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Cooking articles

Pizza Perfection

New Haven-style pizza, known as apizza (pronounced ah-BEETS), is distinguished from most other forms by not being perfectly round or rectangular. New Haven-style is a style of Neapolitan pizza common in and around New Haven, Connecticut. Use of the term "apizza" is mostly confined to the Italian-American neighborhoods of southern Connecticut and is likely derived from that local dialect. It originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably, Sally's Apizza, located just down the block on Wooster Street. Pepe's and Sally's are consistently rated among the best pizzerias in the United States, giving this regionally limited pizza style noteworthy culinary significance.

Originally baked in a coal- or wood-fired brick oven, it’s typically sold whole rather than by the slice. A common version is a "white" pizza topped with only garlic and hard cheeses. True pizza connoisseurs are familiar with New Haven style and even make pilgrimages to try it, once they’ve heard the lore.

St. Louis pizza lovers often serve their pizza in small, handy square servings. It has a thin crust and is topped with a provolone/Swiss/cheddar cheese blend.

Stuffed pizzas are often even thicker than deep-dish pizzas, but it’s hard to tell them apart until they’re sliced. Like deep-dish pizza, a thin layer of dough forms a base in a high-sided pan, and then toppings (meats, basil, and oregano) and cheese come next. To create the stuffed effect, an additional layer of dough goes on top, and is sealed to the sides of the bottom crust. The thin dough top has a rounded appearance, and often a small hole is torn in it to allow air and steam to escape while cooking and to let the sauce permeate. Pizza sauce is spread over the top crust before baking. Most recipes such as this require substantial cooking time.

Speaking of stuffing, use this pizza-inspired Pizza Zucchini recipe to stuff pita bread pockets.

Classic Pizza Seasonings

American pizza, no matter where it’s from, now includes flavors from around the world. Classic Italian toppings have given way to new combinations from American chefs, such as arugula, goat cheese, chutney, leeks, figs, and eggplant. The key to making the best pizza is using the freshest ingredients and the right seasonings to enhance the taste. The two classic pizza seasonings are oregano and basil, but many recipes include onion flakes, garlic powder, thyme, fennel, paprika, or black pepper as well. Creativity in pizza assembly knows no bounds, so consider other options, like bell pepper, chilies, parsley, thyme, marjoram, celery flakes, coarsely ground ginger, even lemon peel.

Pizza seasonings inspired this Pizza Potpourri recipe.

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Quick Links

» American-style pizza
» Classic pizza seasonings
» Tips for great pizza
» Pizza recipes to try

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