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Cravings Culture

Apparently Deep-Dish Pizza Is Only One Of 10 Different Pizza Styles In Chicago

Just from reputation alone, I’ve always believed that New York City offered the best pizza in the United States. Biting into those phenomenal pies, I’ve often wondered if there was anywhere else in the US that could square up against those massive New York slices.

One man decided to put in the delicious work and settle the debate on which city really does offer the best pizza.

Steve Dolinsky is a 13-time James Beard Award winning TV and radio personality based in Chicago. Dolinsky hosts a segment for ABC 7 called “The Hungry Hound” where he seeks out and reviews the best restaurants in the city.

Photo: Huge Galdones

Dolinsky is also the author of the upcoming book Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town. In it, he sets out to prove that Chicago is irrefutably the best place to get pizza in the country.

During his experience, he explains that there are actually ten different types of pizzas the city is known for. Over the course of six months, Dolinsky went to 185 different pizzerias in Chicago and 56 in New York to be able to properly judge between the two cities.

He came to the conclusion that Chicago’s pizza was the superior of the two metropolises for two reasons: variety and depth.

“Not everyone likes stuffed, but some do. Not everyone likes deep, but many do. We also have tavern style and more Detroit places per capita than New York City. Quite simply, diversity wins.”

Dolinsky’s process was methodic. He wanted a baseline as to what to expect from the pizzas, so he would go in asking the style they were known for and then just order two common toppings: pepperoni and sausage.

“That was always the order when I was doing the initial assessing,” he explained. “I wanted to compare apples to apples. I didn’t think it was fair that some guy could have, even if it was a longer fermented dough, broccoli rabe and porchetta versus something that’s just pepperoni.”

In doing so, Dolinsky was able to experience the many different styles of pizza Chicago had to offer. So what else was there other than what we know as Deep Dish?

Check out the ten different styles of Chicago pizzas below.


Artisan

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  • Much longer dough fermentation time, a minimum of two days.
  • A relatively more moist dough that allows for a better chew.
  • Gourmet toppings.
  • Typically everything is made in-house, which includes sauces, dough, meatballs.

Detroit

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  • A pan pizza.
  • Uses brick cheese instead of mozzarella.
  • Cheese pushes to the edge of the pan and caramelizes.
  • Two racing stripes of tomato sauce only.

Tavern

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  • Also known as Chicago style thin.
  • Always square cut.
  • Cheese and sauce are pushed to the edge.
  • Thin and crispy, in some cases it’s almost saltine cracker thin.

Thin

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  • Wedge cut.
  • Crust is thicker than Tavern style, but not crispy.
  • Similar to New York style in terms of chewiness.
  • Not a pronounced heel (rise in the crust), an even height.

Neapolitan

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  • Lots of cheese and tomato sauce.
  • Three ingredients.
  • The dough resembles leopard spotting.
  • Wood burning oven with 850-900 degrees F.

New York

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  • Giant wedge.
  • Foldable with three fingers.
  • A little crispy underneath.
  • In Chicago, if you ask for sausage, it comes crumbled rather than in slices like New York.
  • There’s a lot more fennel and oregano in the sausages offered in Chicago.

Stuffed

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  • Has a thin, extra top layer of dough.
  • A lake of tomato sauce on top of that.
  • Great for cheese pulls.

Deep-Dish

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  • Two-inch height.
  • There’s a layer of mozzarella cheese on the bottom to protect the slice from getting soggy.
  • Chunky, strained tomatoes in the sauce.
  • Baked for 45 minutes.

Roman

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  • Essentially “Pizza Tapas”.
  • Cooked in long rectangular pans.
  • Two day fermentation of the dough.
  • Baked in a special handmade oven at 580 degrees.
  • Topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients — up to 60 flavors.

Sicilian

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  • Made in a shallow pan
  • Crunchy base.
  • The cheese and toppings cook for hours first before adding the sauce.
  • Served in squares.

Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town releases this upcoming September.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

5 Disgusting Recipes From The First Ever Celebrity Cookbook

Gordon Ramsay would blush

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Long before the introduction of the tomato to Europe, Italy had a reputation for being a gourmand’s paradise. One of the most important sources for understanding ancient epicures is the collection of recipes known as Apicius de re coquinaria (roughly, Apicius on cooking). Apicius, a wealthy Roman of the 1st century C.E. who reputedly killed himself rather than eat cheaper food once he ran out of money, has gone down in history as the first celebrity chef. It’s unlikely, however, that he personally wrote any of the recipes in the collection, which probably dates to three centuries after Apicius’ untimely demise.

Many of Apicius’ recipes remain appetizing today (I recently helped Leftovers History select and research one tasty example). But others are better left to the dustbin of history. Here are 5 Apician recipes that we’d rather not try.

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via Wikimedia

1. To Improve a Broth

If your reaction to noticing that your soup has spoiled to the degree that it stinks is to dump a bunch of spices in it and then serve it to your friends, please let me know so I can never ever eat at your house.

If a broth has contracted a bad odor, place a vessel upside-down and fumigate it with laurel and cypress and before ventilating it, pour the broth in this vessel. If this does not help matters and if the taste is too pronounced, add honey and fresh spikenard to it; that will improve it.

2. Vegetable and Brain Pudding

There’s nothing wrong with eating organ meat, and I’m not even a particularly picky eater. But 5-year-old me would have had a hell of a tantrum if my mom decided to serve this dish for dinner.

Take vegetables, clean and wash, shred and cook them, cool them off and drain them. Take 4 calf’s brains, remove strings and cook them in the mortar. Put 6 scruples (a type of measure) of pepper, moisten with broth and crush fine; then add the brains, rub again and meanwhile add the vegetables, rubbing all the while, and make a fine paste of it. Thereupon break and add 8 eggs. Now add a glassful of broth, a glassful of wine, a glassful of raisin wine, taste this preparation. Oil the baking dish thoroughly and place it in the oven and when it is done sprinkle with pepper and serve.

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via Wikimedia

3. For Birds that Smell Strongly

There’s some scholarly debate over what “goatish” means in this recipe—is it just birds with a gamey flavor? Many Classicists, however, think that this recipe told cooks how to cover up the stench of rotting fowl. 

For birds of all kinds that have a goatish smell, add pepper, lovage, thyme, dry mint, sage, dates, honey, vinegar, wine, broth, oil, reduced must, mustard. The birds will be more luscious and nutritious, and the fat preserved, if you envelop them in a dough of flour and oil and bake them in the oven. Alternately, stuff the inside with crushed fresh olives, sew them up, and thus cook, then retire the cooked olives.

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via Wikimedia

4. To Make Spoiled Honey Good as New

Honey can actually stay good for a crazy long time, but you really don’t want to mess around with it when things go wrong.

How bad honey may be turned into a saleable article is to mix one part of the spoiled honey with two parts of good honey.

5. To Clarify Muddy Wine

No thanks, I’m good.

Put bean meal and the whites of three eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whip and add to the wine, stirring for a long time. The next day the wine will be clear.

Written by Caroline Wazer // History Buff // Recipes adapted from Joseph Dommers Vehling’s 1926 translations // Feature image via Wikimedia