Nun sò mai a stessa cosa
(They're never the same thing)


True Pizza is Neapolitan. Pizza from the nearby city of Salerno is 99% identical to the Neapolitans, but I would say they are slightly more cooked. All other pizzas are different styles, created either as a failed copy of the original or an intentional spin.

Pizza Al Taglio

(Pizza by the cut - found mostly in Rome, Italy)

While Neapolitans will never consider this pizza, Roman Pizza is still very good if viewed as a variation. The typical Roman Pizza can be cooked in either wood fired ovens or even electric ovens. The pizza is made into long rectangular shapes and the customer is asked how much they would like, while the pizza maker cuts the requested size off with a scissor. The pizza is weighed on a scale and charged by weight. Sometimes the pizzas are cut, folded on top of each other similar to a sandwich, and slipped into a napkin pocket usually made of paper. Pizze Al Taglio are usually Take Away products.

In Rome, you can also find pizzas made whole and round as found in Naples, however these can never be as good as the true pizzas and are generally thinner and crispier. In Rome, Pizza Napoletana is made with tomatoes, mozzarella, and anchovies and oddly can be called Pizza alla Romana in Naples.

Pizza Al Trancio

Pizza Al Trancio is essentially the same as Pizza Al Taglio and means “by the slice”. Usually, Pizze Al Trancio are not as thin as the Roman Pizza Al Taglio and can be slightly fluffier.

Pizza Al Libretto (Al Portafoglio)

Similar to Pizza al Taglio, in that the square or rectangular shaped pizza is cut and the pieces are folded on top of each other resembling a sandwich or in this case a “libretto” (little book) or “portafoglio” (wallet).

Pizza a Metro (Pizza alla Pala)

Pizza “by the meter” is a very long, rectangular pizza with rounded edges that is similar to Pizza Al Taglio except it is cooked on the floor of a wood fired oven and not in a pan. It can also be called Pizza alla Pala and is popular on the Sorrento Peninsula. The word “Pala” means pizza peel, the flat wooden or metal board with a long handle that is used to slide pizzas in and out of the oven.

Pizza Bianca

A Roman flatbread brushed with olive oil, salt and sometimes rosemary. Practically, a flatter focaccia. Not to be confused with Pizza Bianca served in Neapolitan Pizzerias, which are pizzas that are tomato sauce-less, just cheese.

Pizzolo

A round pizza found in Sicily, which is similar to a stuffed Focaccia. On the outside it is brushed with oil and topped with salt and pepper, oregano, and grated Parmigiano. It is then stuffed with cured meats, cheese, and greens.

Also found in a dessert form when stuffed with either figs, pistachio cream, Nutella, or ricotta and honey.

Pissaladiera

A Pizza from Liguria made with onions, anchovies, tomatoes, garlic, and black olives. It is also called Pizza all'Andrea and in France is known as Pissaldiere.

Sicilian

Sicilian-Style Pizza is baked in a rectangular pan and has a thicker crust than true Neapolitan Pizza.

Sfincione

A Sicilian with anchovies, breadcrumbs, onions, and cheese (optional).

There is also a Sfincione di San Vito, which is similar to a calzone and filled with pork, sausage, and cheese.

Pizzetta

Literally means “little pizza” and is similar to a Sicilian but not as thick. Usually can be found at take away pizzerias.

Pizza e Fuie

A variation of pizza made in Molise, which is made with corn flour and topped with greens such as escarole, dandelions, and broccoli di rapa.

Focaccia

I mention this bread because many times it may be confused with pizza. Focaccia is loved all over Italy but is very popular in Rome and especially Liguria, where the locals call it “Fugassa”. Focaccia comes from the Latin word “focus” and was originally cooked in a fireplace (focolare). In Ancient Rome, it was called “panis focacius”

Focaccia is a flatbread, which is usually brushed with olive oil, and topped with sea salt. Typically, rosemary is stuffed into the slits of the dough prior to baking. These slits are created for the purpose of preventing bubbling on the bread's surface during baking. Sometimes, dots are used instead of slits. It can be thin when made with no yeast or fluffy when yeast is added. Many times, Focaccia is topped with onions (con le Cipolle) or olives. Focaccia is usually eaten by itself as a snack or even as an accompaniment to soups and salads.

Many of the small towns on the coast of Liguria boast different and equally famous Focaccia. One famous example is the Focaccia col Formaggio, which hails from the town of Recco and is made of 2 pieces of thin dough with a middle of Stracchino cheese. This least resembles the “typical” Focaccia. Focaccias can range in look and taste like the ones from Camogli, which have the texture of biscuits to the Focaccia of Voltri, which is soft and oily.

In other parts of Italy, such as Puglia, you can find Foccacia alla Barese, which is made with tomatoes and olives. In Tuscany, you will encounter Schiacciata, which means “squashed” and is made either as a regular flatbread or sweet with grapes. Sometimes it is called Ciaccia. In Rome, Pizza Bianca is very popular among locals and is essentially a flatbread brushed with olive oil, salt, and sometimes rosemary. It is practically a flatter focaccia. Some Romans love to eat it with figs and call it Pizza e Fichi. This flatbread is not to be confused with Pizza Bianca served in Neapolitan Pizzerias, which are pizzas that are tomato sauce-less, just cheese.

Across Italy, there are also sweet Focaccias topped with Nutella or the Focaccia from Veneto, which is typically eaten at Easter time. This sweet Focaccia Veneta is made with eggs and sugar. Some people add raisins or honey.

New York Style Pizza

If you are able to not call this pizza and view it as something else, New York style pizza can be quite good. I like to say there are 3 types of New York Pizzas. First, there are the “old school” pizzerias like Lombardi's, Patsy's, Totonno's, Grimaldi's, John's of Bleeker Street (among a few others), which use coal ovens. Second there are the few (whichever remain) walk-in Pizzerias like Joe's of Carmine Street. Third, there are the other dumps, or even nice places, that make pizza so bad, a starving coyote lost in Wyoming would not eat.

The first category (Lombardi's etc) makes what seems to be the closest -- yet still far -- thing to true pizza. Made in coal burning ovens, the pizzas are presented as a whole pie, which seem to be “drier” and not as fluffy as Neapolitan Pizza. I generally like these pizzas and enjoy them on days when I seek a nostalgic retreat to the old New York, decades before I was ever born.

The second category (Joe's of Carmine, Vinny Vincenz, and a few others) are those few walk in pizzerias left in New York that make another good type of New York Style Pizza. At some of these types of places pizza could be (or at least used to be) ordered from a window. These places serve gas oven pizzas by the slice. Again, if you view these foods as something else and not pizza, they can be considered good. These places tend to add a bit too much cheese. Believe it or not, I usually prefer eating Sicilian slices (if made right) at these places instead of regular slices. Sicilians come out better in gas ovens than “pizzas”, but that is only if it passes the look-test first.

The third category includes the rest of the bunch, the 98%. Some even dare to sell “pizza”, beef patties, and chicken wings all under the same roof !!! I can only say these places should be used to exile the world's worst criminals. Whoever eats at these places should immediately have their Constitutional rights revoked. These are the places that put toppings such as pasta (yes, pasta), chicken, or pineapple among other disgraces.

Chicago Style Pizza

I have never been to Chicago so it is unfair to truthfully comment on it, though I have eaten Chicago style Pizza in New York. I must say there is no need for this product. It's like mushy pound cake with sauce on it. I see no need to eat this hearty dish unless I were a barbarian who just came back from battle and need to eat something stuffy to fill up before the next trek to fight in the mountains.

California Style Pizza (AKA Gourmet Pizza)

All I need to say is that these pizzas have as one of many sacrilegious toppings, barbeque sauce. Enough said.

Grilled Pizza

This new age idea misses the point that the dough has to be chewy yet crisp.

Tarte Flambèe

A specialty of Alsace that is usually topped with onions, cheese, and sometimes bacon.

The word “tarte” or “galette” can be used to describe a flat tart or cake. Some galette can be made to resemble pizza such as the Galette de Perouges. Galette “pizzas” tend to be crispier than true pizza.

Greek Pizza

There are 2 kinds:

One is a pizza with Greek toppings such as Feta cheese and Kalamata Olives.

The second is a thick-crust, pan-baked pizza similar to a Sicilian.

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)

Turkish pizza with ground lamb and vegetables on a thin crust

Vermont Pizza

They actually use maple syrup. I'm serious.

St. Louis Pizza

Super thin pizza with virtually no crust and cut in squares. A tragedy.

New Haven Pizza

Very greasy pizza served as whole pies.

Hawaiian Pizza

Made with Ham and Pineapple !!!!!!!!!!!