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American Pizzas

798px-2007-1019-PizzeriaUnoI’ve been trying to shed a few pounds (lose a little weight) after overindulging (eating too much) over the holidays in December. Maybe that’s why my mind has been turning to (focusing on) food so much lately.

When people think of “American food,” they often think of hamburgers and hot dogs. But in a country where nearly everyone is from somewhere else — whether it is the current generation or many generations ago — defining American food is difficult.

No one would say that pizza is an American food. But since the first pizza restaurant opened in New York City’s “Little Italy” neighborhood in 1905, pizza has developed in this country in a way that may not be recognizable (easy to identify) as a relative (belonging to the same family) to the original from Italy.

A few distinct (separate) types of pizza have developed here in the U.S. The two most well known are New York-style pizza and Chicago-style pizza.

New York-style pizza is a pizza that is large and has a thin crust (bottom and sides of the pizza made of a type of bread) that you can easily fold (bend) to eat it. People say that the difference between New York-style pizza and other American pizzas is the crust, which is hand-tossed (thrown in the air to shape) and is made with bread flour with high levels of gluten (a substance in wheat that makes bread stretchy or elastic).  Some people claim (say; believe) that the crust has a special flavor because the water in New York City has a lot of minerals (materials, like iron, that your body needs) that gives the pizza that special texture (feel and look) and taste.  Trying to sell New York-style pizza in other cities, some restaurants have even tried to transport New York City water across the country to be authentic (real; like the original).

Another popular type of pizza is the Chicago-style pizza, also called deep-dish pizza.  Deep-dish pizza has a crust like any pizza, but the crust is very thick and the sides come up two or three inches, and is usually higher than the level of the ingredients. The pizza is baked (cooked in the oven) in a round, steel (hard metal) pan with tall sides (see photo).  Since Chicago-style pizza is so thick, it looks almost more like a pie, than a traditional pizza.  This style of pizza is said (is believed) to have been invented (created) in Chicago in 1943 by the owner of a Chicago pizza restaurant.

These aren’t the only two types of American-style pizza, but they’re the most popular types.  I’ve had both kinds of pizza, in New York and in Chicago. So which do I prefer? I like them both. But then, I’ve had pizza in Italy, too, and I like that, too.  I guess I’m just a pizza fool (something who likes pizza a lot)!

~ Lucy

Photo Credit: 2007-1019-PizzeriaUno.jpg from Wikipedia

22 Responses to “American Pizzas”

  1. Antonio Carlos Says:

    I live in São Paulo where there are several pizzas, included stuffed crust, sweet pizza and ice-cream pizza.

  2. Peter Says:

    My dear professor Lucy,

    So ,you a pitza lover.
    I don’t mind pitza ,but it is not like I m crazy about it.
    I m more into fresh vegetables and fruit. I love stake salmon though with a side salad on a plate garnished by parsley. I m telling you , I love the dish as much as u love a pizza pie.
    Not to the contrary, but I think Pizza is a bit too greasy for my taste. Still,if you don’t indulge in it,in other words,if you keep moderate , there is nothing wrong with nibbling a slice of a thick raised-crust pizza.:)))
    As a matter of fact , I had heard a lot of fuss about MewYork style pizza. Consequently , Once , I was there I tried it just to quench my curiosity.
    Let me tell you , three is nothing special about this specific kind of pizza, but the size. It is huge!!
    it has the regular toppings you find on a typical pizza in other places through out the world.
    I will give it that , though,the crust tastes differently.
    you know ,it has a acquired taste. At First ,I wasn’t really crazy about the taste of the crust. it tasted , to me, a tad stale.
    I m telling you it was an effort to eat just one style. In fact, it turned my stomach ,but I pushed through and keep on eating . Eating my way through half a pizza,I started to like the taste.
    It is like sushi ; it has an acquired test.

    I heard a thing or two about Washington-style pizza too. My brother traveled down there last year, for pleasure not for business. They went to see the tree blooms that blossom every year in a certain time of the year and they are around just for two it three weeks. The blooming period in Washington is one of the major tourist attraction of the city . I believe , the time is the first of spring.
    However, they went there to see the tree blooming . I mean that was their original plan. But apparently , while there , they tried Washington-style pitza to see what the fuss is all about. Well,my brother and his wife loved the tasty experience. Later on ,when he got back home. He went on and on yakking about how amazing the pizza taste. He said and I quote ” It is like you have a taste of heaven in your mouth.
    he said that he didn’t eat anything for 24 hours after he was done with a large pizza pie just to keep the after taste.
    Well, truth to be told, they were running out of money , so they couldn’t go pizza bingeing agin. :)))
    He totally intrigued me to go get some pizza in Washington. But , the thing is ,although I trust my brother’s judgment , i m on the fence if it is worth the hassle of traveling.
    But , I will tell you one thing , if it happens that i m down there once , I will definitely go for it.
    Here , in Canada,is exactly the same as U.S. people are from 4 corners of the world . You pretty much find all different kinds of ethnic cuisines anywhere from Chinese to French.
    There is one more thing that I think is peculiar to Toronto is that one can find a Wide range rather spectrum of all u can eat (buffet) restaurant in every foot category you can think of.
    Tie ,Chinese,French , japonica , Italian , thy land , and so on.

    I didn’t try all of them,and I m not gluttonous by any measure. But , I more often than not , find myself in a candle-lit, romantic Italian restaurant with a beautiful girl to match ;))

    Yours
    Pete

  3. HILARIO Says:

    THE SECRET IS IN THE DOUGH.- This’s been the successful infomercial slogan of one of the Spanish manufacturers for pre made pizza dough. The product label says, that the dough is gluten free. Generally, rich contents in gluten are making the food more savoury but it results fatal for your health in the long run according to doctors, because of the infamous free radicals.
    The Italian version of pizza must be taken as reference no doubt. And it is made from low gluten content wheat, or hard wheat as they call it. It’s the same raw material used for spaghetti and thus, the NY-style pizza is more or less the same as the original Italian-style. In Italy the high standard is the Napoles-style. By the way, same as it happens with the fine olive-oil bottled in Italy and then sold in the US, most, if not all of it, of the hard wheat used by the Italians for their spaghetti&pizza business has been grew and cropped in Spain, as it has been from roman times. As far as the Chicago-style it looks much more like a pie, indeed, and it’s like a field day for those who love cheese, because they’re putting on it lots of cheap cheese with tons of caseine.

  4. Dan Says:

    Thanks Lucy.

    Think guys that I am not having a pizza for, kind of two years.
    Why? I do not know that myself.
    The same with ice cream. My last one was years ago.

    Lucy came and live for a while with me.. I’ll make you loose weight
    in no time. I am 64 kg.

    Thanks.

  5. Dan Says:

    Sorry, I meant ” come”

  6. emiliano Says:

    Sorry Lucy, I can´t say anything about pizzas as I don´t use to eat them frequently.
    Why?. Well it could be just because I don´t go out from home for months.

    I like to have my meals at home, so pizzas or other kind of food like that?.
    No, I don´t know how to cook.

    Hi Dan, I could say the same to Lucy it is sure that with my meals she
    could be slim in a month only.

    Bye friends.

    emiliano

  7. sutisha Says:

    Dear Lucy,

    I cannot say that I am a pizza lover, but on some busy day working until late in the afternoon,
    one large piece of hot, good smelling Hawaiian pizza and a glass of ice tea really revive me.
    Gaining weight easily and losing that excessive seemingly harder limit my craving for this
    wide-reaching nosh. Lucy, have you ever taste pizza in Bombay, India? The taste and smell
    are real Indian. And if you happen to visit Bangkok, don’t forget to try spicy Tom Yum Koong.

    Sincerely,
    sutisha

  8. sutisha Says:

    Dear Lucy,

    I mean Tom Yum Koong pizza.

    sutisha

  9. Giovanni Says:

    Hi there, here is my pizza.
    Hilario is right when says that the secret is in the dough.
    The dough is made with very simple ingredients: flour, salt, olive oil, water, sugar and yeast, it’s very easy, isn’t? You can find a lot of recipes to made your dough at home, so where’s the hardest part?
    In my experience is to find the right amount of water. Whatever your recipe says, the amount of water changes in function of the type of flour you’re using. So you have to try several times in order to get the right quantity, and then never change the type of flour. If you are using too little water the dough will be too rough and you wont be able to flatten it in the right way. If you are using too much water the dough will be too gummy and gluey and/or it’ll rise too much during the fermentation.

    Second tip: don’t try to mix and knead the ingredients by hand, it’s really hard and heavy. I use a bread maker, of course using the “dough option” which means the dough won’t be baked , the machine will only perform several cycles of kneading and rising. Be careful to the rising cycle: the dough could get out of the machine, so if you have a lot of dough you must remove it and let it rise in another place.

    Greetings

    Giovanni

  10. Giovanni Says:

    to made = to make

  11. Betty Says:

    Lucy is a pizza fool! Me too!

    ************

    Dear Lucy,

    What can I say!

    I admire pizzas. I love to watch people hand-toss pizza. I really want to try it one day. This should be on the list of my ‘Try Before I Die’.

    I truly love reading all your students’ messages above. Every one of them are so inspiring. What can I say!

    ************

    One of the most important ingredients in pizza is cheese. I heard the word ‘cheesy’ a lot specially when my son was watching football on the TV.

    Today, reading your pizza story and reading all the interesting messages from our dear friends above prompted me to search online to find out the meaning of ‘cheesy’.

    May I quote the meaning of cheesy from “urbandictionary.com”?

    By the way, don’t consult this dictionary without due vigilant. In my opinion this place has a lot of cheesy material. I do apologize if I have offended anyone or any organization.

    Here is the one of the explanations of “cheesy” from the “urbandictionary.com”.

    “This is an important word and nobody has it right yet. What it means is: Trying too hard, unsubtle, and inauthentic.
    Specifically that which is unsubtle or inauthentic in its way of trying to elicit a certain response from a viewer, listener, audience, etc. Celine Dion is cheesy because her lyrics, timbre, key changes, and swelling orchestral accompaniment telegraph ‘i want you to be moved’ instead of moving you. Gold chains on an exposed hairy chest are cheesy because they shout out: “I have money and I am manly” instead of impressing a woman in a more subtle way, or allowing a woman to form her own judgments. The excessive showing off suggests he’s compensating for what he does not have–i.e., he’s actually poor, insecure, or short with an inferiority complex. Cliches are often cheesy because they are an obvious and artless way of making a point. A movie might be cheesy if it contains ‘on the nose’ dialogue, like “I can’t live without you” or “You had me at hello.”
    Cheesiness is subjective. What seems cheesy to me, may be a legitimate and attractive hairstyle to you. What seems cheesy to me, may cause you to weep and hug your girlfriend tight”.

    Thanks Lucy, thanks all my dear friends, thanks all pizza makers, you have made my day.

    Best regards

    Betty :)

  12. Peter Says:

    Oh, guys
    All this talking about pizza made me want it.
    I picked up a large pizza pie on the way home.
    Now ,all I do is to slide it into the oven and the oven does the rest. My only duty is to rest my legs after a long day at work.
    I like pizza when it is goldish on the outside and well-cooked on the inside. A 20 minutes inside the oven would do it.

    Whey are you having tonight Lucy ?;))

    I believe ,at least, half of the population of eslpod have pizza tonight :)))

    Way to go sis , ur plan backfired. You brought up pizza to talk about dieting and loosing weight. Guess what , we all gaining some weight tonight :)))

    You know ,I got mine with extra cheese :))) yammy

    I m wondering if we got Jeff too :)))

    Yours
    Pete

  13. Betty Says:

    Hi Giovanni

    Your idea that Verdi wanted to use women to communicate by passing the word = Jeff wants to use Lucy to communicate by passing the word.

    Am I right?

    Your English is very good. Didn’t they say “There is a will, there is a way?”

    Congratulations, Giovanni, you are achieving your goal.

    Hope I don’t sound too cheesy.

    Best Regards

    Betty :)

  14. Betty Says:

    Sorry, I meant the TV program commentators used the word “cheesy” a lot.

  15. parviz Says:

    Dear Lucy,
    thank you very much for interesting topic, that make two of us.
    I don’t want to make you feel I am an epicure. But your professional description of Pizza make me drool. I can not remember where and whatever types of pizza I have ever taken, eating New york and Chicago Pizzas is out of the question.
    luckily, I don’t have that kind of problem you said with your weight. despite eating very much,I never add a bit.

    wish you luck

  16. parviz Says:

    Dear Lucy,
    And one more thing, I want to express my deep gratitude for the time and effort you guys put into this program.
    I insist the great God on giving you whatever amount of happiness, success and HEALTH you endeavor.
    no where else could we find such a solid program to improve our English skills.

    to your happiness

  17. Peter Says:

    Dear Betty,
    We see totally eye to eye on this one. I have the same desire rather willing to flip the thoug up into the air. There is this famous pizza chain restaurants throughout Canada called Pizza Pizza.in fact ,it mushroomed rapidly over the past decades. Almost in every neighbor hood ,even at pit stops along intercity highways you can find one or two Pizza Pizza restaurants. Literally , thy are at every corner. I m guessing the reason for the rapid growth is the constant North American love affair with Pizza:))))
    You know , they just need an excuse to either order in a stack of pizza pie:) ,or have at it at a local restaurant. U know , the day before every major hockey game all the pizza parlor owners across GTA(Greater Toronto Area) have their happy dance since they know for fact that they goona rake it in (make a lot of money ) in the hockey eve:))))
    Why do North Americans want an excuse to wolf down a large pizza pie? Well , my guess is as good as yours.
    But , I m guessing it is calorie related. I mean the pizza calorie content makes them feel guilty:)))
    See, affinity to pizza is not limited to Lucy. Here , almost everybody is a pizza fool!

    I myself a sucker for a thick crust pizza with extra cheese and a Creamy Garlic dip on the side.well,between you and me , it is my little guilty pleasure.

    What is yours ?

    Yours,

    The hollow leg :))

  18. sutisha Says:

    Hi, Pizza Fools !!!,

    Overindulge .. Fools do …
    Then pound by pound Fools gain,
    After mouthful piece by piece
    Somewhat hard to relinquish
    Why nearly all kinds scrumptious
    Seem to unify paradise and nightmare.

  19. Betty Says:

    Scrumptious are sutisha’s poems.

    Very good, thank you sutisha.

    I am not familiar with English poems so I assume you wrote the poem above yourself.

    Lucy once said if you are good at your mother language, the chances are you will be good at your second language as well.

    You must be someone extraordinarily good at your own language.

    I wonder, is English your first language?

    I am honored to meet you here.

    Look forward to learning more and more good English from you everyday.

    Best Regards

    Betty :)

  20. Eugene Says:

    I just ate an entire large pizza! I am sick!!!

    P.S. You guys are awesome!

  21. sutisha Says:

    Dear Betty,

    How cordially genial you are!
    To entitle ‘scrumptious’ as poem.

    Replicate Lucy’s creation I did,
    As the two first lines of hers.

    I find myself feel free to write
    In here … heartfelt parlor …

    And me too Betty, I am honored
    To meet you and all nice guys.

    English is my second language
    It’s definitely true.

    When young at age,
    Books are genuine friends.

    School library was an emaciated
    Bookworm’s home sweet home.

    I’m so grateful of all
    You have been concerned.

    Thank you, Lucy

    sutisha

  22. sutisha Says:

    Dear Betty and Lucy.

    I made a big mistake!!!!

    It should be “Thank you Betty.”

    I have to apologize to both of you!!!

    sutisha