Deep Dish Pizza in ChicagoAlthough pizza originally came from Italy, each area of the world has developed their own signature style to the dish. While some areas prefer more of a flat crust or limited toppings, the pizza in Chicago has a quite different appearance. Called deep dish pizza, or pan pizza, the pies are typically cooked in a pan, either in a traditional or brick oven. The height of the pan means that more toppings can be added and the deep dish pizza usually has more of the tomato sauce as well. As pizza in Chicago evolved, more of the pizza restaurants in the city started to offer this version of the dish and it soon became a synonym with the city itself.
The legend of deep dish pizza is thought to come from a restaurant called Pizzeria Uno in the year of 1943. Owned by Ike Sewell, the restaurant used a recipe from Rudy Malnati, the chef at the time. Instead of being delicate and small enough for a single person to eat, the new type of pan pizza was considered to be for more people and a whole family could dine on a single pie. Other than the deepness of the pizza, there are other differences as well. In a traditional Italian pizza, the thin crust is light and dry. However, the deep dish pizza uses a copious amount of olive oil or butter to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust.
For the pizza restaurants in Chicago, several variations on the same theme started to appear. The pizza menu of several restaurants boasted that both types of crust were available and a diner could choose the type of pizza that was desired. In time, the pan pizza option soon took the top spot for popularity as Chicago diners found that their tastes were more a match for the heavier dish.