Pizza Places, What is Your Measuring Stick?

TastyReuben

Senior Member
Recipe Challenge Judge
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
6:24 PM
Messages
1,924
Location
Ohio, US
Can you tell me what a traditional American pizza is like then? I'm curious now :laugh:
I can give it a shot, but except 90 more Americans to disagree with me. :laugh:

First, I'll talk about Pizza Hut, it deserves a mention. Large chain. If you go to Maine, or Florida, or Nebraska, or anywhere in the US, you mention Pizza Hut, people will instantly know what you mean, so in sheer knowledge of a product, you could argue that Pizza Hut is "traditional" American pizza, but it really doesn't work that way. It's important to note, for example, that Pizza Hut sells different varieties (thin-n-crispy, pan pizza, hand/tossed), so they're just trying to appeal to a broad spectrum.

If a Martian landed here tomorrow and demanded that I get them some traditional American pizza, I'd probably point them to a classic New York style pie: very big around (22 inches or so) and frequently bought by the slice, at slice shops.

Simple toppings, traditionally just cheese, but you can get anything you want on it nowadays.

The crust is very thin, except the edge, which is puffy, light, and chewy. When Americans started making their own pizzas, it evolved out of a traditional Neapolitan pizza, but it's not that style. It's recognized as it's own style.

Also, it's not uncommon to have shakers of dried herbs, peppers, and cheese for customers to use if they like. I mention that almost as an afterthought, but you talked about it before, so I wanted to acknowledge that.

Now, Dominos, when they started, that's what they based their pizza on, as did other American mass-producers, like Sbarro's. Big pizza, by the slice, puffy edge. They just do a very, very bad job of it, like anything that's mass-made.

Pizza Hut, OTOH, is more closely related originally to a Midwest style pizza - no puffy edge, medium thick crust edge-to-edge, sheeted or rolled as opposed to tossed.

Here's the wiki page on NY-style pizza:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York-style_pizza

As I said earlier, though, pizza in America has evolved drastically. There's NY-style, grandma pizza, Sicilian-style, Greek-style, Rhode Island-style, Philly-style, Detroit-Style, Chicago deep dish, Chicago stuffed, Chicago thin crust, St Louis-style, Quad Cities-style, and on and on.

Those are all well-established styles. That's not even getting into all the wacky fusion pies that people are coming up with.
 
Top Bottom