Pizza is a fantastic dish made of flour, cheese, veggies, and meat of your choice spread over a yummy sauce. No wonder it is now a global phenomenon, and whichever country you go to, you will find a version of Pizza imbibing that country’s culture.
Pizza is baked at high temperatures in an oven and is eaten by hand. This beautiful dish of Italian origin has so many styles and varieties that it has become an industry in itself, with many restaurants serving this delicious dish. Pizza is loved and enjoyed by so many that have you ever wondered who invented it or how it has come about?
The History of Pizza
Did you know foods similar to Pizza have been around since the Neolithic age? People have always added other ingredients to bread to make it flavourful. But the modern Pizza originated in Naples Italy, in the 18th or 19th century. The flatbread was always topped with garlic, salt, lard, cheese, etc.
The Italian immigrants brought this dish to the United States in the late 19th century. The country’s first pizzeria, the ‘Lombardi’ opened in New York City in 1905, kicking off the pizza craze that hasn’t stopped since. Also, I have another fact for you: The person who makes the Pizza is called the pizzaiolo.
The History of Pizza in Cincinnati
Pizza made its way to Cincinnati in the 1950s, and the first restaurant to exclusively serve Pizza was LaRosa’s Pizzeria. Cincinnati had a thriving Italian migrant community, and Donald “Buddy” LaRosa first opened a pizzeria here. To make his pizzeria successful, he gave out free samples as the people in Cincinnati had never tasted pizza before!
Buddy started to make Pizza using his aunt’s recipe and customize it according to his customers’ palate. His pizzeria became so successful that he went ahead and opened more than 60 outlets. He still actively participates in the restaurant business even though he is more than 90 years old.
The success of his story inspired many people to jump into this segment, and within a short span of time many had opened their successful pizza chains. Today you will never find any local of Cincinnati who doesn’t know anything about Pizza or who has not tasted Pizza.
That is not all; the pizza market is so vast in the United States that there are around 76,000 pizzerias in America alone. Approximately 13% of the US population aged two years and above have consumed this dish on any given day.
One of the things to make Pizza so popular is the versatility of this dish. There are so many types with new styles being invented every day it is hard to classify them. I have broadly classified this popular dish for better understanding.
The types of Pizza
The crust of the Pizza is the bottom of the Pizza and varies according to style. Pizza is broadly classified into many types based on the crust. There is the thin crust pizza, stuffed crust pizza, the thick crust pizza, and the deep dish pizza. Pizza also varies in the toppings used.
Different pizzas are created based on the toppings used and customized according to an individual’s palate. This makes the Pizza flexible and has given rise to many delectable varieties. As the name suggests, the thin crust pizza has a very thin crust and is topped with toppings of your choice along with cheese and pizza sauce.
01. Thick crust pizza
The thick crust pizza has a thick base and ranges in thickness from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. It can hold more toppings and sauces, and the crust is generally rolled on the cutting board. The stuffed crust pizza is where cheese is added to the outer edge of the crust and was popularised by Pizza Hut.
02. Deep-dish Pizza
The deep-dish Pizza first originated in Chicago and is also available in Cincinnati and elsewhere in the United States. The crust of this Pizza is very thick around 2-3 inches and looks similar to a pie rather than a typical pizza. The Pizza is baked in a steel pan that resembles a pie pan.
03. Pizza once baked
The pan is first coated with oil, which helps easy removal of the Pizza once baked. Then the pizza dough is pressed onto the bottom and sides of the pan. The pan is then filled to the brim with layers of sauce, cheese, meat, and vegetables. It is then baked in an oven at a high temperature.
This is how pizzas are broadly classified. If you think you have an idea regarding the ingredients of Pizza based on the toppings you choose, let me tell you, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The toppings are only a small part of the Pizza. I have elaborated on what goes inside a pizza, so please keep reading!
What goes inside a pizza?
Pizza is made from flatbread with yeast added to it. Pizza dough is made of wheat flour though some pizzaiolo will also add refined flour. Water, salt, and olive oil are added to this mixture and kneaded into form. From this, the crust or base of the Pizza is rolled out into circles.
On this base, pizza sauce is added. Pizza sauce is usually a tomato paste or pureed tomato that is once again customized according to the customer’s palate or pizzaiolo. So, many pizzerias have their secret sauces but they are all usually tomato-based. You can customize this sauce according to your preference.
The cheese is the most important component of the Pizza that greatly enriches the taste. Different pizzaiolo uses different types of cheese. Some even use a combination of cheeses. Mozzarella is the most common cheese used in Pizza. Other cheeses used are provolone, pecorino romano, ricotta, and scamorza.
After this, the toppings come into the picture. This is the step that you have control over when visiting a pizzeria. You can select the toppings of your choice and make them into the type of Pizza you would prefer. Once the Pizza is prepared with all the ingredients, it is set inside an oven and baked at high temperatures.
Pizzas can be baked in an oven. Pizzas were traditionally baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Many pizzerias like Dominos use a conveyor belt oven. Home chefs also bake Pizza over a barbecue grill and deep-dish Pizza are baked in a pan.
Reading all this would have certainly made you crave a pizza, now that you know what goes inside a pizza. Hence I have suggested some of the best pizza places in Cincinnati.
List of the best pizza in Cincinnati
Many pizza places have opened downtown in Cincinnati after LaRosa’s. I have compiled a list of places you can visit if you are craving pizza.
First, let me start with the iconic LaRosa’s. The first pizzeria to open in Cincinnati specializes in making authentic Italian Pizza. They have over 60 stores and cater according to the people’s preference. You can get a pizza of your choice or try a classic pizza; either way, you will not leave unsatisfied.
Taglio is a famous restaurant specializing in Detroit-style Pizza. If you have never tried this Pizza or are hankering for one, you can visit this restaurant to try. Taglio’s Detroit-style Pizza adds fresh garlic and honey to their mouth-watering Pizza and has opened a carry out as well in Columbia Parkway strip mall.
03. Marion’s Piazza
Marion’s Piazza is a good place to visit. The pizza toppings sprawl edge to edge over a very thin crust that is cut into tiny bite-size squares. The crust is very crisp just like a cracker and they splurge with their toppings leaving you craving for more.
Camporosso which means red field in Italian is named after its owners Eric and Amy Redfield. Experts in baking the Neapolitan Pizza, their Pizza has a crispy crust marked by a little char. They also serve Americano Pizza with a slightly thicker, crunchier crust. They have set up a small bar with beer on tap and have a nice selection of bourbon.
05. Two Cities Pizza Company
If you were ever intrigued by the Chicago-style deep dish, look no further than Two Cities Pizza Company. Here they serve a variety of pizzas and the authentic Chicago-style deep dish. You can enjoy your Pizza on the comfortable outdoor patio with a lot of tasty sides while sipping on their draft beer. Here they offer Pizza based on NYC style and the Chicago deep dish. If you are on the lookout for the best deep dish pizza, then certainly try.
06. Harvest Pizzeria
It serves perfectly crisp wood-fired Pizza. Each ingredient of their Pizza bursts forth with flavor. They have a cozy interior with a family-friendly vibe and excellent service to top their amazing pizzas. The white Pizza is their signature dish made from Gouda cheese, fresh basil leaves, and whole roasted garlic cloves.
07. Fireside Pizza
Fireside Pizza is another famous pizzeria that is known for its craft beer and wood fire pizzas. With a unique interior that has a lot of artwork on the walls, you would swiftly feel at home in this place. Located at the walnut hills their prices are reasonable and they bake their pizzas quite quickly leaving you wanting for more.
08. Tavola Bar+ Trattoria
A Tavola Bar+ Trattoria is a famous pizza parlor known for its delectable Neapolitan pizzas and a variety of craft cocktails. They have a hip environment with a friendly ambiance that immediately relaxes you as soon as you enter. This is a must-stop if you are a pizza lover like me.
09. Goodfellas Pizzerias
Goodfellas Pizzerias is another excellent chain of pizzas that have opened all over Cincinnati. It’s a beautiful place to grab a single slice or eat a whole pizza. Their pizzas are incredibly flavourful and delicious, enjoying in a cozy environment. They also have various beers and bourbons that go well with their Pizza.
10. Dewey’s Pizza
The next on my list is Dewey’s Pizza. One of the famous pizzerias in Cincinnati, this place is known for its high-quality pizzas and quality service. Their Don Corleone pizza is a meat lover’s Pizza that is topped with pepperoni, ham, and salami. They are located in multiple locations in Cincinnati.
I hope the list I have provided helps you in trying out some good pizzas and helps you explore the city. Pizza is a fascinating dish that can be customized according to the creator, and each Pizza is perfect. If you are a pizza lover, then you should try the pizzas at these restaurants that I have compiled.
Pizza is a popular dish that has a fan following of its own. If you have an oven or a barbecue grill, you can easily make pizzas at home and add toppings of your choice. The Hawaiian Pizza with pineapple and bacon toppings is the most controversial Pizza to date as it has many critics and fans.
Pizza can be enjoyed alone or with family, but it is a dish that certainly provides joy. It is simple to prepare, and even vegetarians can have this dish by simply topping it with vegetables and omitting the meat. New pizza styles keep on getting invented, and this dish has undoubtedly come a long way from its humble origins.
Frequently Asked Questions
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