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Take a Pizza Journey
April 5, 2021 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day! What better way to celebrate pizza than learn about it. Who doesn’t love pizza? In our survey, 65% of people surveyed would pick a slice of cheese pizza over a slice of pepperoni pizza. Additionally, over 52 % of people surveyed claimed they liked pineapple pizza. Other toppings chosen in the survey were mushroom, green peppers and onions, and bacon bits.
The fun thing about pizza is its versatility, and how it is sure to please a crowd better than any other meal. Through this post, we will travel all the way from Naples, Italy, to New York City, to Chicago, and end in Los Angeles to learn about the adaptations and variations of Pizza.
Naples, Italy- The First Pizza
The first pizza was made in 1861, when the Queen Margarita, the Queen of Italy, visited Naples. While the flatbread was invented by the ancient Greeks, the decision to add soft white cheeses, fresh red tomatoes, and the crisp green basil, was the decision of the chef in Naples that day. The ingredients of the first pizza were the colors of the Italian flag. The pizza was first served to Queen Margherita, and she loved it so much they named it after her. After the Queen sang the praises of pizza, it gained immense popularity in all of Italy.
New York City Pizza
Pizza came to the United States in the early 1940s, during the influx of Italian immigrants to New York City. As more Italians moved to other places in the United States, Italian food gained in popularity all over the country.
Now within the United States, pizza has adapted into many different forms. True Margarita Pizza should have simple ingredients- tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. It should have a crispy wheat crust baked in a brick oven to have the full flavors.
It differs from the “New York Thin Crust” pizza. New York thin crust pizza uses grated cheese instead of sliced mozzarella. It also places more focus on the crust and a thin layer of sauce. It’s cheesy and gooey with an excellent crunch. And it’s the perfect pizza for the New York fold.
Chicago Style Pizza
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza originates from a singular pizza shop in the Chicago Pizzeria called “Uno Pizzeria and Grill”. In 1943, they created the first deep dish pizza. Instead of using a flat pan to make the pizza, they used a dish. That allowed them to pile in the sauce, cheese, and toppings, while still having a crispy crust. This grew in popularity all over the country, but the best, authentic Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza will only be found in Chicago.
Chicago not only has their famous deep dish pizza, but they also have the less famous “Chicago thin crust”. While it is not as well-known as the deep dish pizza, it is just as delicious. This crunchy pizza is normally cut into squares, or tavern cut. It is easy to eat and usually contains lots of tomato sauce, meats, and toppings.
California Style Pizza
California Style pizza is similar to a thin crust New York Pizza. But, instead of the traditional pizza toppings, vegetables and meats are used more often. It originated in San Francisco and gained popularity in the early 1980s. It adapted into adding obscure meats, like duck sausage and smoked salmon on top. Chef Wolfgang Puck’s signature dish was the smoked salmon pizza at his restaurant, Spago in Los Angeles in 1982. It put Spago on the map and turned Puck into one of the original celebrity chefs.
The Variation of Pizza
There are many more variations of pizza within the United States, like the “Detroit Style”, “New England Greek Style”, and the “St. Louis Style” pizzas. These variations show an appreciation for the food and use the natural resources and traditions of their locations to create a unique flavor. During this pizza celebration day, enjoy a slice of your favorite pizza, or make your own.