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Modern pizza that’s dressed with cheese, tomatoes, and herbs originated from Naples in the 18th century. Pizza became popular in Naples right after the marriage of tomatoes with flatbreads. It was popular among the peasants because it was cheap at the price.
A customer would get a slice or a few according to their appetite and budget. Needless to say, the poor in Italy were the first people to enjoy pizza before it became a popular Italian cuisine among all social classes.
From the streets of Naples, pizza found its way in the alleys of New York and Chicago, thanks to tourists, immigrants, and American soldiers returning from war in Italy. In places where tourists and soldiers from Italy were based, there was a huge appetite for the Italian cuisine.
Pizza’s fan base broadened after World War 2. Pizza restaurants and pizzerias popped up all over, not only in America but also in Europe and Asia, to meet this growing demand. As pizza spread across different cultures, it evolved into different variants tastes.
So, let’s fnd out what most popular types of pizza are.
1. Pizza Napoletana (Naples)
Pizza Napoletana which is also known as Naples pizza, is classic-style pizza with authentic DOC regulation. This type of pizza uses type 0 or 00 wheat flour, and it’s baked at super high temperatures in a wood-fired oven.
Neapolitan pizza comes in different variants. There is pizza Margherita that uses water-buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and extra virgin oil. This particular pizza unified the colours of the Italian flag and takes its name after Queen Margherita of Italy.
A variation of this pizza without the cheese goes by the name pizza marinara. It can have similar toppings as pizza Margherita, plus herbs like Oregano.
Ingredients for a neopolitan dough:
- About 4 cups bread flour, preferably Italian-style "OO"
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 13 ounces / 380ml warm water
2. Pepperoni Pizza (U.S.)
Pepperoni pizza is an American classic pizza, now popular across the globe thanks to franchises Dominos and pizza hut. Soft, smokey, and reddish, this pizza uses pepperoni, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
Pepperoni is an American staple food; you could say a unique version of salami. Pepperoni is made by seasoning paprika and chilli powder with beef and meat.
The pizza crust can be topped with:
- Hot peppers.
- Bell peppers.
3. Chicago Deep-dish pizza (America)
Popular in Chicago, this pizza is also known as deep dish pizza or Chicago style pizza. It has been popular since the 1970s. The trick to baking the deep dish pizza is using a skillet with deep sides. Using such a pan produces a crust with a biscuit-like texture. Before the crust is baked, it is layered with slices of mozzarella, and then sautéed sausages.
Ingredients for the pizza dough:
- 3 ¼ cups of all-purpose or whole wheat flour.
- 45g yellow cornmeal.
- 280 ml lukewarm water.
- 1 packet active dry yeast.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 1/3 cup olive oil.
- Unsalted butter.
Once the dough is kneaded and before it’s baked, it’s topped with pizza sauce, Italian sausages, sliced olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. The pizza sauce can made from ingredients like:
- Blended Italian-style tomatoes.
- Chopped basil leaves.
- Crushed red pepper flakes.
- Cloves garlic.
- Granulated white sugar.
- Salt and pepper.
- Grated parmesan cheese.
The tomatoes are left to cook in a large, heavy pan. Once stirred until the mixture turns smooth; oregano, garlic, and the extra ingredients are added. The soft will thicken once left to simmer on low heat. Basil leaves are added last.
4. Tomato pie pizza (America)
Tomato pie pizza became popular after WW2. This pizza followed a reverse technique to the authentic Naples pizza. The cheese is spread on top of the crust first, and then tomatoes are layered. When prepared this way, it creates a thick biscuit-like crust
- Pizza dough.
- 225g Mozzarella cheese.
- 4-5 thinly sliced fresh tomatoes.
- Grated parmesan cheese.
- Dried Oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Olive oil.
5. Barbecue pizza (America)
With barbecue sauce, a crispy pizza crust, some cheese, fresh onions, and smoky soy curls, you can make the all-American barbecue pizza.
Ingredients you need:
- Pizza dough
- Barbecue sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese.
- Thinly sliced red onions.
- Sweet and smoky soy souls or garlic soy curls.
- Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
6. Plain Jane Pizza
Plain Jane pizza is a classic pizza featuring traditional flavours. It has cheese, sauce, and pepperoni as the main ingredients. The sauce can be a tomato-garlic sauce that uses diced plum or San Marzano tomatoes, cloves garlic, dried oregano, and salt.
Once the pizza sauce is ready, it is spread on the crust, leaving small spaces about ¼-½ inches along the edges. Then, the sauce is layered with cheese, and thereafter, sprinkled with pepperoni crumbles.
7. Pizza Silician (Italy)
Also, known as Sfincione or focaccia, pizza silician became a popular dish in the mid-19th century, in western Sicily. It’s also considered as a relative to the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. The crust comes out thick, so that the toppings are poked into the dough.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2 packets of dried yeast.
- 445ml warm water.
- 910g flour.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil.
For the toppings, it goes with chopped onions, olive oil, plain tomato sauce, anchovy fillets, mozzarella cheese, toasted breadcrumbs, and dried oregano.