What's your go-to pizza topping? Leave us a comment below!
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Real Life. Real News. Real Voices. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. News Politics Entertainment Communities. HuffPost Personal Videos Horoscopes. Pizza was still a relatively niche interest in American cuisine in the middle of the 20th century, but the introduction of frozen pizza helped put it on every table. Rose Totino was the first to do this in a major way the Celentano Brothers beat her by several years with far less success , opening a factory in to market the pie recipes from her Minnesota pizzeria to a much wider audience.
As the first documented pizzeria in the U. To be sure, it had help; other early U. But when chef Ed LaDou started making smaller pies garnished with more varied, non-traditional toppings, the dish became a foodie favorite. With help from Wolfgang Puck who he met in , LaDou developed the luxe pizza menu at Spago, and eventually the first menu for California Pizza Kitchen, which mainstreamed the gourmet pizza trend. In St.
Paul, Minnesota, you'll find Mucci's Italian , whose montanara pies come topped with everything from fried chicken and garlic butter to black truffles and pine nuts. If you're overseas, Pizzeria Di Matteo is an institution in Naples, Italy that opened in and proclaims that it is both a pizzeria and a friggitoria , or fried food authority. So it would make sense that they make a stellar fried pizza -- a style that still accounts for a third of its sales today. So pizzerias became very attractive to immigrant entrepreneurs. Where to get it: With its gigantic slices served late night, gyro meat and tzatziki sauce on pies, grinders and gyros on offer and baklava for dessert, Georgio's Pizza in East Lansing, Michigan is the kind of place that exists in every Big Ten town.
Only better. Two Greek-American immigrant traditions -- the hour diner and the pizzeria -- together under one gigantic roof at New York's Mamaroneck Diner. In Greenfield, Massachusetts, Village Pizza is a classic, a brick-laden Greek pizzeria in a small town that shells out picture-perfect red tablecloth Greek pies, plus an array of scrappier offerings like chicken cordon bleu pizza and a chicken and broccoli number that must have spun heads before the California pizza boom.
What it is: Grilled pizza is one of the rare styles of pie where the pizza itself never needs to be placed inside an oven. This non-traditional method of pizza making involves brushing the crust with heavy coats of oil before placing it on a grate over hot coals. The dough will take several turns ideally charring parts of it before toppings -- your standard cheeses, meats, and veggies -- are added after the last flip, and given time to melt into each other and the crust in classic pizza fashion.
It's super-crunchy, kind of oily, sometimes quite charred, but most importantly, it makes you wonder if ovens are truly necessary to make a great pizza. In this case, the answer is a hard "no. Where it came from: The story of grilled pizza as we know it begins and continues! Owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon were trying to recreate the taste of wood-fired pizza in their own kitchen that didn't have a wood fired oven, obviously. They realized that so much of what they loved about this style of pizza was the crunchy, smoky taste that the fire gave the crust -- and this could easily be recreated via traditional, open-air grilling.
Though the logistics seemed hairy, the end result was anything but. And what you get is this really hard, charred, smoky feel that makes it really distinct, and something totally different than what you get with an oven. It's really unique, and in my opinion, a really cool way to experiment with traditional pizza making.
Despite the "gourmet" affectation, The Pizza Gourmet is a little more low-key than Timmy's or Al Forno, but their grilled pizza is worth a stop on the "Providence grilled pizza tour" you are undoubtedly planning right now. Nor is it even a pizza necessarily made on a naan crust though it can be. Indian Pizza simply denotes a pizza crust that swaps standard toppings like pepperoni and barbecue chicken for flavor-packed Indian food favorites like saag paneer and tandoori chicken, as well as popular ingredients used in Indian cuisine like fenugreek and chutney.
These ingredients are layered on, usually with plenty of cheese, and baked off like a standard pie. Options range from mom-and-pop versions that stick to a simple formula to chaffy-takes that experiment with crust types and topping combinations. After customers suggested that Multani combine the two into one magical dish, the Indian pizza was born.
What it is: In an era when traditional slices don't always meet our "more everything! Where it came from: The exact origin of the jumbo slice is much-debated, but it seems to have first originated in DC , where jumbo slices are still omnipresent. Where to get it: It comes as no surprise that there are plenty of places in DC slinging the extra-large slice, many under similar names like Jumbo Slice or Jumbo Pizza. The slice, served on no fewer than three white paper plates -- or in its own personal pizza box -- may be blistered and prone to bubbles, but has a certain undeniable charm in the early hours of the morning.
Perched intentionally close to Columbia University, Koronet Pizza has been doling out super-sized slices to college students and Morningside Heights locals since In Northampton, Massachusetts, Mimmo's Pizza is a small shop with modest digs known for its immodestly ginormous slices. What it is: Also known as Turkish pizza or Armenian pizza, lahmajoun is Where it came from: Lahmajoun has been served for centuries in the Middle East, though exactly when or where it truly originated remains a topic of debate.
It's still delicious. Massis Bakery in Watertown, Massachusetts makes its lahmejune in four varieties -- beef, lamb, chicken, and veggie -- and is even able to ship them out along with other baked goods. Upscale metro Detroit restaurant The Farm Grill serves its lahmajoun alongside kebabs, shawarma, and a smorgasbord of other Middle Eastern favorites.
What it is: It is, quite literally, the granddaddy of all pizza. This is pizza as it was originally intended.
How Indian Pizza Is Becoming the Next Best Pizza Style in America - Thrillist
The dough is fermented anywhere from a couple hours to several days, and gives the pizza a soft, easy-to-chew mouthfeel, with a hint of oven-kissed crunch along the bottom, often with delicious dough bubbles lacing the crust. The tops of the pies are commonly peppered with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and other veggies, with a thin layer of red sauce, and a relatively sparse application of cheese the iconic margherita being the most popular preparation.
Cooked inside wood-fired ovens, this is as "traditional" as pizza can get.
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In fact, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana AVPN offers strict regulations any "true" Neapolitan pizza must follow, governing everything from the size to the flour to the type of salt, though many fine pizzerias offer Neapolitan-inspired pies that don't necessarily adhere to every letter of these pizza laws. Where it came from: The history of Neapolitan pizza is the history of pizza itself. Flatbread had existed in Naples since the mid-Millenium, but never officially became "pizza" as we know it till tomatoes made their way from South America to Italy in the 16th century, where peasants, sailors, and tradesmen began putting them with cheese eventually on top of flatbread cooked inside wood-fired ovens.
That's the very abbreviated history of pizza. And from there, every other riff and style on this list -- and in existence -- was born. This is the piano of the pizza world: almost all music is based off the piano, and all pizza is based off the original Neapolitan. Without Neapolitan pizza, there would be no pizza.
And that's really the most important thing to know here. Where to get it: New York and Atlanta residents can find faithfully executed Neapolitan pizzas at Ribalta.
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Chicago's premier Neapolitan pizza restaurant Spacca Napoli takes their pies very seriously, and the results are seriously impressive. What it is: New Haven pizza is instantly recognizable for a few reasons. First off, the extreme temperatures of the mainly wood give the crust a charred, toothsome hardness, and an often warped, knobby, asymmetrical appearance. The dough is generally left to ferment much longer than traditional pizzas, and the pies themselves are commonly topped with sparse hits of tomatoes, cheese, meats, and in many cases white sauce and clams any New Haven pizza joint worth their salt will have this, by the way.
This certainly isn't the most beautiful looking pizza. In fact, sometimes it can look downright goofy. But that hasn't stopped it from being one of the most storied pizza styles in the entire world, and one of the most beloved regional foods in America. This isn't a semi-offense Italian accent attempt, but a callback to the Italian dialect spoken in Naples. It's this sense and embrace of tradition that has made New Haven-style such a mainstay in the pizza world. But over the years the pies have gotten a little more aggressive. They've added some regional notes and components that has really made it something of completely new.
Where to get it: If you want a White Clam New Haven-style pizza, you really don't want to go anywhere but Frank Pepe's to sample this truly game-changing dish. Sally's Apizza is right there with Pepe's on the list of iconic, New Haven-style pizza joints. And some people even prefer it, but that's a debate for another day. For New Haven-style pizza outside of Connecticut, you'd have a hard time finding a better spot than Piece Brewery and Pizzeria in Chicago, where the quality of the beer mitigates the likely wait for a table.
What it is: Simply put: This is pizza. When you conjure an image of the Platonic ideal of what a pizza should be, you're probably visualizing a box of full of New York slices. Hand-tossed, round pies with a thin ish , crispy crust like its Neapolitan predecessor , featuring a light layer of heavily seasoned tomato sauce, topped with gooey, "pull-able" mozzarella cheese, and commonly served via solo slice and topped with pepperoni: This is pizza as you know it. Where it came from: While New York City obviously can't claim to be the birthplace of pizza in general, it certainly can claim to be the birthplace of "American" pizza.
The Italian immigrants who founded Lombardi's , the first known pizzeria in the United States, have been serving Neapolitan-style pies in Little Italy since But from there, as Italio-American influence grew and everyone else discovered how delicious their cuisine can be , pizza shops following Lombardi's lead began springing up, and catering to urban dwellers on the go -- and on a budget.
By the mid 20th century, no-frills slice shops like Ray's Pizza opened by Ralph Cuomo in became NYC mainstays, featuring simplified Neapolitan-influenced pies designed to be cut into individual slices. The rest is, quite literally, history. There's a New York-style pizza shop in almost every town in America. It's shareable. It's what most people think about when they think about pizza.
It's just that simple. This longtime Brooklyn culinary landmark Di Fara is regarded by many to serve the "best" pizza in New York City -- which would, of course, put it on the shortlist for best in the entire world. Anthony Bourdain, for one, was a mega-fan. At the other end of the spectrum, just get a buck and grab a slice at literally any dollar slice joint -- best enjoyed at 3am after a bar crawl. It won't be the best you've ever had, but it's nonetheless a true New York pizza experience.
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What it is: Oh boy. Perhaps the oddest entry on this list, Ohio Valley style -- depending on your opinion -- is either the dark hose, regional hero of the pizza world, or a tomato sauce-laden abomination. You have thin crust, square-cut pizzas that are topped with cheese and pepperoni… but only after they leave the oven. So yes, the grated mozzarella and meats are served cold.
The thought is that the heat from the pizza will slightly melt the still-cold lumps of cheese. Spoiler alert: It often doesn't. But the hot-cold sensation from the uncooked cheese is truly unlike anything else on this list. To be honest, it kind of gives off Lunchables vibes. And that isn't always a bad thing. But specifically, the style was defined, popularized, and serialized by DiCarlo's: an Ohio-based regional chain that started off as a bakery that dipped into the pizza game with their idiosyncratic recipe after the owner's son returned from Italy after serving in World War II.
He brought back many tales of the joys of pizza, and the family made it their primary focus. It screws with your mind.
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It kind of challenges your idea of what pizza can be. But is that a bad thing? I don't think so. It might not be your preferred style, but you have to appreciate it for what it is. Cold pepperoni included. If you don't want DiCarlo's for some reason Wheeling, Ohio's decidedly divey Giannamore's Pizza will you give their homemade variation of the regional classic.