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Different Types of Pizza You Should Know About

What comes to your mind when you think of pizza? Is it a piping hot slice of Margherita, or perhaps a meat-packed Chicago deep dish? Pizza is a global phenomenon that’s more than just a simple dish—it’s a culinary canvas for creativity and cultural exchange. While the concept originated in Italy, pizza has undergone various transformations that are as diverse as the people who love it. From New York to Tokyo, pizzerias and home chefs have adapted this beloved dish to local tastes, creating various flavors and styles that continue to captivate our taste buds. If you consider yourself a pizza enthusiast—or even if you’re just curious about what the world of pizza has to offer—this article is a must-read for you. We’re diving deep into the different types of pizza that you should absolutely know about. So, grab a slice and come along for a savory journey through the pizza universe!

The Classic: Margherita (Naples, Italy)

Origin Story and Key Ingredients

Let’s start with the OG of pizzas: the Margherita. Originating from Naples, Italy, this pizza is a tribute to simplicity. The key ingredients are just tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil. Legend has it that the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, and its colors—red, white, and green—represent the Italian flag.

As diverse and adaptable as pizza has become, there’s something incomparably satisfying about returning to its origins and enjoying a traditional Italian pizza. Whether it’s a classic Margherita or a more adventurous topping combination, Italian pizza is the gold standard by which many other styles are measured. It captures the essence of quality ingredients, culinary craftsmanship, and the rich history that has turned this humble dish into a global sensation.

How It’s Made

The dough is handmade and fermented in a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria for several hours. The toppings are arranged in a minimalist fashion to let each ingredient shine. The pizza is then baked in a wood-fired oven for a few minutes, resulting in a soft, chewy crust and a burst of fresh flavors.

Why You Should Try It

The Margherita is all about balance and high-quality ingredients. This is the one to try if you want to experience pizza in its purest form. It serves as a baseline for evaluating all other pizza varieties and is a testament to the beauty of culinary simplicity.

The American Classic: New York-Style Pizza

The Big Apple’s Take on Pizza

No conversation about pizza would be truly comprehensive without acknowledging the iconic New York-style slice. Originating from the Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, this particular pizza has become inseparable from the fast-paced American way of life. Renowned for its thin and foldable crust, zesty tomato sauce, and abundant delectable mozzarella cheese, it has become a beloved culinary masterpiece.

How It’s Made

Unlike the Neapolitan Margherita, New York-style pizzas are often cooked in gas ovens. The result is a crispy, yet still slightly chewy, crust. Additionally, the slices are usually larger and must be folded in half as you take a bite.

Why You Should Try It

It’s the perfect on-the-go meal, and the range of toppings available ensures there’s something for everyone.

Deep and Delicious: Chicago Deep Dish

Source: chewoutloud.com

What Sets It Apart

In contrast to the thin-crust pizzas we’ve discussed so far, the Chicago deep dish is a hefty, pie-like creation. Built with a thick, buttery crust that lines a deep pan, this pizza is a full meal in itself.

How It’s Made

The assembling process is almost upside down: cheese goes first, followed by toppings, and finally, a thick layer of tomato sauce on top. The pizza is baked for around 30-40 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld beautifully.

Why You Should Try It

If you love cheesy, saucy, hearty pizzas, the Chicago deep dish is your dream come true. It’s an experience, a meal that requires time to savor and enjoy—perfect for gatherings or when you’re in the mood for indulgence.

Going Global: Japanese Okonomiyaki

A Fusion of Flavors

Though not a traditional pizza by any stretch, Okonomiyaki is often dubbed the “Japanese Pizza.” It’s a savory pancake containing various ingredients like cabbage, meat, and cheese, topped with mayonnaise and a special Okonomiyaki sauce.

How It’s Made

The batter is mixed with shredded cabbage and your choice of protein. It’s then cooked on a griddle, often right in front of you if you’re at an Okonomiyaki restaurant.

Why You Should Try It

This is for those who love experimenting with food. Okonomiyaki offers a different yet delightful take on the concept of a ‘pizza,’ blending elements of pancakes and flatbreads. It’s a great way to venture outside your pizza comfort zone.

Sweet and Savory: BBQ Chicken Pizza

A Modern American Innovation

BBQ Chicken Pizza is a relatively recent addition to the pizza pantheon, but it has quickly gained popularity for its inventive use of traditional barbecue flavors. First popularized in California in the 1980s, this pizza defies the conventional tomato sauce and mozzarella combination, opting instead for barbecue sauce and a medley of cheeses, including mozzarella and gouda.

How It’s Made

The dough is first spread with a layer of barbecue sauce instead of the typical tomato-based pizza sauce to make BBQ Chicken Pizza. This is followed by a sprinkle of cooked, shredded chicken that has also been marinated or tossed in barbecue sauce. Add sliced red onions, a blend of cheeses, and sometimes even a handful of cilantro leaves. The pizza is baked until the crust reaches golden perfection and the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned.

Why You Should Try It

If you’re a fan of barbecue and pizza, this fusion is a match made in culinary heaven. The tangy, smoky sweetness of the barbecue sauce melds beautifully with the rich, melted cheese, all elevated by the zesty punch of red onions. It’s a flavor profile that is both comforting and exciting, offering a delightful twist on what you might expect a pizza to be.

Wrap-Up: The World on a Pizza Plate

So, there you have it—the fascinating world of pizza in a nutshell. From the timeless Margherita to the experimental Okonomiyaki, pizza is a versatile dish catering to various tastes and preferences. The next time you’re ordering a pizza or trying to make one, remember the wealth of available options. Every pizza tells a story, and every slice is a chapter in the book of culinary exploration. Why not turn the page and try something new?

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