A Slice of Pizza Heaven

1 year ago

Happy Pizza Day everyone!

Pizzas go beyond the usual cheese, tomato sauce, and crust. Learn the different ways America has transformed and adapted this Italian classic as their very own.



Produced by Regine Paola Velilla and Yllaine Sabenecio

Additional photos courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen


Pizza was invented to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. When you want to share something with your family for an afternoon merienda, you grab the phone and punch in the number of your favorite pizza place. If you’re with a group for a study session or a meeting, pizza is the first thing that comes to mind when you guys want to have a work break because you don’t have to use both of your hands to eat. The “cheese pull” you get while watching pizza commercials will make you salivate, tempting you to order one.

There’s just something about the classic combination of crust, tomato sauce, and cheese that makes pizza so irresistible. When the turn of the century Italian immigrants reached America, pizza was introduced and became widely popular with the Americans. In time, their migration gave birth to the different adaptations and interpretations of this beloved dish across North America. Pizza may be Italian origin but its US fanbase makes it as “American as apple pie.” Here are just some of America’s takes on this beloved dish.




Brought into The Big Apple by Gennardo Lombardi in 1905, the New York-style pizza is an offshoot of the Neapolitan, though they differ in cooking technique. Thin and a bit sloppy, NY-style pizzas are cooked in coal ovens, giving it a distinct charred crust. One or two toppings (usually pepperoni) are allowed, although some say that authentic NY-style pizzas use only cheese.

Find it at Brooklyn Pizza in San Antonio Village, Makati, SnR, Yellow Cab, Pizza Warehouse in Glorietta 3




We have the American pizza fanaticism to thank for the Neapolitan. It was introduced in America shortly after World War II, when Italian immigrants brought it to the stateside. It’s foldable and sparse in toppings like the Italian Napoletana but the wood oven-baked “American” Neapolitan is distinguished by its all over crispiness–very different from the Napoletana which is soft and moist in the middle.

Find it at Motorino in BGC and Bobo’s in Maginhawa


Chicago Deep Dish


The pizza alter ego of the lasagna, this indulgent pizza was believed to be first served at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in the 1940s. The pizza is baked in a deep pie pan and unlike traditional pizzas, its sweet tomato sauce is poured last, over the cheese and the sausages. Some pizzerias put another layer of buttery dough on top.

Find it at Sbarro’s and Luca’s Corner in Parañaque



Peking Duck Pizza

California pizza is a cross between the Neapolitan and New York-style and uses a variety of fresh produce and seasonal ingredients as toppings (like spinach and artichokes). It is also dubbed as the “healthier” pizza by New Yorkers, who are used to the “greasier” NY-style. It was invented in the 1980 by Chef Ed LaDou and later popularized by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

Find it at California Pizza Kitchen



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Who isn’t familiar with the Hawaiian? With its sweet pineapple and savory ham bits that top the tomato sauce and cheese-laden crust, pizza lovers either love or hate this variety. You may be surprised that Hawaiian pizza did not originate in Hawaii. In fact, it was actually invented in Canada by a Greek-Canadian restaurant owner named Sam Panapolous.

Find it at Chelsea Kitchen, Project Pie, and Friuli Trattoria in Maginhawa, Quezon City


Detroit-Style/Sicilian/Party Pizza


This giant, dought square cut pizza is Michigan’s answer to Chicago’s deep dish. Invented by Gus Guerra in 1946, Detroit-style pizza is Sicilian in origin and has a thick and bready crust with crunchy edges. It is lighter and chewier than its Chicago counterpart and is cheesy all the way to the edge of the crust.

Find a similar pizza at Papa John’s


Other American Pizza Varieties

St. Louis – This pizza is similar to the New York-style but uses Provel cheese, which is a combination of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses instead of the regular mozzarella.

New England Greek – This pizza, a cross between the Chicago deep dish and New York-style, is found in Greek-owned restaurants in New England, Maine. It has the distinct crunch of the New York style and is also a deep-dish kind of pizza though not as deep as its Chicago counterpart. Though usually it doesn’t have any Mediterranean influence aside from the fact that it’s usually served in Greek restaurants, some restaurants opt to add olives and feta cheese to add a Greek element.

Dollar-slice – This pizza is a budget street meal alternative in NYC especially for those people on the go. Since this is considered street food, expect it to be a lot cheaper than the ones being sold in restaurants. Some people don’t mind because it’s filling even though quality is somewhat compromised; by hey, you get what you pay for.

Apizza/New Haven – Commonly found in New Haven, Connecticut, these pizzas are irregularly-shaped with its signature charred (not burnt) edges. You may have it with “mootz” or “no mootz” (referring to the mozzarella cheese), leaving just the sauce.

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