Pizza is more than just flatbread served with toppings. It has been a staple meal in Italy for centuries. However, after the unification of Italy in 1861, the small town of Naples was visited by then King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, ushering in the rise of Margherita Pizza.
Through the massive Italian immigration in the 1800s, America was swarmed by small pizzerias left and right. First, in New York, the pizza craze trickled down to New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 150 years later, since the first Italian immigrants arrived, a small pizzeria in Chicago called Pizzeria Uno introduced the Chicago-style pizza—a deep-dish pizza with overflowing sauces, toppings, and taste.
The Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
If you think of pizza, you usually imagine a crust that is either thin or fluffy. A Chicago-style pizza, on the other hand, is served in a deep dish container about 2–3 inches in depth. Someone might get confused, but it is big in Chicago.
Many feel a deep-dish pizza resembles a pie more than a regular pizza. The container is usually covered with cooking oil to make the contents easier to take out later on. Every pizzeria has its version of it. But in preparing a deep-dish pizza, all the toppings are hidden within.
Since it takes a longer time to cook, there is a risk of burning if toppings are put on top. To resolve that, every topping is set under while the sauce stays on top to serve as the pizza’s protection from heat.
The Inventor of the Deep Dish Pizza
Up to this day, there is still a debate on who exactly came up with the recipe first. Most say that it was Pizzeria Uno, which is still serving long lines of customers to this day. However, no one knows exactly who thought of the concept.
Some believe that the Pizzeria Uno co-founder Ike Sitwell came up with the idea, alongside his partner Ric Riccardo. Meanwhile, a few believe it was a person named Rudy Malnati, Pizzeria Uno’s original pizza chef. Either way, Pizzeria Uno, in general, still gets the credit for this masterpiece.
Whoever came up with it made a global hit. Its shape was a striking sight against its local competitors in Chicago. When the pizza industry was only beginning to bloom in the state, Pizzeria Uno immediately reimagined the typical pizza and made it their own. Soon enough, through Pizzeria Uno’s breakthrough, deep dish pizzas dominated the state with an overwhelming response from people, locals, and visitors alike.
Through immigration and globalization, the beloved Italian pizza traveled to the USA and established its own identity in every state. In New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Chicago, pizza transformed into one of the world’s most beloved dishes of all time. One can only imagine the delicious pizzas that may come our way as time goes on.
If you happen to be living or visiting Chicago, why not get a deep-dish pizza for yourself? Doreen’s Pizza in Hegewisch’s top pizza place. Since 1986, we have been serving fresh pizzas to the locals of Chicago. Check out our version of the classic Chicago-style pizza with a Doreen twist!