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Chicago-Style Pizza: Through Thick and Thin
Chicago-style pizzas are best eaten within reach of a knife and fork. Get to the bottom of the pies’ hearty nature with Groupon’s study of the Windy City’s iconic dish.
In Italy, the indisputable birthplace of pizza, the thin, crispy dish is considered nothing more than a light snack. In Chicago, however, you can hardly find a heartier meal. The most classic iteration of Chicago-style pizza, deep dish, shovels ingredients into a deep pan, resulting in a flaky, yellowy crust that serves as a cradle for layers of cheese and assorted toppings, all capped in a chunky crown of tomato sauce. Often speckled in parmesan cheese, the tomato-based ceiling is meant to discourage the ingredients inside from burning or trying to escape during the long baking time, which often totals 30 minutes or more.
The beloved deep-dish pie traces its origins back to a single pizzeria in 1943, though the innovation quickly caught on and spawned new interpretations across Chicago. One such evolution is stuffed pizza, invented in 1971. At first glance, it’s hard to tell a stuffed pie apart from deep dish, at least until you cut into it; inside, a top layer of crust hides beneath the top blanket of sauce, which also means stuffed pizza tends to be slightly taller than deep dish. Another variation heads the opposite direction. Much thinner and crispier than even New York–style slices, Chicago’s thin-crust pies are usually sliced into squares—quite possibly an intentional snub of the Big Apple’s triangle-cut slices and rhombus-shaped parking spaces.