Everyone knows what goes into the perfect pizza: dough, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings. But these ingredients can be refined and remixed in an infinite number of ways - that's the beauty of pizza.
For evidence, look no further than the many regional offerings that put their own spin on the classic pie, like the foldable New York style or the locally inspired St. Louis style. Some location-specific styles don't include all of the key ingredients, while others switch up the ratio of sauce to cheese, or bake their pies differently. Some folks will see one type as an abomination - here's looking at you, Chicago deep dish, the controversial pizza many people love to hate - while others will embrace it as the quintessential pie.
America's regional varieties prove that everyone loves pizza - and that it's one of the most customizable, adaptable, and delicious treats around.
- 1741 VOTES
Grandma Pie Is Almost A Classic Sicilian
Overshadowed by its thin-crusted cousin, grandma-style pizza is the New York metro area's best-kept secret.
Named in honor of nonnas who expressed their love in the kitchen, grandma pie has its roots in traditional pizzas from the old country. Like Sicilian pizza, grandma pie boasts a thick crust and are baked in rectangles, not circles. But unlike its Sicilian ancestor, grandma-style pizza dough is proofed for a shorter time, producing a heartier base. Toppings are usually simple: just cheese, fresh tomatoes, and some herbs.
Despite its roots in Sicily, nonna's proud pizza is a relatively recent invention: Long Island pizza-makers began producing grandma pies in the 1960s or 1970s, although the pizza only started appearing on menus within the last two decades.
- 2837 VOTES
New York-Style Is The Gold Standard - At Least That's What They'll Tell You
Pizza and New York go together like peas and carrots or Laurel and Hardy. Unsurprisingly, the Empire State has its own brand of pizza.
Springing out of the recipes that immigrants from Naples brought with them across the Atlantic, New York-style pizza has evolved into its own thing. It's cheesier than its Neapolitan ancestor and a bit bigger: The triangular slices - which any true New Yorker will fold in half to eat - are cut from a whole pie with a diameter of roughly 18 inches.
- 3782 VOTES
Tavern-Style May Be The True Chicago Style
Say “Chicago-style pizza,” and most people imagine a deep-dish pie. But most residents will correct the record: Deep-dish is for tourists; real Chicagoans eat tavern-style pizza, which consists of a thin-crust pizza cut up into squares.
The small, even slices make it a very social pie. They're easily held by hand, making it ideal for parties and events.
- 4632 VOTES
Buffalo-Style Pizza Has Nothing To Do With Chicken Wings
Most people associate Buffalo, NY, with its namesake hot wings. But the city has another culinary curiosity: Buffalo-style pizza. As Arthur Bovino described it in The Daily Beast:
The dough has the lightness of focaccia, there's always lots of cheese, and while the sauce does happen to be slightly sweet, that ends up being a nice contrast to the spicy oil pooled in the copious charred, meaty pepperoni.
Buffalo pizza also doesn't really have a crust - the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni go close to the edge of the pie.
- 5666 VOTES
Detroit-Style Has Gone National
One of Detroit's many gifts to the world is the distinctive, aptly named Detroit-style pizza. A twist on the classic grandma pie, it's baked at a higher temperature than granny's pizza and is cut into rectangles. It mainly differs from other pizzas in its cheese: A true Detroit-style pizza uses Wisconsin brick cheese, not mozzarella.
To trace the origins of Detroit-style pizza, look no further than Buddy's, which has operated as a restaurant since 1946. Although it started in Motor City, Detroit-style pizza has gained a national following, as restaurants serving it have sprung up in noted pizza towns like New York and Chicago.
- 6596 VOTES
New Haven Pizza Is Actually 'Apizza'
New York City may be the self-proclaimed capital of pizza in the US, but its neighbor up the eastern seaboard has its own base of loyal pizza lovers. In New Haven, CT, students at Yale University and locals alike get in line for the celebrated “apizza,” a city original. As pizza historian Liz Barrett described it, one of the hallmarks of apizza is its birth in a coal oven. But that's not the only thing that defines a New Haven-style pizza:
Some of the characteristics that many New Haven-style pies seem to have in common are what locals call a “flat” (not thin) and tender crust, which is a result of the proofing process and the use of all-purpose flour; sauce that is never pre-cooked; the use of pecorino Romano cheese instead of mozzarella; and the use of breadcrumbs beneath the dough during baking instead of cornmeal.