What is the difference between Italian Pizza vs American Pizza?

If you’re a pizza lover, you’ve probably had both Italian and American pizza. They are indeed two of the most popular types of pizzas in the world. But how can you tell the difference between the two?

While they may both be made with dough, tomato sauce, and cheese, there are some key differences that set them apart. In this guide, we’ll show you how to tell the difference between Italian pizza and American pizza, and navigate you through the history of pizza in the States.

How America created its own version of the Italian pizza

Pizza was first created in Naples, and it wasn’t until the late 1800s that it made its way to America. At first, pizza was only popular among Italian immigrants in large cities like New York and Chicago. But it wasn’t long before Americans started to create their own version of the dish.

Pizza started to be popular in the States in the early 1900s. At that time, there were two types of pizzas: those made by Italian immigrants, and those made by Americans. The difference between the two was mainly in the dough. Italian pizza dough is thin and crispy, while American pizza dough is thick and chewy.

As time went on, Americans began to experiment with different toppings and sauces. Now, American pizza is drastically different from authentic Italian pizza, and every ingredient can change from the traditional recipe.

So what, are the main differences between American pizza and Italian pizza?

Italian pizza vs American Pizza : the main differences

The difference in the crust

As we’ve mentioned, the dough is one of the main things that sets Italian and American pizza apart. Italian pizza dough is made with flour, water, salt, and yeast. It’s then rolled out very thin and cooked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature. This results in a crispy crust that’s not too thick or doughy.

American pizza dough, on the other hand, is made with flour, water, salt, yeast, and sugar. The sugar makes the dough rise more, resulting in a thicker crust that’s soft and chewy. It’s then cooked in a metal pan at a lower temperature.

The difference in the toppings

Another key difference between Italian and American pizza lies in the choice of the toppings. Traditional Italian pizza is usually topped with a simple combination of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and olive oil. This is the most authentic Italian Pizza called Margherita Pizza. Some popular variations include the addition of anchovies, mushrooms, or ham.

American pizza, on the other hand, is often loaded with toppings. Common toppings include pepperoni like in the Detroit Pizza, sausage, onions, peppers, and olives. Often times, there will be multiple toppings on one pizza. And while cheese is still a common ingredient, it’s not used as liberally as it is in Italy.

The difference in the sauce

The sauce is another area where Italian and American pizza differ. Italian pizza sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. It’s then cooked for a long period of time to allow the flavors to meld together.

American pizza sauce is also made with tomatoes, but it often contains additional ingredients like onions, peppers, and herbs. It’s not cooked for as long, so it has a brighter flavor.

The difference in the cheese

Finally, the cheese is different on Italian and American pizza. Italian pizza is typically made with mozzarella, which is a soft, white cheese. American pizza is often made with cheddar or pepper Jack, which are both harder cheeses. Usually American pizza is also more salty because of the addition of these cheeses.

The difference in the cooking method

The last major difference between Italian and American pizza is the cooking method. As we mentioned, Italian pizza dough is cooked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature. In Italian restaurants, pizza is cooked for approximately 60-90 seconds in a pizza oven, between 800 and 900 degrees Farenheit (426 to 482 degrees Celsius). You can’t get that hot in your home oven, but the higher you can go, the better.

American pizza, on the other hand, is cooked in a metal pan at a lower temperature. This creates a softer crust that’s not as crispy. The cooking time is also longer, usually around 10-12 minutes.

So what’s best? Italian Pizza or American Pizza?

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which type of pizza you prefer. Both Italian and American pizza have their own unique flavor and texture. If you’re looking for a traditional pizza experience, then you’ll want to go for an Italian pizza. But if you’re looking for something a little different, then an American pizza might be more up your alley.

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Hi there! My name is Estelle Ducommun. I’m a French foodie who is not afraid to admit that Italian cuisine is out-of-this-world! I love how simple, yet delicate and delicious some Italian recipes can be. I hope I can share a few recipes with you here, and maybe some fun facts about pasta and pizza that you might not know. Let’s get cooking!

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