In New Jersey, we are most familiar with New York-style pizza, but that’s far from the only pizza commonly served in the United States. Every region has its own specialty. We’ve compiled a list of the regional pizza variations in the United States.
New York-style Pizza
Of course, we are going to start with the pizza most commonly found in Pete & Elda’s home state. Pizza was introduced to the United States by Gennaro Lombardi in 1905 and was originally cooked in coal brick ovens with cheese on the bottom and sauce on the top. These days New York-style pizza has a thin foldable crust topped with a layer of sauce, grated mozzarella cheese, and whatever toppings a customer orders. It’s known for its unique texture and flavor, which is often credited to the minerals in New York City’s tap water.
Our next stop is Chicago, home of the deep-dish pizza. Chicago-style deep-dish was created at Pizzeria Uno in 1942. Unlike New York-style, Chicago-style pizza is baked in round steel pan. The deepness of the pan creates thick topping layers, which are usually assembled in the opposite order of New York-style, with toppings on the bottom and tomato sauce on the top layer.
California didn’t have its own pizza identity until 1980 when Ed LaDou, who was working at Prego Restaurant, and other California chefs, who were working at Chez Panisse, simultaneously decided to create a pizza their state could call its own. Like New York-style pizza, California-style pizza has a thin crust. The main difference is California-style pizza’s regionally-inspired toppings, which commonly include barbeque chicken, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese.
Detroit-style pizza is completely different from every other type of pizza on this list. This unique pizza was created in 1946 at Buddy’s Rendezvous, now Buddy’s Pizza. Detroit-style pizza is square and has a thick deep-dish crust with a crispy bottom. Unlike the other deep-dish pizza on this list, Detroit-style pizza has sauce, cheese, and toppings applied in the same order as a traditional pizza.
New York-style, Chicago-style, California-style, and Detroit-style pizzas are far from the only pizzas available in the United States. People are constantly innovating and putting their own stamp on pizza culture.