Pizza 101: A Guide To The World's Favorite Food

neapolitan pizza

There's no doubt about it: pizza is one of the world's favorite foods. Who can complain about bread, cheese, and deliciously tangy sauce? There's even gluten and dairy free pizza now, so everyone can get on board the delicious train! But for those of you that would like to know a little bit more about this delicious Italian-inspired treat, keep reading. We're about to give you the low-down on pizza.

Believe it or not, the origins of pizza can be traced back 7,000 years ago. Archeologists have found evidence of leavened bread made with various toppings in ruins in Sardinia.

However, the term pizza didn't come around until 16th century Naples began using the term. Unsurprisingly, pizza was originally viewed as a dish of the poor, as it only consisted of the most basic ingredients available. It was sold on the street and eventually made its way up to include more indulgent ingredients. 

In June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, pizza Marghertia was created. It was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. These ingredients symbolized the Italian flag's colors.

Flash forward to present-day and pizza is everywhere, even in locations such as Bangladesh and Siberia. There are major corporations alongside smaller, local businesses. Pizza is huge. As of 2012, United States pizza consumption is a $40 billion business. 

So let's get to the list. Here are brief descriptions of nearly every type of pizza. If we missed one, drop us a line and we'll get that pie on here!

Neapolitan- This type of pizza is characterized by a high-gluten wheat flour, fresh ingredients, and is cooked in a wood or brick oven. Typically, this pizza is very light as the dough is usually stretched thin. Taste-wise, expect a slight bitterness in the crust from the charring and a burst of flavor from the fresh ingredients and tangy sauce. Our favorite Neapolitan pizza joints? Pizzeria Serio in Chicago, Lombardi's Pizza in New York, and Lovely's Fifty Fifty in Portland

Pan Pizza- It's cooked in a deep dish, but the similarities to Chicago style end there. This pizza is characterized by having a thick dough, with a thin layer of sauce, cheese, and toppings. It's a very bread-heavy pizza, but if made using a light dough can be a great appetizer. This is cooked in a traditional oven until the dough rises and the cheese melts. Taste-wise, expect it to be airy, chewy, and bread heavy. The best pan pizzas? Pequod's Pizza in Chicago, Di Napoli Pizza in San Fransisco, and Conans Pizza in Texas

Chicago Style- Coming from Chicago, we're a little biased here. This pizza is like an overstuffed pie. A thin layer of dough lines a cast iron skillet. a mountain of cheese and toppings are topped by a thin layer of sauce, another thin layer of dough (sometimes), and another thin layer of sauce. This isn't a very doughy pizza, it's more about the ingredients. Taste-wise, expect a whole lot of cheese, crispy crusts, and a delicious mess. Our favorite Chicago style deep dish pizzas? Gino's East, Uno Chicago Grill, and Nancy's Pizza.

So what's your favorite kind of pizza? Did we omit one of your favorite places? Feel free to contact us!

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