There are several issues that divide Americans ranging from gun control to taxes to gay rights. However none may inspire more violent vitriol than a someone’s personal pizza preference. New Yorkers like their giant thin crust triangles. Chicagoans devour their several inches thick behemoth slices. But how does the rest of the world prepare this delicacy? Here’s 10 different ways pizza’s prepared around the globe.
Naples, Italy: Neapolitan
Legend has it that the modern pizza began in the late 1800s when a cook in Naples created three versions of the pie for Queen Margherita, who was visiting the city. She preferred the one topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves because it resembled the colors of the Italian flag. Thus the margherita pizza was born.
The Hungarians live up to their name with their version of the pizza, known as langos. They deep-fry flat bread and top it with sour cream, meat and garlic butter. Definitely not a pizza for people who enjoy non-clogged arteries.
Rome, Italy: Pizza Bianca
The Romans are never ones to follow in the footsteps of their Italian brethren, especially when it comes to pizza. Pizza Bianca does not have cheese or tomato sauce, which seems blasphemous to most Americans. Instead they drizzle dough in olive oil and coarse salt. Sounds delicious, but would probably inspire a revolt if served in America.
New York, NY: New York Style
When presented with any other form of pizza, New Yorkers will inevitably say, “Fuhgeddaboudit.” Similar to the Neapolitan recipe, the Big Apple likes their slices thin and crispy. Since 1905 this style’s been dominant in the city. All other pizzas can go home and get their shine box.
Chicago, IL: Deep Dish
The bigger the better when it comes to pizza in the City of Broad Shoulders. Thick crust, mountains of cheese, chunky tomatoes and, of course, lots of meat. It’s hard to walk anywhere in Chicago without running into one of the city’s famous pizza chains including Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s and Gino’s East.
Sicily, Italy: Sfincione
Apparently being separated from the Italian mainland meant Sicilians never learned pizzas are supposed to be circular. How do you cut triangles out of a square? Nothing too different about the Sfincione other than the shape. Topped with cheese, olive oil and breadcrumbs, Sicilians prefer their pizzas to be thinner than their American counterparts.
Lahmacun means “meat and dough” in Turkish, so take a guess how they prepare their pizza. Besides minced beef or lamb, Turks also like onions, herbs and tomatoes as toppings. So it’s basically a gyro prepared as pizza. How did Americans not think of this first?
Khachapuri’s similar to a calzone but with an egg added on top. Georgians stuff the dough with cheese then top it with the egg and butter. Finally, a pizza you can eat for breakfast that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.
Of course the birthplace of anime offers the weirdest version of pizza in the world. Japan threw the Italian recipe out the window. Instead of cheese and tomatoes, they use cabbage, pork, noodles and squid. Then they fry it in batter and top it off with an egg and Okonomiyaki sauce (similar to worcestershire). But the people love this bizarre creation. There’s even a theme park dedicated to Okonomiyaki, which is probably the most Japanese thing ever.
France: Tarte Flambee
If there’s an award for greatest ideas ever, the French deserve it for the Tarte Flambee. They take a thin crust topped with cheese, lardons and onions and then throw on the most epic ingredient ever devised: Bacon. There’s also dessert versions that use apples, cinnamon and sweet liqueur. So in France you can order pizza as two different courses. And people think the French are obsessed with health.