Watch your feet, I'm about to drop. Some. Knowledge.
In all honesty, there are definitely more than 4 different styles of pizza. These are just the 4 that appeal to me the most and ipso-facto, the 4 that I'm gonna sling some spiel about.
1: The Neapolitan
The style that we try to emulate. This softer, chewier style goes back to 18th century Naples, Italy. Back then, the less fortunate residents of this seaside city looked for food that was cheap and quickly eaten. Luckily for them, you couldn't (and still cant) move for it on the streets of Naples! Its high hydration is what gives you its signature light and airy crust. As the dough proves, the yeast creates the air pockets which get delightfully puffed up once it hits the heat, thanks to the large amounts of water turning into steam and creating those puffy outer crusts we love so much. It's also why the tip of a slice is traditionally a little limp. The lightest style of pizza you could ever enjoy.
2: New York-Style Pizza
Originally a variation of Neapolitan-style pizza, the NY pizzas are stereotypically large, foldable slices that have a wonderfully crispy outer crust. New York-style pizza is one of America’s most famous but every pizza in NY claims to be the best one, why wouldn't you? New York Slice is actually where the pepperoni pizza came to the fore, as in Italy, if you ordered a pepperoni, you would get a pizza with peppers. Italian-americans are to thank for the delightfully cupped cured meat, with those little pools of fat you get in every bite. We salute you New York.
3: The Chicago Deep Dish
The deep dish. As well as being an affectionate nickname for someones belly, it's also an incredibly addictive pizza. During the early 1900’s, Italian immigrants in Chicago wanted Neapolitan pizza, but were having very little success. Ike Sewell decided to throw a real spanner in the works, and instead of a delicate, airy slice, he had something polar opposite in mind. He created a pizza with a thick crust that had raised edges, similar to a pie, and ingredients quite literally done in the opposite way. The bottom is layered with slices of mozzarella followed by meat, and/or vegetables (if you're that way inclined), then topped with a delicious tomato sauce. So, they went from a delicate Neapolitan Pizza to the "I accept this inevitable heart attack with every bite", that is the Chicago Deep Dish.
4: Detroit Style
Detroit-style pizza or "granny style", was originally created in the 1940’s, where it was first cooked in a tray for car parts. Detroit pizza is shaped in a rectangular pan, first topped with pepperoni, followed by brick cheese which is spread to the very edges of the pan. The cheese then melts into the side of the pan, which creates a crunchy, sweet, and fatty caramelized cheese perimeter. This is why people regularly fight for the corner piece. Sauce is then spooned over the pizza, an order similar to Chicago-style pizza. This pizza features a thick, extra crispy crust that is tender and airy on the inside. If you don't have a pizza oven at home, this is the one thats easiest to recreate. Do it. For the love of god, do it.
Are there any glaringly obvious ones that I missed? Let us know what your favourite ones are!
'Til next time,