crust that includes a spongy bread base, soaking in a lot of the olive oil used to coat the pan that it is baked in. Enjoying this kind of pizza, customers will be served with a thick cut of pizza with pillowy dough, a crunchy crust, and tomato sauce with toppings including anchovies, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. The cheese is placed underneath the sauce so the pie will not get soggy. Usually, the crust is slightly over an inch in thickness. If The Sicilian is baked in a square shape, the crust is slightly thinner and chewier. Despite the thicker crust compared to other kinds of pizza, Sicilian pizza is not dense or tough to chew. Its design provides pizza lovers with a proper balance with the bread, sauce, and toppings. In addition, it uses much more tomato sauce as its foundation is unlike most other varieties that are made today. With authentic ingredients and the making traditional approach, Sicilian pizza is considered a healthy choice by removing preservatives and processing from your diet without sacrificing flavor.
6. California Pizza
As its name implies, an eponymous California Pizza Kitchen gave birth to this unique kind of pizza. Back in the late 1970s, Chef Ed LaDou started trying a new recipe in a traditional Italian restaurant named Prego. His pizza includes mustard, ricotta, pate, and red pepper. By chance, he served it to Wolfgang Puck who later invited Chef Ed LaDou to be the head pizza chef at his restaurant- the California Pizza Kitchen. Although it is framed from the NYC model, California pizza is reputable for its eccentricity. By applying different ingredients and various Californian culinary trends, California Pizza is defined by its use of fresh, local and seasonal produce. There are no boundaries when it comes to its toppings. You can get anything from chicken and artichokes to goat cheese and egg into the toppings. Among the most popular types of pizza, Californian-style BBQ chicken pizza is the name that cannot be ignored. Especially, if you are health-conscious, you can think of putting more vegetables, fresh herbs or some organic produce. In short, the thin-crust California Pizza is popular with its fresh, nontraditional toppings, its affinity for culinary innovation, as well as its enthusiasm for healthy fare. To make a delicious California pizza at home, first you have to make a traditional thin base and then top it with numerous healthiest and freshest ingredients.
7. Detroit-Style Pizza
The legacy of Detroit-Style Pizza started at Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizzeria on Six Mile and Conant Street. In 1946, Gus Guerra made their first square-shaped pizza baked in forged-steel pans from Detroit factories. He produced a very light and crispy crust pizza, which was the very first known square pizza in the US. Now, it is known as Detroit-Style Pizza, which has become a national favorite. Although Detroit-Style Pizza followed the model of Sicilian pizza, the distinction is that Detroit-Style Pizza reconstructs the traditional Sicilian to their liking by putting pepperoni first, followed by brick cheese spread evenly across the entire crust edge-to-edge, and pouring the tomato sauce over top. The perfect pizza should have a thick, extra crispy crust that is tender and airy on the inside. That is the reason why it is recognizable for its iconic square shape and crunchy, cheesy corner slices. The fact that pepperoni is put directly on the dough allows the rich flavors of the meat to be absorbed into the crust. Moreover, the use of Wisconsin brick cheese instead of mozzarella helps the pizza become sharper and tangier while offering a higher fat content. This fat is crucial because it helps to crisp the outside of the crust and allows for the signature golden-brown to black color spectrum of the pie. In addition, other typical toppings are olives and mushrooms.
Nowadays, if you wish to bake a Detroit pizza, you have to use a specialized Detroit pan. While pushing dough to the edges of the pan, remember to press the air out from the dough, stretch it up the sides about half of an inch. The cheese needs to be spread generously across the dough and to the edges for a caramelized perimeter. Set the temperature at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes. Each slice cut in square is more preferable.
8. Greek Pizza
Stating that you are a pizza lover, you must try a Greek-style. Although, in Greece, it is not considered a common part of the cuisine, their unique approach has created a wonderful slice that you cannot resist. Greek immigrants came to America and introduced a new kind of pizza which is now extremely popular in the New England states. This pizza distinguishes itself from other types of pizza by the way it is cooked. Conventional Italian pizza is cooked on a flat pizza pan, compared to Greek pizza which is either cooked in an electric pizza oven or a brick oven in a shallow pizza dish oiled olive to prevent stickiness. As a result, the crust will be a little puffier and crispier. Another significant difference is the heavy dose of olive oil in each bite. It is considerably used in not only the pan but also the dough, and it is even drizzled over the cheese. The result is that the flavor permeates throughout the crust. In addition, one more difference that you can notice with Greek-style pizza is its unique sauce. It is much thinner because Greeks add water and plenty of olive oil to prevent it from being too thick. To have a majestic sauce, they let the sauce simmer on a stovetop throughout the day, which results in caramelization around the edges of the sauce, eventually infusing it with deep flavors. That is their secret to an excellent sauce. In fact, they have tried to guard that technique for a long period of time. When it comes to the toppings, most people express their satisfaction of the natural ingredients and minimal toppings that Greek-style pizza offers. A slice that is made with only cheese can go with pepperoni, or whatever vegetables you prefer. However, an authentic Greek-style pizza has a heavier sauce typically including a tangy tomato paste with a strong oregano flavor. The topping cheese is a combination of mozzarella and cheddar or provolone. Feta cheese, black olives, and red onion are placed if necessary. At the end of the day, toppings are not the key factor to set Greek-style pizza apart from others. It is the combination of the way it is cooked, the sauce, and the use of olive oil that seems to make it leave others standing.
9. Breakfast Pizza
Unlike other kinds of pizza, the origin of Breakfast pizza remains obscure. However, some restaurant owners regard it as the real breakfast of champions.
In fact, the trend of turning pizza into the morning favorite has just emerged at the beginning of this decade. According to Technomic, it became the fastest-growing breakfast item in the second half of 2010, even outpacing scrambled eggs and bagels. In Chicago’s O’Hare airport, breakfast pizza is served to ease those dreadful early-morning departures. On the Internet, there are numerous recipes for any kind of breakfast pizza one can imagine. Frozen pizza manufacturers have joined on the act, Red Baron, Schwan’s, Mama Cozzi’s, Bellatoria and Palermo’s all provide frozen breakfast pizza. In Midwestern, a convenience store chain named Casey’s General Store is famous for their breakfast pizza introduced in 2001. Indeed, their breakfast pizza reputation has spread across the country and been available at any time of day! Dimo’s Pizza in Chicago creates a Southern-inspired breakfast pizza – the chicken and waffle pizza. Highlighted a white sauce as the base, this pie is piled with fried chicken and waffles made with Old Bay seasoning, along with green onions, cheddar cheese, and a drizzle of habanero.
A breakfast pizza can be an ideal choice for a great, hearty Sunday brunch. A typical breakfast pizza includes ham, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and scallions and tops with sunny-side up eggs. Make sure that the eggs are left intact so that a customer can perforate each egg with a fork, so the gooey goodness of the yolk drips over the slice. What a beautiful miracle! In fact, at home, you can simply substitute your toast for a pizza base and add your favorite breakfast items as toppings. It is superb easy to bake it with all the ingredients you have in your fridge. In addition, the best cheese for breakfast pizza should have great reliability and elasticity, such as mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar. A breakfast pizza needs to be cooked at 400° temperature for about 7-8 minutes, until its crust is lightly browned. Cheese also has to be melted by 5-7 minutes baking. Make sure that you cook bacon prior to putting it on pizza because of two reasons. The fact that pizza has a short bake time makes the bacon fail to cook through. Furthermore, the uncooked bacon makes the pizza greasy.
10. Bagel Pizza
It is generally believed that Bagel Pizza was originated at a Western Bagel in Woodland Hills, California. Back in the year 1974, a 17-year-old store clerk Bruce Treitman created a flattened bagel with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, which is called pizza bagel these days. While a Bagel Pizza cannot supersede the role of regular pizza, it is regarded as a fantastic snack or a light meal for people from all walks of life.
It is superb quick and easy to create a small pizza with all the tasty flavors. Made with fresh New York style bagel and topped with pizza sauce, cheese, oregano, and special toppings and grilled until golden, a bite of pizza bagel has won the hearts of all pizza lovers. The first reason stems from its double cheese. Both Muenster and cheddar cheese are included inside a Bagel Pizza, which makes all cheese enthusiasts feel like a bite to heaven when it comes to pizza bagel. Furthermore, even when you are a vegetarian or a meat lover, both options are available. For a vegetarian, you can choose fresh veggies like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. In contrast, meat lovers will not go wrong with ordering delicious pepperoni. Last but not least, Bagel Pizza comes with a perfect size. Rather than buying the whole pizza, you can save money and calories by opting for a pizza bagel. Its portions are absolutely the perfect size for an individual to be satisfied without craving for more slices of pizza.
These Bagel Pizzas can be a perfect choice to make at home due to their simplicity and convenience. It takes about 7 minutes to prepare toppings and 13 minutes for baking at 400. When you notice the cheese is melted, the Bagel Pizza is completed.
11. Dessert Pizza
As the name implies, pizza is not always savory. Sometimes, it can be a sweet dish, which is why people name it a dessert pizza including Fruit and Chocolate pizza. Along with the trends of dessert ideas, this one is the winner owing to its perfect balance of textures and limitless topping combinations. You can go with fruit and chocolate, nuts or chocolate chips and marshmallows. If you have never tried a dessert pizza, give it a chance, so you do not miss out the trend. Although dishes similar to dessert pizza appeared at least in the 6th century BC when flatbreads with cheese were baked with dates on top, it was not until 1980s that the modern dessert pizza was recorded.
The pizza is distinguished by its pizza-shaped crust with fruit toppings. It is recognizable for the colorful designs and healthy values due to the prominence of fresh fruit. Starting with a crust, it can be shaped in a circular pizza pan or a rectangular pan. The qualified pizza dough is dried and slightly salty, and therefore it can be a perfect foil for sweet, sticky, melty toppings. The toppings include at least three different varieties of fruit sliced into bite-sized portions. Toppings are various, ranging from berries to tropical fruits. As we mentioned above, there is no limit for toppings. As long as it combines perfectly with the crust, the flavor will be balanced. If your crust is bland, your toppings should do the heavy lifting. On the other hand, if the crust is sweet, you can hold back a little in the toppings or even make it sweeter. At the end of the day, it is still a dessert.
Making a dessert pizza can be a fun and rewarding experience. When finishing the base, feel free to get creative with the toppings. You can bake the dough for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. After that, you can put banana and strawberry slices on top and return it to the oven and bake for five minutes.
Probably, at first, sweet pizza may sound as such a strange idea, but you will not regret after the first tasty bite. It can be a choice to end your meal or satisfy your sweet craving.
Although pizza is rooted from Italy, its history and creations are much richer than that and America has played a big part of them. However, without a doubt, pizza is a quintessential food, not only in Italy or America, but all over the world. People love pizza. The fact that it has been affected by different cultures and nationalities makes it more acceptable and enjoyable. Pizza has been through a long way and still a worldwide favorite. If you are sticking to only one type of pizza, we suggest you go out of your comfort zone and give a try to many varieties out there.