What Pizza Shape Says About its Origins

While the traditional pizza shape is round, there is another popular version of pizza that comes in a deep-dish rectangle shape. Whichever style you prefer, you’re sure to find plenty of choices from today’s pizza restaurants. Admittedly, more restaurants are making circular pizza, and they offer a fantastic variety of standard favorites and specialty recipes too. If you’re like many people, you have more than one preference, and you’re happy to learn Philly cheesesteak pizza is back at your go-to pizzeria.

Ancient Pizza History

Pizza in a variety of styles can be traced to almost every civilization, including ancient Greece, Egypt, Asia and Europe. Its round shape may be due to several factors in each of these times and places, including the following:

  • Circular cooking containers were easier to make.
  • Circular ovens, including standing and Dutch ovens, were also easier to make, and pizzas conformed to both containers and ovens.
  • Bread and other food that is round in form bakes and cooks more evenly.

Heat distribution may also have been a factor in why cooking surfaces, including pots and pans, were rounded; the shape is predominant in cooking containers from many eras. Another reason for circular cooking shapes is ease of use, leaving no corners for food to get stuck in and burn. Finally, perhaps round containers are also more appealing.

Modern Pizza History

Today’s pizza styles, both round and square, have their origins in Italy. The modern pizza was born in the late 1700s when Naples-area residents first began using tomatoes as a flatbread topping. The dish grew in popularity as pizzerias began opening, vendors selling their wares throughout the streets of the town. The great taste even became a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from other regions to the Naples area to sample the new dish. The pizza made its way to the U.S. in the late 1800s, arriving with immigrants to New York. Another invention to try with today’s pizzas is the pizza tracker, so you’ll know when your order is heading to your door.

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The Square Pizza

There are two types of square pizzas, the Sicilian and Detroit-style pizza. The Sicilian takes its name from its birthplace, where the popularity of pizza had spread by the mid-1800s. Inhabitants of the Italian island did things a little different, baking it in a deeper, square tray. To make it in traditional style, you top the thick, spongy crust with a sauce made from anchovies, onions, tomatoes and herbs, then spread breadcrumbs over it, with perhaps a sprinkling of hard cheese.

A Detroit-style pizza is perhaps the thickest style, even deeper than New York and Chicago deep-dish pizzas. Restaurants bake it in a rectangular pan initially designed to hold industrial parts. It has an especially chewy texture with an extra-crispy crust on the bottom and sides.

Pizza Fits Healthy Lifestyles

Whether you like your pizza round or square, you can enjoy a variety of styles from pizza restaurants in your area. If you’re concerned about maintaining a special diet, choose from options that include gluten-free crusts, reduced amounts of cheese and your choice of thin to thick crusts. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle and have your pizza too when you order gluten-free pizza delivery.

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