With a much thicker and deeper crust than New York-style pizza, a single serving can often fill you up. This makes Chicago pizza the best choice the next time you order food online for a group of friends at your local pizza delivery place. You can order less food to feed more people, thus saving money. Here now, chefs and restaurateurs Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro, Chicago), David Posey (Blackbird, Chicago), Mathieu Palombino (Motorino, New York) and Andrew Zimmern (AZ Canteen, Minneapolis) weigh in on the subject.
Is Chicago pizza really pizza? I think Jon Stewart pretty much hit the nail on the head when he had his blowout on the Daily Show. I've been living in Chicago for 15 years, so I feel like it's my adopted city because I grew up in the Navy, I've been to all 50 states and didn't really have a home. But I can easily say that, no matter how much pride and love I feel for Chicago, the deep-dish pizza here is absolutely an abomination. What is your definition of pizza? The idea with pizza for me is that less is more.
To be able to take a good dough, cover it with whatever is available at its maximum point and I know it sounds generic, I don't mean from farm to table and all that, but literally go back to Italy and, well, here's some tomato and basil, a little cheese, we'll put it in an oven at a billion degrees for a minute and then we'll take it out and that's it. Mozza in Los Angeles, we do it like once a week when we're shooting Masterchef. It's more or less what I compare with other things. And finally, what do you think of the whole debate? Should we stop calling Chicago Pizza pizza pizza? I don't know if they'll have to rework the terminology.
I think Chicago is proud of its tradition of deep plates because it's something we can say is ours. But, I repeat, from my point of view, it is like his own strange creation. Maybe it's because of the weather and you need something bigger and stronger or it was something just to be different, but yeah, I'm not a fan of the deep dish. Like I said, Chicago has great sausages, Italian meat, lots of food, it's not good for you or refined, but it's an important part of the dining scene here.
But pizza, yes, I don't like it very much. Is Chicago pizza really pizza? I don't think it's pizza, no. Why not? I really don't know why. I simply consider it more of a casserole.
It has all the ingredients of a pizza, but it doesn't look like a thin-crust pizza in the Neapolitan or Roman style. Well, what is the definition of pizza for you? For me, it has to be one thing, to have a small amount of ingredients, such as sauces and cheese. And I consider it portable, although I know that there are styles of pizza from Italy that are not portable. One is pizza; the other isn't.
Is Chicago pizza really pizza for you? To me, it looks more like a pie than a pizza. I don't think I've ever eaten a single serving. I'm sure it sells really well. I'm sure it's good, but I like Neapolitan pizza.
I like thin pizza, fresh out of the oven. I don't think there's much improvement in this. I suppose the deep plate is an evolution of pizza. I might like it a lot, who knows? Yes.
I mean, it's not for me to say that it shouldn't be called pizza. Some people call it Chicago-style pizza. If I go to Chicago, I'll definitely try it. I wouldn't dare say no, this isn't a pizza.
Because there are people who like it and like to do it. I really have to try it. What is the definition of pizza for you? For me, a pizza is a piece of dough covered with a little tomato, a little aromatic olive oil and a little strong pecorino and that is left on the floor of a very hot pizza oven for a few seconds. It goes from the raw phase of everything to the cooking phase in less than a minute.
That's my definition of what a pizza is. It's a beautiful thing in and of itself, pizza. The fact that it goes from being unborn and uncooked, to just one minute from being that thing that is alive. I can watch them go by all day.
From one second to the next, see what happens to the dough and those tomatoes. I don't think it's pizza; however, I think they should call it pizza, in the same way that melted burgers are also considered hamburgers. Why? I'm not sure there's much logic here. I only bring 52 years of deep reflection on this topic.
There is the Neapolitan pizza restaurant, which comes in a small format cut into small triangles; there is a larger format, the traditional street piece of New York, as we like to call it. For me, that's pizza, in the same way that something that is a pizza rolled in a half moon shape and baked isn't pizza; it's a calzone, despite having the same ingredients. My problem with Chicago-style pizza is that the deep plate thing is a pie. It's a tasty tomato and cheese pie.
I'm not a fan of the deep plate or dough experience. I think it's delicious on its own. For me, pizza is what they give me when I'm in New York or at several other restaurants that honor that tradition. My personal impression is that it just isn't pizza.
So there's no point in fighting that? I don't think it makes sense to fight against Nazi labeling. From a personal point of view, pizza is what I buy on the streets of New York or at my local pizza place here in Minneapolis. When I tell you pizza, I know what you're thinking. That's what I think in my mind.
It's like the Supreme Court's definition of pornography. I know it when I see it. Do you think that the people of Chicago, or at least those who sell deep plates, care about this debate? Not. I think they also love the fun of the discussion.
It always confuses me when people tell me how fantastic it is. I have eaten some deep-dish Chicago tarts that I liked more than others. The conventional one, I don't like the crust. Is it like a butterscotch cake, or is it too greasy.
Because of the way it is baked and takes so long, the nature of cheese changes. Why do you think this debate continues to arise? Because everyone in Chicago and New York loves to break their balls. My friends pricked me on skewers in New York and I'm in the sausage business. In fact, I sell sausages for a living.
Chicago is a better hot dog city than New York. People think it's sacrilegious to say it. There are more hot dog restaurants, I'm not talking about carts; I'm just talking about places to eat sausages per capita in Chicago than in any other city in the world, or something like that, that data. The Chicago-style dog doesn't bother me, because nothing will change there.
I'm a guy with sauerkraut and brown mustard on my hot dog. That's my way of eating them. But when I'm in Chicago, I love to eat a Chicago dog. It's just a different set of ingredients.
The Chicago pie versus a conventional New York pizza is a completely different product, so my personal point of view is that it's not pizza. If you want to call it that, you have the ingredients there. They can call it that, in the same way that melted hamburgers are hamburgers. Confectionists may be leaving restaurants, but that's not necessarily bad for the profession.
In terms of Chicago-style pizza, they tend to have more sauce compared to New York pizza. In addition, their sauce has a different texture. Chicago pizza sauce is thicker than typical pizza sauce, but not as thick as a traditional deep-dish pizza. New York-style pizza versus Chicago-style pizza There will always be an ongoing debate about which city has the best style of pizza in the U.S.
UU. New York- and Chicago-style pizzas are among the finalists. Both styles have a lot to show off. Both offer unique flavors and distinct characteristics.
Because deep plate pizza is much thicker, it can also be messy and is not the type of pizza that can be easily eaten on the go. From the fine New York style to the San Franciscan style cooked with wood, there is certainly something for everyone. Last fall, in a complaint about pizza that was heard around the world, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show chased Chicago's deep-dish pizza. Naturally, that sparked another round of debate in the great rivalry between New York and Chicago, when Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, sent Stewart a deep-dish pizza with dead fish.
However, Chicagoans have taken the concept of making pizza to a whole new level by filling a thick, crunchy dough with inverted layers of savory cheeses, meat and sauce. If you think that cheese is just the cheese on a pizza, you might be surprised to learn that the types of cheese on a pizza can have a big impact on its flavor. As much as sauce is the key element in determining the flavor of pizza, you don't want to select meats without paying attention. The famous New York pizza also tends to have more cheese than typical Neapolitan-American pizzas and uses low-moisture mozzarella instead of fresh.
The pizza is cooked in a deep cake pan so that it forms a delicious dough both freshly baked and even as a leftover. Although you won't add the sauce to the pizza until it's close to the end, you'll have to take your time to make it perfect. If you're making your own pizza sauce, add a little butter and olive oil to soften the peppers and onions. And, just this week, Eater Chicago asked some famous Chicago residents to talk about what they perceive to be New York's dismissive attitude toward Chicago pizza.