Learn about the types of pizza. Pizza, an original invention of Italy, is now one of the most popular dishes in each and every part of the world. It is primarily an oven baked dish which is flat and rounded. Topped with tomato sauce and cheese several other toppings can be used to enhance its flavour. Popular toppings that are used in various types of pizza include mushrooms, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, onion, bacon, beef, peppers, sausages, vegetable and fruits.
The crust or the pizza bottom comes in several variants. Crusts are normally plain but could be either be stuffed with cheese or garlic and herbs could be used as seasonings. The crust in the various types of pizza may be thin as is in hand-tossed or Roman pizza or it may be thick as in pan pizza.
The Italians offer two types of pizza
Neapolitan – Commonly known as Pizza Napoletana it is one of the most authentic types of pizza made with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. The actual dough for this pizza is made up of wheat flour, brewer’s yeast, water and salt. Kneaded with low speed it is rolled out to roughly 3 mm thickness by hands or a mixer. Once cooked the base is tender yet crispy and fragrant. The commonly found variants are Pizza Marinara (with tomato, garlic, oregano and olive oil of extra virgin quality), Pizza Margherita (topped with sliced mozzarella, tomato, basil and olive oil of extra virgin quality).
Lazio style- As the name suggests this pizza originated in Lazio (Rome) and comes in different styles. Pizza al taglio or pizza rustica is cooked in electric oven and has a crisp base unlike the softer and thicker base of Neapolitan pizza. The traditional version of this pizza is cooked in wood fired oven which enhances its texture and flavour. The other types of pizza in Lazio style are Pizza Romana, Pizza Viennese, Pizza Capricciosa, Pizza Quattro formaggi, Pizza bianaca, Pizza alla casalinga. All these types of pizza use tomato and mozzarella cheese as a common topping apart from the other various toppings.
As pizza’s popularity spread over the world each country adapted the traditional version of pizza with their innovations to suit the local taste buds. In USA different cities have developed their own types of pizza.
Chicago style pizza is a deep dish pizza whose crust edges are about 3 inches tall and towers over the ingredients which include loads of cheese and tomato sauce. Stuffed pizza is another invention in the types of pizza that have come from Chicago and they are even deeper and as with deep-dish pizza a bowl is formed in the pan. An extra layer of dough is then added.
New York style pizza have a thin crust which is hand-tossed, less sauce is used and is made from high-gluten bread. Traditionally tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese have been used and it is often eaten by folding it in half as it becomes difficult to eat it flat due to its size.
New Haven style pizza or apizza as it popularly known is a variant of Neapolitan pizza wherein oregano and pecorino romano cheese is used along with the crust.