??????-style pizza
February 14, 2013 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Geography of Pizza
posted by unliteral (141 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
NEWHAVEN4LIFE
posted by mathowie at 7:45 PM on February 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


NO TRENTON TOMATO PIE, NO CREDIBILITY
posted by escabeche at 7:49 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Apparently Ledo's (a chain based in Maryland), which serves some of the most consistently delicious pizza I've ever eaten, is Sicilian Grandma style. That's good to know, I guess.
posted by codacorolla at 7:50 PM on February 14, 2013


Just noticed that were no entries from Australia.
First!
posted by unliteral at 7:54 PM on February 14, 2013


Apparently Ledo's (a chain based in Maryland), which serves some of the most consistently delicious pizza I've ever eaten, is Sicilian Grandma style.

I come to you as a Marylander and a lover of Ledo's, and i say thee nay. Ledo's has a much thinner crust. Totally different thing.
posted by escabeche at 7:57 PM on February 14, 2013


Hey now deep dish isn't pizza.
posted by The Whelk at 8:00 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing on Hawaiian Pizza, the hideous pineapple and ham pizza loved by Australians? Though you can get New York pizza at New York Slice, which is great. And no Peking Duck Pizza, the best pizza?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:00 PM on February 14, 2013


Did not include classic Montreal pizza (fairly thin crust, not usually folded, toppings usually under the cheese) with the little dough ball in the middle of all takeout pizza. This little bonus bun keeps the lid from coming into contact with the surface of the pizza, plus you can actually eat the bun, unlike that horrible little plastic tripod thing used everywhere else.
posted by maudlin at 8:02 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I agree with Author's exclusion of Old Forge style pizza. Anything Fried in peanut oil and topped with white American cheese is not pizza. Suck it Lackawanna County, your claim to fame is hereby negated by random pizza site!

Of course, Sicilian is also a New York Pizza Style, You think we ony have one style of pizza? What are we, Old Forge?
posted by Ad hominem at 8:02 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Pizza is nature's most perfect food, and a sign that the Gods want us to be happy.

The many forms it takes is merely the attempt of the undivided* platonic pizza to appeal to as many tastes as possible. In time, all will converge on the one true pizza.

The one true pizza is made by immortal little old ladies in the deathless town of Perth Amboy New Jersey where there is no dying because there is no being born. It is forged in an oven made when the world was young, lit with the bones of heroes and fueled by the prayers of the devout. Not everyone is ready, nay not many are able to taste its purity, but it is the ideal to which we must all strive. In this life or the next. The rise of the pizza party is a historical inevitability. You know this in your heart to be true.

* THE PIZZA, DIVIDED, WILL NEVER BE REHEATED.
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 PM on February 14, 2013 [15 favorites]


>Just noticed that were no entries from Australia anywhere outside the US.
posted by pompomtom at 8:07 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Slice blog has a great list of regional styles.
posted by Opposite George at 8:09 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's an interesting project but it's not going to be the project of record, as it's insufficiently precise and leaves out a lot of variations.
posted by Miko at 8:11 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Whelk: "The one true pizza is made by immortal little old ladies in the deathless town of Perth Amboy New Jersey where there is no dying because there is no being born. It is forged in an oven made when the world was young, lit with the bones of heroes and fueled by the prayers of the devout. Not everyone is ready, nay not many are able to taste its purity, but it is the ideal to which we must all strive. In this life or the next. The rise of the pizza party is a historical inevitability. You know this in your heart to be true.

* THE PIZZA, DIVIDED, WILL NEVER BE REHEATED.
"

Wow, someone else who thinks about pizza as much as my wife.
posted by notsnot at 8:12 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no pizza like Rome.... there's no pizza like Rome...

So thin... so tasty.... un po' bruciata. Mmmm.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:12 PM on February 14, 2013


Hey now deep dish isn't pizza.

YOU LIE!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:12 PM on February 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Just noticed that were no entries from Australia anywhere outside the US.
Look again.
posted by unliteral at 8:13 PM on February 14, 2013


I like a thick pizza, what they call a 'pizza pie', though thin crush is okay on occasion. Or a New York pizza with foldable slices.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:14 PM on February 14, 2013


Ah! You probably mean styles. I meant no entries on the survey map.
posted by unliteral at 8:15 PM on February 14, 2013


I'm a St. Louisan but I confess, I love, love love Chicago-style deep-dish. Which is sort of like keeping a secret stash of Cubs hats. SHH.
posted by BlueJae at 8:16 PM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


This seems to be lacking deep-fried pizza.

(So that's what a Chicago-style Deep/Stuffed pizza looks like: an open pie).
posted by Mezentian at 8:22 PM on February 14, 2013


CHICAGO NEVER ST. LOUIS FOREVER
posted by scody at 8:23 PM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Look again.

There's a 'Neopolitan-style' and 'Sicilian-style' listed. Each are available 'nationwide'.
posted by pompomtom at 8:23 PM on February 14, 2013


It's an interesting project but it's not going to be the project of record, as it's insufficiently precise and leaves out a lot of variations.

Yes, like Ottawa-style pizza, aka, "bad pizza done up a by a place that does good schwarma." The only thing worse is the regional fast food chain - "Pizza Pizza".

Which, despite the name is neither pizza nor pizza.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:23 PM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I come to you as a Marylander and a lover of Ledo's, and i say thee nay. Ledo's has a much thinner crust.

While Ledo's is amazing, I almost want to hesitate to call it pizza. The crust has an almost flaky biscuit quality to it and the sauce is unusually sweet. I don't know what it's based on, if anything, but it's awesome.
posted by windbox at 8:26 PM on February 14, 2013


Deep dish is a very fine fried dough and cheese cassorole and the fine city on the shore should feel pride in it, but it is not pizza, and calling it pizza just betrays a deep insecurity and need to gloam onto an allready sucessful product. Be your own thing deep dish, be a fried cheesy meaty THING, wild and free and unfettered by the cultural expectations of the word pizza.

Shine on you oily diamond.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on February 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


A tertiary goal of this thesis is the hungry-making of stoned nerds, using social media, crowd-sourced data and web-based mapping.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:31 PM on February 14, 2013


Dude stoned nerds have seamless web, we never have to be hungry again.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not stoned, but I do want pizza after reading through the chart.
posted by codacorolla at 8:34 PM on February 14, 2013


I had to go downstairs to get a slice because the last place on seamless closes at 10:50. It was ok though because as usual a Billy Joel song was playing while they heated up my slice. "We're sharing a drink they call lonliness, but it's better than drinking alone!". Hearing snatches of Billy Joel songs while they heat your slice is a definite plus for New York pizza. In terms of ambiance, we got everyone beat.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:37 PM on February 14, 2013


I like all kinds of pizza because I am from Notstupidville.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:39 PM on February 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


Missing DC jumbo slice.
posted by downing street memo at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2013


Careful the slice can cause a heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack.
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Grandma pizza, at Emilio’s in Commack, NY.
posted by Marky at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2013


Why do you post food threads when I should go to bed? I'm hungry.

I once went to this amazing Punjabi-owned vegetarian supermarket. They had fresh produce, tons of spices, and giant sacs of basmati. They also had a little kitchen and sold Indian sweets and samosas. Oh, and cricket bats. And of course, freshly baked pizza.

Yep. All the standard (veggie) choices you'd have at any chain pizza place, but with the additional option of chopped Indian chilies, fresh ginger, fresh coriander leaves, and fresh garlic.

I had to try this. Not bad, pretty familiar tasting actually, but confusingly, each bite of raw ginger was like shouting at my tastebuds.
posted by mayurasana at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Missing DC jumbo slice.

For when you want explosive diarrhea with your hangover from overpriced bars.
posted by codacorolla at 8:46 PM on February 14, 2013


Oh god, this place on the LES had Indian Pizza as an appetizer, it was amazing, basic pizza stuff on a super thin crispy naan with olives and oh god, it was great.
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 PM on February 14, 2013


Nobody ever thinks about the "Vermont style" pizza you can find at places like American Flatbread. Think thin crust topped with locally grown gourmet toppings and them cut in strips instead of slices. It's really something very special.
posted by fremen at 8:47 PM on February 14, 2013


I don't know what 'style' of pizza it was, but when I lived in Germany I often ate Pizza at Turkish run restaurants and I want to say they called it 'pizza salami' or something like that. I enjoyed that kind of pizza a lot. None of these pictures or descriptions look like what I remember though.
posted by one4themoment at 8:54 PM on February 14, 2013


(Oh, and it's still the only pizza I've ever felt OK using a knife and fork to eat... because they never sliced it for you... not that I remember)
posted by one4themoment at 8:55 PM on February 14, 2013


I know zilch about American pizzas, but that Detroit-style pie sounds quite nice. Flavoured crusts! What an innovation.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:55 PM on February 14, 2013


Unicode-style pizza?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 PM on February 14, 2013


Unicode-style pizza?

Strictly speaking all pizza is multi-bite.
posted by elephantday at 8:57 PM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tavern cut? Party cut!
posted by Area Man at 9:00 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


They got it wrong. Everyone knows that Neapolitan pizza is vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
posted by aubilenon at 9:01 PM on February 14, 2013


NO TRENTON TOMATO PIE, NO CREDIBILITY

Huh, I always ignored Trenton Tomato Pie because I thought it was the same thing as Philadelphia Tomato Pie, a sad room temperature non-cheesy non-pizza joke. Trenton style looks good, gonna have to drive over there.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:06 PM on February 14, 2013


when I lived in Germany I often ate Pizza at Turkish run restaurants and I want to say they called it 'pizza salami' or something like that.
Pide?
posted by unliteral at 9:11 PM on February 14, 2013


Pide is nothing like pizza. Its still good, though, but its more of a roll with meat or cheese in the middle.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:12 PM on February 14, 2013


Cheese vs. Plain vs Margherita/Neapolitan

I no longer scowl at transplants ordering their "slice of plain" or "slice of cheese" but I will not accept the counter man asking me "cheese?" or "plain?" I said "slice" motherfucker, if you don't know what slice means you shouldn't be selling pizza in New York. It is like if ordered a regular coffee and you asked me if I want milk. We gotta maintain some standards here. This is New York. That that slice of plain nonsense back to Pizzaria Uno or wherever.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:14 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey now deep dish isn't pizza.


It's 5 pizzas!
posted by srboisvert at 9:17 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Coming from a land of lousy pizza (Canada generally, Greek-run pseudo-Chicago pizza joints in Calgary specifically), I believe I am more objective than the norm in this debate. I've tried nearly everything on this list except New Haven, so I will qualify my verdict in that regard.

But New York pizza is the best pizza. More precisely, New York pizza from a coal-fired oven is the best pizza. It is the highest best use of coal, maybe the only essential one outside of smelting iron ore, and it deserves a special exemption from any and all future low-carbon-world scenarios.
posted by gompa at 9:19 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never had it from a pizzeria, but grilled pizza is a thing of joy and wonder.
posted by peppermind at 9:19 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I was remembering is nothing like a Pide... and now all I can think of is how good that Pide looks....
posted by one4themoment at 9:26 PM on February 14, 2013


Hmm, no Round Table or CPK for California-style? I don't like CPK, but it capitalized on the original gourmet pizza places that popped up in Central Coastal California (SF to Santa Barbara) back in the 80s. Round Table was what I grew up with, and some of the local shops that did it like round table. Mounds of large-chopped fresh veggies, cheese underneath, thick doughy crust w/ no crunch to it at all.
posted by Lukenlogs at 9:38 PM on February 14, 2013


I've tried nearly everything on this list except New Haven

That's the problem. I always assumed NY style was the best, not knowing that a mere hour drive could bring me to the land of the best pizza.

But New York pizza is the best pizza.

New Haven style pizza is the best. Try it.
posted by degoao at 9:45 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will feast on the liver of anyone who says Chicago style pizza is not pizza.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:45 PM on February 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


When will New England Greek pizza get the respect it deserves??
posted by lunasol at 9:46 PM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


What I was remembering is nothing like a Pide
Lahmacun?
posted by unliteral at 9:50 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I worked in various pizza places for seven years, including a couple St. Louis style parlors. St. Louis style is so far away from the others I've had experience with on this list. It makes absolutely no pretense to using anything resembling fresh, high quality ingredients. And that's not a bug, it's a feature.

Like Philly's insistence on using Cheez Whiz in their cheesesteaks, St. Louisians make their signature pies cheap by design: in this case, by baking with pre-frozen crusts (to get that crackerlike consistency) and by only using that wonderfully weird, ultra-processed provel cheese. It's an odd pie, for sure - crackery and a little buttery, with too-large toppings that always seemed to fall off the tiny 'party cut' slices. It's a big shiny mess of a pie is what it is. But I grew up on it and absolutely adore it.

Too bad you can't really find STL style outside the Midwest. Man, I could go for Imo's right now.
posted by joechip at 9:51 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's missing the kind of pizza from Buffalo, which is understandable, as I've only ever had it in Buffalo and, perplexingly, the Census Bureau cafeteria. It's exactly in between a Chicago and NYC pie: thin but chewy, pillowy crust, sauce on the sweet side (but manageably so), ample mozzarella, triangle-shaped slices (with the exception of Just Pizza), toppings over cheese. It is a deeply satisfying pie.
posted by troika at 9:51 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tokyo style. Toppings: corn
posted by kurumi at 9:55 PM on February 14, 2013


(that the aforementioned perfect pizza hasn't made it out of the region I attribute to the fact that visitors to the City of Good Neighbors mostly sample the wings and weck, and thus never approach the pizza, so it remains enjoyed by locals only. I cannot explain the Census Bureau.)
posted by troika at 9:56 PM on February 14, 2013


Hey now deep dish isn't pizza.

Deep dish is the best pizza and I'll not have your libelous words. I'LL NOT.
posted by psoas at 9:59 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lukenlogs: "Round Table was what I grew up with, and some of the local shops that did it like round table. Mounds of large-chopped fresh veggies, cheese underneath, thick doughy crust w/ no crunch to it at all."

I just moved to California and we'd been eyeing the local Round Table Pizza. Thank you for your comment, because it indicates we wouldn't like it very much.
posted by subbes at 10:10 PM on February 14, 2013


triangle-shaped slices (with the exception of Just Pizza)

Never had theirs, but I like to imagine that the greater Buffalo area used to suffer under the misrule of Tyrannical Pizza, Chaotic Evil Pizza, and many other purveyors of deeply unjust pizza.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:14 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Round Table is a large chain. They don't all undercook their pizzas. But they DO all use a weird spicy red sauce that is gross.

I miss the nona pie from the place down the street from my apartment in Astoria.

Hell I miss any NYC pizza. California is mediocre at best.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:17 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another vote for New England Greek "House of Pizza" pizza. Give me a faded wallprint of the Parthenon or give me death!
posted by threeants at 10:39 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I was remembering is nothing like a Pide
Lahmacun?


Yep. Widely available in London, too, (try Anteplier on Green Lanes). Pancake-thin, often crispy but sometimes chewy. I've only ever seen them topped with minced lamb, Turkish chilli-flakes and maybe just a little tomato. I'm not sure if it's pizza or part of the wider flat-food family.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 11:59 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live in Norwalk, CT. Clicking on the little pins on the map for those around me, I see preferences for New Haven style (yes!), New York style, Neapolitan... and all make perfect sense. But who are these two people who prefer Chicago-style?! Rage!

Take a look at the hot-oil-doused pizza from Stamford's Colony Grill. The pepperoni slices are like the size of tricycle tires.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:18 AM on February 15, 2013


Tokyo style. Toppings: corn

Britain, too. Other British toppings: tuna (really?) and "rocket" which is just arugula and WRONG.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:45 AM on February 15, 2013


That pepperoni slice to pie ratio is impressive, but you can do better. It's a tiny place, so I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:46 AM on February 15, 2013


No Aussie Pizza?
This is Domino's version of an Aussie meat pie pizza. It is wrong. This wiki article on pizzas of the world describes a proper Aussie pizza. I can't get Bing Image Search working recently. Bing it yourself.
posted by Mezentian at 2:41 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also missing: Scottish Deep Fried pizza.
posted by Mezentian at 2:42 AM on February 15, 2013


Glad there have been several shout outs for New England Greek style. That should have been on the original list.

Also, as far as I'm concerned, New York pizza totally ripped off of New Haven. Fact. (Have in no way researched this at all.)

Also, what about square pizza friday 1980s-1990s school cafeteria pizza? Surly that deserves something.

Also, it's not pizza, but fried dough is... something.
posted by Telf at 2:48 AM on February 15, 2013


California-style pizza
Cheese: mozzarella, goat, truffles and other non-traditional cheeses


Me and mine laughed for almost a minute solid on this. Although truffles are not cheeses, still, don't put them on my pizza, capiche? Seriously, please help us, we have no idea how to make a pizza that doesn't taste like focaccia.
posted by chemoboy at 3:15 AM on February 15, 2013


Also, what about square pizza friday 1980s-1990s school cafeteria pizza? Surly that deserves something.

I think those are better left forgotten. My elementary school wasn't big enough to support a kitchen, so all the food arrived on metal pallets that were wheeled into a giant convection oven to be gently warmed before serving. This process was particularly brutal on pizzas. The synthetic cheese substitute never quite melted all the way, let alone browned, leaving a tapioca-like collection of eyeballs staring back at you. The crust was scorched along the edges and a bready, tomato surry in the middle.

Those abominations almost put me off pizza for life.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:47 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting to note, but Sicilia's in Providence, RI does completely legit Chicago styles - both thin and crispy and deep dish. It's pretty top-notch.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:56 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Britain, too. Other British toppings: tuna (really?) and "rocket" which is just arugula and WRONG.

Rocket is a pretty standard Italian topping as well. I'm with you on tuna, but there is a place near me that does great Italian-style pizza with smoked tuna which is amazing.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:32 AM on February 15, 2013


But New York pizza is the best pizza.

There really is no one "New York style" pizza, but rather around three different styles that could be claimed as NYC pizza.
posted by slkinsey at 5:39 AM on February 15, 2013


> I know zilch about American pizzas, but that Detroit-style pie sounds quite nice. Flavoured crusts! What an innovation.

Having lived in Detroit, and now living where "Detroit-style" is considered a selling point, I have to let you in on a little secret:

The canonical "Detroit style" pizza is Domino's. That's where it comes from, that's why it's the namesake; but hanging a shingle claiming you're selling "Domino's style" pizza would both draw the lawsuits and drive away anybody who actually likes pizza.

You are probably not as excited or interested any more. I can tell.
posted by ardgedee at 5:49 AM on February 15, 2013


When will New England Greek pizza get the respect it deserves??
When I am dead. It can take along "party pizza" (thick crust, sauce, little-or-no detectable cheese, and sold cold, cut in strips, wrapped in plastic wrap, at the local grocery store) to Hell if it doesn't want to ride alone.

One of my Rhode Island in-laws once said -- quite seriously! -- that "No one makes pizza like the Greeks."
posted by wenestvedt at 5:59 AM on February 15, 2013


Sicilia's in Providence, RI does completely legit Chicago styles

Really? That's fantastic news! I thought my kitchen was the only place in RI to make decent Chicago-style deep dish, thanks to the Skillz I filched over several years working at The Green Mill restaurant in MN. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:02 AM on February 15, 2013


They left out that horror pizza of the midwest, Pizza King. Flat, soulless crust, a tasteless red liquid coating called "sauce", with cheese and all toppings finely diced into teeny-tiny bits that render the whole effect of the "pizza" as being pre-chewed. Priced double what a real pizza would cost, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:04 AM on February 15, 2013


NEWHAVEN4LIFE

Dear Matt:

I love you.

Love,

Empress "Erstwhile Nutmeggalo" Callipygos
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually like Pizza King, but that might just be nostalgia speaking...
posted by nolnacs at 6:10 AM on February 15, 2013


For all right-thinking St. Louisans *glares at BlueJae*, Imo's ships pizza ingredients anywhere in the United States. Shipping is ridiculous (like $40 for 1 pizza, and $60 for ten, to ship to Boston), but you know in your heart it's worth it.

I've tried to find a source of provel cheese in boston, but it seems like your best bet is to blend cheddar, swiss and provelone yourself. I think I have a weekend project.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:11 AM on February 15, 2013


Just remembered - a guy I knew in college had a theory that the quality of pizza in a given location in the U.S. was directly related to that location's distance from Italy. The further away you got, the worse the pizza got. The superiority of New Haven Pizza seems to bear this out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:12 AM on February 15, 2013


I mean, seriously, this is a thing of beauty. (WARNING: St. Louis-style pizza)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:14 AM on February 15, 2013


Drunk pizza is the best pizza. FACT.
posted by Fizz at 6:16 AM on February 15, 2013


New England Greek pizza is actually a variation of Sicilian pizza, as is strip-pizza, which is known as "tomato pie" in Upstate NY and the Philly area. Strip pizza is a foccacia bread with a savory, thick tomato, basil and oregano topping that's closer to a frosting than a sauce in consistency, cut into strips, and sold at bakeries. It's more of an appetizer, snack or finger-food than a meal, and not readily confused with a pizza. I love the hell out of it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:24 AM on February 15, 2013


The main thing I miss about pizza from the New Bedford/Fall River area of southeast MA area is the default topping being linguiça rather than pepperoni.
posted by ardgedee at 6:34 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, Slap*Happy, I wish the stuff at Dave's Market was what you describe. *weeps silently, shoulders shaking*

Sicilian As I Know It has toppings on a thicker crust: it's left to rise in the pan longer than most Greek pizzas, many of which are as flat as ordinary "American" pizza. We've tried them all; ugh.

(The place in Boston where I handled Sicilian pizzas was run by an Italian, with two ordinary managers, and all other employees -- most from Central America -- paid under the table in cash. That was an awesome and awful job.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:34 AM on February 15, 2013


tuna (really?) and "rocket" which is just arugula and WRONG.

I travel to Europe every now and then for work, and we lived in Germany for a couple years while I was growing up. Pizza in northwestern Europe is absolutely nuts and I love it so much.

Tuna, capers, and olives on a pizza? You bet. Squid pizza? Yep. Three different kinds of the worst-smelling, best-tasting cheese you can find? Absolutely. Fried egg on top? Sure! (The fried egg was certainly novel when I first had it at age 10, but nowadays the whole "put an egg on it" movement seems to have overwhelmed the food scene so maybe it's a bit pedestrian at this point.)

However, and I must state this emphatically, Hawaiian pizza in Europe is far, far superior to what you can find in the States for one simple reason - tart cherries. The European "Hawaiian" is topped with ham, pineapple, and tart cherries and I have yet to find somewhere in the USA that will do that.

Also, no pizza I have ever eaten in Europe has been cut before serving. It has always been served as a whole individual pie and eaten with fork and knife.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:38 AM on February 15, 2013


Both tuna (canned in olive oil) and ruccola feature in Italian pizza with some frequency.
posted by slkinsey at 6:41 AM on February 15, 2013


So Austin is not a pizza town, but it shows a place called "Mister Pizza" selling Detroit-style pizza just across Lamar from my neighborhood. Nothing else on the interwebs indicates that such a place exists. This makes me suspicious.
posted by Seamus at 6:43 AM on February 15, 2013


The European "Hawaiian" is topped with ham, pineapple, and tart cherries and I have yet to find somewhere in the USA that will do that.

The Pizza Pizza outlet opposite Toronto's legendary Rochdale College used to offer maraschino cherries and mandarin or tangerine segments along with the usual pineapple toppings (I didn't witness this, but this was company lore when I worked there in the 80s).
posted by maudlin at 6:54 AM on February 15, 2013


Oh, Slap*Happy, I wish the stuff at Dave's Market was what you describe

Dave's Market? That stuff in the prepared foods section all looks and smells good, but it never delivers. (Great meat and fish selection, tho.)

Go to the Crugnale's in your town and order a box.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:57 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well sometimes homemade is the best... but so tough to classify...
posted by mfoight at 7:00 AM on February 15, 2013


For myself, I still miss Alex Cordobes. (With the lot, extra garlic and chilli.)

The reference cited by the linked article is:
source: Singer, S. American Pizza Styles and Components. Quality Wikipedia Articles
Who'd publish such a niche work? American Pizza Styles and Components is published by Project Webster, a print on demand label that employs “human curators to assemble Wikipedia content into new works”, which they then retail through Amazon's PoD systems.
Perhaps the Geography of Pizza guy should have cut out the middle man and gone straight to the Quality Wikipedia Articles.
posted by zamboni at 7:08 AM on February 15, 2013


adamdschneider: "I will feast on the liver of anyone who says Chicago style pizza is not pizza."

If you eat human livers it's no wonder you think Chicago deep dish is pizza.
posted by Splunge at 7:10 AM on February 15, 2013


Ottawa-style pizza, aka, "bad pizza done up a by a place that does good schwarma.

Donair "pizza". *shudders*

The only place in town that makes really good pizza which I'm aware of is Tennessy Willems, but they're more gastropub than pizza joint (with prices to match), so it's debatable if they even count. There are a few old standbys like Colonnade (who make their own cheese apparently) which are work-man like affairs, then it's down to the chain grease -fests and the schwarma places.
posted by bonehead at 7:11 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Just noticed that were no entries from Australia.

I've been to Australia twice, and if there is good pizza to be had Down Under I did not find it. It didn't matter how drunk I got.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:18 AM on February 15, 2013


I thought Chicago style pizza was dumb until I had it in Chicago. I thought New York style pizza was dumb until I had in in New York. Now I think they are both good but I would never bother to order either type outside of Chicago or New York respectively.

Also pizza is "a dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked" so Chicago style pizza IS pizza and all yall pedantic numbnards can just cool it
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:23 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, my wife wants me to build an oven, so in a year or two MY BACKYARD will have the best pizza in Austin!
Free plans.
posted by Seamus at 7:25 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought this was going to show pizzas from round the world, not just the US. For some reason I really like seeing what weird pizzas they have in, for example, Singapore and the Middle East.

In Finland, we had reindeer on pizza.

In the UK, hot dog pizzas and doner kebab pizzas are common in the more declasse of takeaway joints. However, London seems to be all about the fried chicken when it comes to fast food, so usually if you want to buy a pizza, you have to go with one of the big chains or the supermarket chiller cabinet. There is one really, really nice pizza shop near me, but it had the mis/fortune of being written about by food bloggers and now you can't get a table without an hour's wait any night of the week (like most places in London these days they don't take reservations).
posted by mippy at 7:26 AM on February 15, 2013


This is not a double, per se, but the previous post A layman's guide to regional pizza styles had a link to this more detailed list
posted by adamrice at 7:29 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, Pizza Express - a UK mid-price chain place, similar to what you guys call 'fast casual' - do a pizza called the Leggera, which is a regular pizza but with rocket salad in the middle instead of dough to make it lower-calorie. Some of them have blue cheese on them.

I have never ever seen a Hawai'ian pizza here with cherries, and now I want one.

Our college (sixth-form) cafeteria sold 'pizza' which was a half-bap with cheese, tomato puree and a single slice of pepperoni on it.
posted by mippy at 7:29 AM on February 15, 2013


Oh god Pizza Express, more toppings than you can count, all piled ontop of a thin premise of a slice, eaten with a knife and fork. It's like eating pizza in the Amber Universe.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 AM on February 15, 2013


If you eat human livers it's no wonder you think Chicago deep dish is pizza.

If you haven't tried it, don't knock it.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:55 AM on February 15, 2013


Am I missing Rhode-Island style pizza on these lists? Is it somehow folded in to New Haven style pizza or something?

All I can say is that I had some pizza in Providence that was quite possibly some of the best pizza I have ever put in my mouth...and I grew up eating a lot of really good NY pizza!
posted by delicious-luncheon at 7:58 AM on February 15, 2013


The Whelk - well, when we had our own hamburger chain, they were served with a knife and fork on a plate. I don't think we can quite get our head around fast food.
posted by mippy at 8:04 AM on February 15, 2013


I don't think we can quite get our head around fast food.

Y'all have pub grub, which is superior. You never needed to.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on February 15, 2013


The best pizza I have ever had in my life was at DiLorenzo's Tomato Pies in Trenton, NJ. Super-thin, almost crackery crust, just the right amount of sauce and fresh mozzarella. The only topping I needed was fresh basil. Mmmm. Sadly, it looks like they closed their original hole-in-the-wall location on Hudson, but hopefully they're still doing whatever it is that made that pizza so damn good.

I have heard similar raves about New Haven style pizza, but haven't made a pilgrimage yet.

When it's good, New England Greek pizza can be very good, especially when a little cheese gets on the crust and they leave it in the oven long enough for everything to get just a little bit brown and crispy. Mmmm.

Also: I know I may get thrown out of this thread for mentioning Pizza Hut, but I seriously miss their "Priazzo" pizza, a thing they made in the late 80's which was almost like a pizza pot pie. It wasn't exactly a pastry crust, but it wasn't exactly pizza crust either.
posted by usonian at 8:11 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


The canonical "Detroit style" pizza is Domino's

This is as false of a statement as there has ever been on Metafilter. The canonical Detroit Style pizza is Buddy's.
posted by fusinski at 8:19 AM on February 15, 2013


My homeboy MikeNYC, commenting here, drops science on New-England-style Greek Pizza, which is often held around here to be the ur-pizza, the dish having been imported to Italy by expatriate Greeks:

I grew up in SE CT and grew up on "New England Greek," though I never heard it called that. I also worked a few, Botchis Pizza, Niantic Pizza and Flanders Pizza in East Lyme, CT. This type of Greek is not to be confused with "Greek" pizzas with olives, feta and other Greek ingredients. The dough is pressed out into olive-oiled pans with a small rim. The dough is pressed flat and then sauced. The pans are left out to rise, but only a little. We would then cheese them and toss them in the cooler. That would stop the rising. You would then draw on those throughout the day. If you ran out - no more pizza! The base cheese was a mixture of provolone and moz. If you wanted a "Mozzarella" pizza, the pizzaman would sprinkle another layer of moz over the base and toss the pan in the oven. Other ingredients went on top of the cheese. When it was done the pizza was scooped out of the pan, dropped onto a flat cardboard round and sliced, always with a long flat curved blade that pressed into the pizza and sliced as the blade rocked on it's curved edge. I never saw roller cutters and I'm not sure they would work as well on the slightly thicker, crisper pies. [...]

The crust gets very firm and crunchy due to the olive oil in the pan. It's a little thicker than NY style, but because it's risen it seems a little lighter. That crisper crust would support the extra cheesy "Mozzarella" pizza, and rarely got soggy.

I really miss that style and I wish there were a place in NYC that made it this way.


Me, I find New Haven apizza, excellent as it may be, to be as overhyped as New-England Greek is underappreciated. Something about proximity to the corridors of power blah blah woof woof. I work across the street from one of the places Mike mentions above and have enabled a few epiphanies in non-New England customers by recommending the spinach-and-bacon pizza. It's wicked good.
posted by Kinbote at 8:22 AM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've tried to find a source of provel cheese in boston, ...

you monster
posted by invitapriore at 8:26 AM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scacciata is another seemingly-little-known bit of Northeastern pizza culture that gets my stomach rumbling. Damn.
posted by Kinbote at 8:38 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Oh, this is the best pizza in a cup ever. This guy is unbelievable. He ran the old Cup 'o Pizza guy out of business. People come from all over to eat this. "
posted by usonian at 8:43 AM on February 15, 2013


There's a lot of great New York-style pizza to be had in my hometown of Sarnia, Ontario.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:48 AM on February 15, 2013


Am I missing Rhode-Island style pizza on these lists? Is it somehow folded in to New Haven style pizza or something?

Depends. Providence has a lot of fun little fine dining spots, and many of these places do a pizza of some description. It will generally be very good, especially when wood grilled, but it won't be typical of the state, or consistent from one gastropub to the next.

RI Pizza, the stuff a typical Rhode Islander orders out on game night, is usually New England Greek-style pizza as mentioned above, aka Pan Pizza. This style is available from CT to Maine, and usually at little greek-owned pizzerias. You can buy wads of pizza dough from local bakeries and supermarkets to make your own, too. It's called greek style, because the guys who run the pie shops swear up and down the Greeks brought the dish to Italy, and it was made like this. (Smile, nod, eat the pizza.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:03 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alan Richman had something interesting to say about pizzerias a while back when he did a country-wide survey trying to find (his) best:
I know what you’re thinking: You didn’t visit my favorite pizzeria. You missed the best.

I was forced to be merciless about this, because everybody I know has one of those, and everybody believes his is unsurpassed. In essence, a beloved pizzeria is almost always about memories. From friends I heard such claims as “Taking the first bite is to know perfection”…“Every bite is a party in your mouth”…“It has Italian authenticity”…“It is blissful in its crunchiness and perfect chew”… And so it went. There is no way of dealing with such devotion, so I decided to answer all demands that I visit an adored pizzeria with the same irrefutable (if unjust) reply: “No, I am not going to your pizzeria. Your pizzeria is no good.” In fact, on the few occasions when I was so badgered by a friend that I went to one of them, it was no good. Not one prepared a commendable crust.
posted by slkinsey at 9:08 AM on February 15, 2013


Along those lines, Turiello's Pizza in Nyack, NY will always be the standard to which other pizzas are held in my head, but of course in this case Richman is wrong and it is in fact the most perfect of all.
posted by invitapriore at 9:17 AM on February 15, 2013


Slap*Happy, I agree with everything you wrote. And while I have never actually heard a Greek claim that about the invention of pizza, but it gibes with my observations of who's making the pizza in RI & Mass.

And yet...tonight I will heat up the pizza stone, stretch out some dough, sauce it with ever-larger concentric circles of my spoon until I reach the edge of the crust, add a little Penzey's pizza spices, load on some mozz, and cook up 24 slices of heaven for the family. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:36 AM on February 15, 2013


The best anything is also situational. Sometimes the best pizza is the pizza you can get at 4am after 10-12 vodka tonics.

I'll just leave this here.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:10 AM on February 15, 2013


Seamus: So Austin is not a pizza town, but it shows a place called "Mister Pizza" selling Detroit-style pizza just across Lamar from my neighborhood.

Noted. My favorite Austin pizza has been Conan's (the decor helps), although I hear this is not a popular opinion. My favorite pizza ever is from a little place called The Pizza Shoppe in E. Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Mushroom and hamburger on a sweet crust. So hungry now.
posted by hanoixan at 10:13 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Conan's - decorations by Frank Frazetta.
We used to eat at the one on the drag before drinking at Showdown. I miss it.
posted by Seamus at 11:35 AM on February 15, 2013


but I seriously miss their "Priazzo" pizza, a thing they made in the late 80's which was almost like a pizza pot pie. It wasn't exactly a pastry crust, but it wasn't exactly pizza crust either.

I was just talking to my wife about Priazzo. I worked at Pizza Hut during the time this was being made and it was goooood. It had a different dough recipe and a different sauce seasoning mixture that made it a bit sweetish. Also from bottom to top (IIRC) it was:

dough
sauce
cheese and toppings
another dough layer
more sauce and cheese

We also stuck a pin thingy in the middle to allow the interior to cook better.

After they stopped having it I used to make a similar double-decker pizza for myself on break using the thin crust and I think that was even better. Mmmmm ...

Of course now in Raleigh/Durham NC we have a ton of amazing pizza places like Lilly's and Bella Mia. Durham has the slightly upscale Toro's but I'm "meh" on it - they have about half white pizzas, which I hate, and gourmet toppings like house made sausage balls that sound good but just roll off the pizza. Not possible to get pepperoni.

Our weekly go-to take-out spot is the local Mellow Mushroom. I think their pizza is freaking awesome: chewy, soft pretzel-like crust slathered in parmesan, fresh toppings, great sauce.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:36 AM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also pizza is "a dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked" so Chicago style pizza IS pizza and all yall pedantic numbnards can just cool it

Arguably, Chicago-style pizza is not "flattened" so much as "hollowed" and it is not "spread" with the sauce and so forth so much as "filled." You know, because it is a pie.
posted by jedicus at 12:06 PM on February 15, 2013


I'm not convinced I know what "New York style" pizza is even supposed to be. I've eaten at Motorino, L'asso, Pizzarte, etc. but I think those are supposed to be Neapolitan style. And then I've had lots of pizza slices in the $1-2 range that have varied from nearly inedible to pretty tasty, but I didn't detect any overarching "New York" style they shared - nor did I think they were really much different from $1-2 slices I've had in other cities.

What would you say is the quintessential New York style pizza experience? For slices, and/or whole pies? Does the famous Di Fara (which I have yet to try) count as Neapolitan or NY style?
posted by pravit at 12:14 PM on February 15, 2013


When I am dead. It can take along "party pizza" (thick crust, sauce, little-or-no detectable cheese, and sold cold, cut in strips, wrapped in plastic wrap, at the local grocery store) to Hell if it doesn't want to ride alone.

Jesus christ almight -- party pizza! What a shitty party! How do you wreck a pizza so bloody badly?

I cook my own pizza and grilling is HIGHLY recommended; it's close to a wood-fired oven experience in your own backyard.
posted by porn in the woods at 1:59 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Arguably, Chicago-style pizza is not "flattened" so much as "hollowed" and it is not "spread" with the sauce and so forth so much as "filled."

This is not arguable, it is mere word treachery. On the other hand, you are a lawyer. ;-)
posted by adamdschneider at 2:13 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also holy shit I would happily eat awful St. Louis pizza for the rest of time rather than ever have to consume something from Pizza Street again. I'm not sure exactly what territory it holds outside of St. Louis or Missouri, but if you happen to have one nearby I really can't stress enough the extent to which you should never eat the horrific things that they serve there.
posted by invitapriore at 2:15 PM on February 15, 2013


Like, I think ranch is the default and you have to look really hard to find a pizza slice with tomato sauce on it, for example.
posted by invitapriore at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2013


Thanks, Kinbote. Now I am being forced* to make scacciata for dinner tonight.




*For definitions of "forced" that equal "greedy piggy must eat now"
posted by Seamus at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2013


This is not arguable, it is mere word treachery. On the other hand, you are a lawyer. ;-)

Not just any lawyer, a lawyer from St. Louis.

...

Well, okay, I'm originally from Arkansas and don't actually care for St. Louis-style pizza, either (Dewey's forever!), but still.
posted by jedicus at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2013


Quad-City style. Franks is the standard, but there are some people in Rock Island who will cut you if you say that to their face. There's a QC style pizza outpost in Chicago.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 3:40 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not convinced I know what "New York style" pizza is even supposed to be. I've eaten at Motorino, L'asso, Pizzarte, etc. but I think those are supposed to be Neapolitan style. And then I've had lots of pizza slices in the $1-2 range that have varied from nearly inedible to pretty tasty, but I didn't detect any overarching "New York" style they shared - nor did I think they were really much different from $1-2 slices I've had in other cities.

It depends on what "New York style" you are talking about. Arguably, all the reasonably thin round pizzas baked in deck pizza ovens and sold around the country are "New York style" unless they differ substantially from this model. If you're eating NYC slices at around a buck of two a slice, its no wonder you aren't seeing much difference. These are the shittiest slices to be found in the City, and as such I wouldn't expect them to be much better than a slice purchased at a similar place in Madison, Wisconsin or Boise, Idaho. A decent quality plain slice in Manhattan is probably going to run you around three bucks. A great example of this style would be Sal & Carmine's on the Upper West Side. Di Fara also plays more or less in this ballpark, although it is sui generis to a certain extent.

In addition to this style is the older New York style, which is found in New York City for the most part. These are thin crusted pizzas conservatively topped with low moisture mozzarella and a sauce of nothing more than crushed tomatoes. What makes them special is that they are baked in coal-fired masonry ovens at inferno temperatures. So there is significant char, etc. Good representatives of this style are Patsy's up in East Harlem (but not the other locations, which are not related), Totonno's in Coney Island, Grimaldi's in DUMBO, Lombardi's in Lolita and Arturo's in SoHo.


What would you say is the quintessential New York style pizza experience? For slices, and/or whole pies? Does the famous Di Fara (which I have yet to try) count as Neapolitan or NY style?

Again, it depends on what kind of NYC pizza experience you want to to have. For the modern NYC style, places such as Sal & Carmines or Di Fara are good choices, among many others. For the historical coal-fired NYC style, there are the places I mentioned above. And NYC has also, for the last decade or so, experienced an explosion in Neapolitan style places such as Keste, Co. and Motorino, as well as Neapolitan-influenced places such as Franny's, etc.

Di Fara is not Neapolitan style.
posted by slkinsey at 4:24 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I took a half-day class at Johnson & Wales University on cooking pizza, taught by a member of the Culinary School faculty. One of the things he showed us was grilling pizza ("just like they do it al Al Forno!"). It's dead easy, and I do it all summer long:
- Light the grill and shut the lid.
- Turn a big mixing bowl upside down, and pour a little olive oil on it. Get a little oil on your hands, too.
- Grab your dough ball and plop it down onto the oil. With your palms and the flat of your fingers, stre-e-etch it down the sides of the bowl, getting it good and oily. Flop it over so the other side gets oily, too.
- Have someone open the door (your hands are all slippery), and carry your oily bowl out there. Fling open the grill, grab that oily, stretched-out dough, and drape it across the now-hot grill.
- Go inside and wash your hands (you're a mess, for pete's sake). Grab some tongs, sauce, and cheese, and go back out to the grill.
- Peek at the dough. If the underside looks done, use the tongs to flip it.Promptly sauce it, add cheese and whatever, and bang down the lid.
- Go inside again and get a big wooden cutting board. In about three minutes the pizza's underside will also be done, plus he cheese will have melted. Slide it onto the cutting board, shut the grill (and douse the heat), and go eat.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:42 PM on February 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I do not know what style the pizza from Milo and Olive is other than PUT IT IN MY MOUTH
posted by flaterik at 12:43 AM on February 16, 2013


You guys, you guys! I just discovered that my local New England Greek-ish style pizza place will let you order chopped up gyro meat as a topping!
posted by usonian at 12:34 PM on February 17, 2013


The mask is ripped away!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:45 PM on February 17, 2013


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