American Pizza vs. Italian Pizza – How Different are They, Really?

American Pizza vs. Italian Pizza – How Different are They, Really?

Many Americans think pizza is our thing, right up there with chicken nuggets, burgers and Coca Cola. If you want a quick but satisfying meal, the first thing that comes to mind is pizza. It’s the most ordered delivery food in the US.

But while the pizza has been embedded in our culture and way of life, it’s not actually an original American dish. Pizza is a classic Italian dish. It originated in Naples as a fast and tasty meal for working-class Neapolitans.

In the 1900s Italian migrants brought this dish to the United States, and in 1905, the first documented pizzeria was established, called G. Lombardi’s on Spring Street in Manhattan.

But one has to ask, are the pizzas from Italy and United States really different? A lot of people think all pizzas are the same but this is not true. Food connoisseurs would agree.

So let’s take a closer look at these two distinct pizza types and compare. Take note that we are only going to focus on genuine Italian and American pizzas.

1. Crust

Creating authentic Italian pizza dough is an art form that involves patience and high-quality ingredients. Italians let the dough rise for up to three days to achieve a light and fluffy texture. They also use “00” flour, a finely milled type, to create the thin, crispy crust characteristic of Neapolitan pizza.

In comparison, American-style pizza dough is made with various types of flour, including bread flour and all purpose flour, so it has a different texture and taste. Resting time is only a few hours.

2. Sauce

The sauce is another key difference. Authentic Italian pizza features a light sauce made from freshly picked tomatoes and garlic, offering a subtle, less spicy flavor. American pizza, however, tends to use a thicker, spicier sauce made from canned tomatoes.

3. Cheese

Italian chefs avoid using pre-grated cheese on their pizzas. Instead, they top their creations with fresh mozzarella di Bufala, made from buffalo’s milk. Italians often shred the cheese using their hands and then place them all over the pizza. The outcome is an uneven distribution of cheese, with some areas browned, giving it a nice pattern.

Often Americans use pre-shredded mozzarella. Or they shred the mozzarella using a cheese grater, allowing it to be spread evenly on the pizza. Another key difference when it comes to cheese is that American pizza contains all sorts of cheeses including Parmesan, Ricotta, Gorgonzola, Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano.

4. Toppings

American Pizzas offer different toppings like pineapples, beef, chicken, bacon, bologna, sausage, chili and mushrooms. Most of the toppings are either canned or processed. Even cheese is pre-shredded. But Italian Pizza toppings are always fresh, even the tomato sauce which they make by pureeing freshly picked tomatoes with some olive oil, garlic and salt. Moreover, most popular Italian pizzas only have tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, one topping (protein) and basil leaves.

5. Taste

As for taste, you can really savor the freshness of the tomato sauce and cheese in Italian pizzas. American pizzas have more flavor variations and are richer in taste.

6. Eating Style

One of the most obvious difference between American and Italian Pizzas is how you eat it. In Italy, pizza is served whole. You cannot get a slice. When ordering at a restaurant, they serve it whole and you are expected to cut it yourself using a knife and fork, and then eat it with your hands. In the US, you can order pizza by the slice and you eat it folded or eat it with a fork.

Differences Between Milan, Napoli and Roman-Style Pizzas

It’s easy to spot the differences between these three kinds of Italian pizzas. Milan-style pizza is covered with mozzarella cheese that has been melted and placed over tomato sauce and the chefs bake it like a souffle. Napoli-style pizza is made with a simple dough, tomato sauce (from crushed tomatoes), mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. On the other hand, Roman-style pizza is a rectangular or square-shaped pizza sauce, cheese, and various toppings placed on top of the dough.

Which Pizza Tastes Better?

When comparing Italian Pizza and American Pizza, deciding which one is better is subjective. Both pizzas have their good points and not-so-good points. Italian pizza has a more natural taste but some people find thin crust to be a little dry. American pizza has a variety of toppings so the flavor is rich but the amount of ingredients and the type of ingredients used can make the pizza unhealthy.

If you’re craving for some delicious American pizza, there are many options available. Better yet, why not go to a pizza buffet? Cicis offers an amazing deal on all-you-can-eat pizza. The Cicis Pizza buffet cost is only $8.99 and this already includes unlimited pizza, salad, pasta, soups and desserts.

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