If you love pizza, you're definitely not alone. Almost 13% of the American population is eating pizza at any given time, and the gooey, cheesy concoction is deemed America's collectively favorite food. Given its popularity it's somewhat surprising that most people do not know what 'authentic' (ie: Italian) pizza is really like, believing that the greasier and more cheese-filled the crust, the better the pizza. If you want to know the difference between American and Italian pizzas, which are both arguably delicious, then read on.
Walk into any Italian pizzeria and you will instantly spot the most notable difference between the American and Italian version of this popular dish: the crust. Cooked in a brick-style oven or over a flame, Italian pizza crust is thin by design and almost crispy like a cracker. It is not filled with cheese, hot dogs, or pepperoni like American crusts tend to be, but rather, flavored with fresh herbs and spices such as garlic, basil, oregano, and fresh pepper. American pizza crusts, by contrast, come in a variety of thicknesses and styles, from a thin, authentic crust to yeasty, doughy crusts filled with flavor-enhancing meats or cheeses.
American pizza is heavily laden with toppings, with nearly everything being considered an option. You can get green or black olives, anchovies, beef, chicken, pork, sausage, ham, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and other varieties of toppings under or on top of mounds of mozzarella cheese. With Italian pizza, you will see far less topping options and even less cheese. Fish is a common staple of the country for their simpler pies, but usually, you will find that toppings are scarce yet full of herby flavor: thinly layered sauce or tomato puree with large chunks of fresh Mozzarella, fresh basil or arugula, olive oil, and spices.
As mentioned above, Italian pizzerias often use the classic method of pizza cooking by using brick ovens or an open flame. American pizzerias often use commercial ovens for their concoctions, although many gourmet eateries will pay tribute to Italian traditions and use a commercial brick oven instead.
There you have it: the biggest differences between Italian and American pizza. Whether you like the flavorful, natural taste of Italian pizza or the thick and gooey American version, this American favorite is bound to be delicious when brought to your table. Check out an Italian pizzeria in your area if you haven't tried this version of pizza yet, and you will be pleasantly surprised at its very real differences.