If there’s one Italian dish that the entire world loves, maybe a bit too much, it’s pizza. Everywhere you go, there is most likely a pizzeria or a restaurant that at least offers pizza on their menu. While most of us know it originated in Italy, many don’t know where it’s been since then or how many different variations came to be. Let’s check out a few of the most popular styles of pizza and where they began their journey!
Neapolitan pizza is often referred to as the ‘original’ style of pizza because it’s been around for so long. But there are plenty of ‘pizzas’ that came before it; dishes similar to pizza have been made since the end of the Stone Age! Nonetheless, this pizza originated in Naples, Italy, sometime in the 18th century. It’s traditionally made with a thin crust topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
When pizza was brought to the United States in the 19th century by Italian immigrants, one style that they brought was Sicilian. Traditionally made with a thicker crust, Sicilian pizza is characterized by its square shape, crunchy crust, and soft, chewy inside. It can be served with or without cheese and most of the time, the sauce is poured over the cheese, similar to other types of pizza that we’ll get to later on.
New York Style
After pizza was introduced to America, it started appearing in places where the immigrants settled. In 1905, the country’s first pizzeria was established in New York by Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian immigrant. New York-style pizza started off as a variation of Neapolitan but soon became its own style. A New York-style pie consists of a large, foldable crust topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Moving right across the U.S., we have Chicago-style, which is often known as deep-dish pizza. Similar to Sicilian, this style is also made “backward”, with its cheese and toppings underneath the sauce. It is one of the thickest pizzas, with its slices looking similar to slices of pie.
Another mid-western pizza, this style is a descendant of Sicilian. It is said to have been first made in automotive pans, giving it its iconic crunch and caramelized cheese. This square pizza is usually just topped with pepperoni, followed by a generous amount of cheese and a nice coating of sauce on top.
On the West Coast, there’s a little twist on pizza. California pizza was created by Chef Ed LaDou in the 1970s and emulates the crust of New York or Neapolitan style pizza. However, its toppings are where it differs. Bringing in cuisine from all over California, a traditional pie is topped with anything you’d like. That’s right, there is no traditional way to create one. You can incorporate avocados and chicken to goat cheese and artichokes.
Lastly, we have Greek style. After trying out the Italian pizza when they got to America, Greek immigrants decided to create their own variation. It is often cooked in oil-coated pans, giving it a fried-textured crust. It usually includes a variety of cheeses, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or provolone and some interesting toppings such as black olives, red onion, or feta cheese.
Enjoy a Classic Italian Meal
Now that you’re hungry for Italian, order your favorite dishes from Grico’s! Our curbside pick-up is available Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30P P.M. to 7:30 P.M.