What is Detroit Style Pizza?

Here at Streets of New York, we're something of pizza experts if you don't mind our saying so. More than just being the experts on New York-style pizza, we know the ins and outs of those other regional styles, heck we've eaten plenty of them ourselves! All pizza is good – some is just better *cough* New York-style! *cough*. Anyways! Last month we took a detour to the Midwest to talk about Chicago-style pizza. Let's return again to a different Midwest city and look at their unique take on pizza. This time on the Streets of New York blog we're talking Detroit Style Pizza! 

What is Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit pizza traces its roots back about 80 years to Buddy's Rendezvous, a former speakeasy owned by Gus and Anna Guerra. Some say the recipe came from Anna's mother's recipe, others say that the recipe was developed in the kitchen by Connie Piccinato. Whoever started it, the pizza was baked in blue steel pans from the local auto supplies, traditionally used as drip pans! 

OK, but what is Detroit-style pizza?

Detroit-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza, rectangular in shape (thanks to those drip pans) topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and tomato sauce. The dough is open, porous, and chewy inside, while having a crisp outside. The dough is hand-stretched, then toppings are layered in reverse first cheese then cause. Other toppings can be placed on top of the dough directly, on top of the cheese but below the sauce. Sometimes the sauce is placed on after baking.

We know, we know, all of this seems like it's turning the idea of pizza on its head! But the proof is in the pudding, and people love Detroit style so who are we to judge!

After the dough has been stretched to fill the rectangular pan, cheese is spread right to the edge so that it can caramelize against the high heat of the pan. This gives the crust a crisp edge that some say make the Detroit-style pizza what it is! The toppings then go on top of the cheese (or under if they're doing something different. The sauce is added in racing stripes down the length of the pie – Detroit and their cars!

The Difference Between Chicago and Detroit Style

If you want to be really reductive Detroit Style is rectangular, while Chicago style is a circle – see they're different! But it's reasonable to be unclear what the difference is, these two pizzas are both thicker pizzas but their differences are pretty obvious. Detroit Style is more of a thicker crust while the Chicago style deep dish is a thin crust but packed with toppings. 

It's important to note, 'Detroit style' isn't used everywhere! Buddy's Pizza chief brand officer Wesley Pikula (who has worked at Buddy's since the 80s!) said he never heard the term before the 80's when trade magazines picked it up! Some refer to the style as Sicilian-style,

Here at Streets of New York we keep our pizza New York-style but good pizza is good pizza! Some of the best pies we've had have been Detroits, but we'll leave that to the Michiganders! All that pizza talk got your mouth water? Order the best pizza in the Valley today!

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