Enhance Your Pizza Vocabulary: Learn The 10 Different Types of Pizza
Pizza is just one of those things that anyone with a real hunger for unadulterated deliciousness will eat (even though it's not particularly healthy) because, well, it's probably the greatest food invention ever.
Pizza is also one of those types of food, though, that foodies all over the globe like to argue and bicker about. Who invented the pizza? From which country did the pizza come from? Who makes the best pizza? It eventually all comes down to what style of pizza you prefer, and that's why you're here today - to learn about the different types of pizza so that when you go to Uno's Chicago Grill for the first time you don't order a deep dish pizza and become completely startled when an inches thick pie is placed in front of you. So enhace your pizza vocabulary: learn the 10 different types of pizza.
1. Marinara: The Marinara pizza is only made for traditional Italian folk or for those with relatively bland taste. It is the original family member of the Neapolitan pizza clan, called the "Marinara" because there's no cheese - there's only tomato, oregano, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Suit yourselves, cheese haters.
2. Margherita: The Margherita is like the Marinara's distant offspring that was all rebellious and artsy and got a bunch of tattoos against their parents' will. Albeit quite different than the first generation of the Neapolitan pizza clan, the Margherita is still a good kid, though, and it's still alive and kicking and more popular worldwide than ever before. A Margherita pizza is typically composed of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. These three ingredients make up the three colors of the Italian flag - red, white and green - so you know it's TRULY Italian. (See Regina Pizzeria's Margherita pizza below)
3. Margherita Extra: The Margherita Extra shares all the same characteristics of the Margherita, except instead of regular mozzarella, the Margherita Extra features buffalo mozzarella. If you have the choice, choose Margherita Extra over Margherita - it's the third generation of the Neapolitan pizza clan.
Note: Certainly don't be the fool to make the mistake of reading "Marinara" as "Margherita" or vice versa - the main difference will be cheesy.
4. New York Style: Thin. Wide. Large. These are three adjectives that you'd use to describe a traditional New York Style pizza – and, to me, there's nothing better. In order to fully enjoy a New York Style pizza, you cannot be calorie conscious in the least bit. It’s greasy and yummy. New York Style pizza may also be referred to as Roman pizza.
5. Sicilian: Sicilian pizza is basically the fat twin brother of New York Style pizza with a whole bunch of extra dough and, subsequently, a whole bunch of extra calories. It is usually served in square slices, and there is always a lot of dough, a lot of sauce, and a lot of cheese - making for a filling meal and a flavourful mouthful.
6. Greek: The Italians don't want to admit it, but the Greeks had a pretty big say in the whole pizza-making thing as well. Greek pizza, unlike their Mediterranean neighbors, has a much thicker crust and is baked in a pan instead of in a pizza oven. You can have whatever toppings you want on a Greek pizza for the most part, but buyers beware: Greek pizza is often quite salty - a result of the Greeks' everlasting addiction to feta cheese.
7. Chicago Style: Some pretentious buffoons insist on calling it "Deep Dish" or "Deep Dish Style,” but there is no better physical description for this kind of pizza than just Chicago Style – because that’s where it started, in Chi-Town. Be prepared to be much fuller than you would normally be after eating 2-3 slices of Chicago Style pizza. Think of Chicago Style pizza as a cross between Sicilian and Greek. (See Gino's East's Chicago Style pizza below)
8. Calzone: A Calzone is referred to separately than a pizza - it's not a "pizza calzone," it's just a "calzone" - but it is made from the same unprepared ingredients as a pizza, so it must be mentioned here. Typically, calzones are made by placing all the main toppings of a pizza (cheese + anything else you can imagine) on half of a circular piece of dough and then folding it so that the ingredients are closed safely inside the dough when cooking in the oven. Marinara sauce is typically offered on the side of a calzone for dipping purposes.
9. Stromboli: The Stromboli is like the Calzone's long lost cousin that was locked away on a secluded island of creativity for a long time before it came back all twisted - but in a good way. Strombolis are made with often the same exact ingredients that Calzones are (cheese, meat, veggies) - but the kicker is that Strombolis are rolled (almost like a burrito) and sliced to serve, while Calzones are simply folded over and served whole.
10. Gourmet: Gourmet pizza is hipster pizza - AKA California pizza. It's only hipster pizza because it features, for the most part, extremely unusual combinations of ingredients as toppings. Ever heard of Thai chicken pizza with peanut sauce? Yeah, that's the hipster in the pizza maker. What else is considered gourmet/hipster? Pretty much anything else including (among many other things) goat cheese, zucchini, scallops or bean sprouts. Just because Gourmet pizza is typically Hipster pizza doesn’t make it bad, though… It’s actually really damn good. (See California Pizza Kitchen's spicy chipotle chicken pizza below, an example of Gourmet, hipster pizza)
So there you have it. Now, you are officially an expert on pizza, and you’ll never get tripped up ever again when you see different kinds of pizza on the menu! Now: Go out there and tell the nearest restaurant that claims they’re selling New York Style Pizza that they’re actually selling Greek Pizza!