Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Facts!
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This Fun Fact Page is in honor of all National Pizza Holidays!

"Chicago-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza style developed in Chicago. Chicago-style pizza has a buttery crust up to three inches tall at the edge, slightly higher than the large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce, acting as a large bowl. The term also refers to "stuffed" pizza, another Chicago style. The great majority of Chicago pizzerias serve thin-crust pizzas, most in a style characteristic to the city, but the term Chicago-style pizza generally refers to deep-dish styles."

"The Chicago-style "deep-dish" pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno, in Chicago, in 1943, reportedly by Uno's founder Ike Sewell, a former University of Texas football star. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno's original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the recipe."

"The pizza begins with a simple, thick layer of dough (made with olive oil and cornmeal) that is laid into a deep round pan and pulled up the sides, then parbaked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring; the pan is oiled heavily in order to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. The crust is covered with cheese (generally sliced mozarella) and covered with meats, usually in a solid layer, or patty, just above the crust, Italian sausage (a Chicago staple), as well as vegetables such as onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. A sauce, usually uncooked, of crushed or pureed tomatoes is added. It is finished with a grated cheese blend. About a pound of cheese is used. Deep-dish pizza is sometimes eaten with a knife and fork, since its thick gooeyness can make it messy to eat with the fingers."

"Another deep-dish restaurant is Uno's companion restaurant Due, which was opened down the block by Sewell in 1955. However, a year before, in 1954, the Original Gino's Pizza, located on Rush Street opened, and 12 years later in 1966, Gino's East opened. Lou Malnati's was founded by another of Rudy Malnati's sons."

"In 1972, the Chicago Tribune reported that a steakhouse chain called "Gulliby's at S.O.P." offered "pub dining rooms that feature deep-dish pizza and sandwiches."

"Chicago deep-dish pizza is famous throughout the world. Accordingly, many Chicago deep-dish pizza restaurants will ship their pizzas, partially baked, within the continental U.S."

Stuffed pizza
"By the mid-1970s, two Chicago chains, Nancy's Pizza, founded by Rocco Palese, and Giordano's Pizza began experimenting with deep dish pizza and created the stuffed pizza. Palese based his creation on his mother's recipe for scarciedda, an Italian Easter pie from his hometown of Potenza.. The Giordano brothers worked for Rocco as cooks and split off on their own in the early 70's. Chicago Magazine articles featuring Nancy's Pizza and Giordano's stuffed pizza popularized the dish."

"Stuffed pizzas are often even taller than deep-dish pizzas, but otherwise, it can be hard to see the difference until it is cut into. A stuffed pizza generally has much higher topping density than any other type of pizza. As with deep-dish pizza, a thin layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added. Then, an additional layer of dough goes on top and is pressed to the sides of the bottom crust."

"At this stage, the thin dough top has a rounded, domed appearance. Pizza makers often tear a small hole in the top of the "lid" to allow air and steam to escape while cooking, so that the pizza does not explode and injure the pizza maker, and also to allow the sauce to permeate the pie. Pizza sauce is ladled over the top crust and the pizza is baked."

Pan pizza
"Pan pizza in Chicago is similar to the deep-dish style, and baked in a similar deep-sided pan, but its crust is quite thick -- a cross between the buttery crisp crust and focaccia. Toppings and cheese frequently go on the top of a pan pizza, rather than under the sauce as is traditionally the case with deep-dish and stuffed pizza. The placement of the cheese and toppings on top make the pan pizza variety similar to a thin-crust pizza with a thicker and larger crust.

Thin-crust pizza
"There is also a thin-crust pizza unique to Chicago, generally described as such, but sometimes referred to as "flat" pizza. The crust is thin and firm enough to have a noticeable crunch, yet unlike a New York-style pizza, it is thick enough to be soft and doughy on the top."

"Chicago style thin-crust pizza is common throughout the midwestern-USA as well as Winnipeg, Canada. Casa Bianca, located in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, is also well known for this style."

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Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article cookbook/ and other related pages. Top photo: Chicago-style_pizza.jpg / A Chicago-style deep-dish pizza as served by w:Zachary's Pizza at 5801 College Avenue in Oakland, California, USA
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Pictured: A Chicago-style deep-dish pizza
"Also occasionally called Chicago-style after its birthplace, this crust is made to be dense and requires a pan with high sides to bake. Deep Dish-style pizzas are meant to be thick, layered, filling pizzas, so the crusts are spread all along the bottom and sides of a cake pan to help contain the toppings."
Photo Source: L. W. Yang
"The crust is topped with a liberal quantity of Italian style tomato sauce, which is usually quite herbal or highly spiced, and typically contains no visible chunks of tomato. Next, a layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese. This pizza is cut into squares, also known as party cut, as opposed to a pie cut into wedges. However, the consistency of the crust and the quantity and choice of the tomato sauce and cheese are what separate this style from East Coast- and Roman-style pizzas, and it makes the pizza from most neighborhood pizzerias immediately distinguishable from that offered by national chains such as Papa John's or Pizza Hut."
Sassafras Deep Dish Pizza and Pie Baker
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