In the United States, there are many pizza styles. Amongst the many types of pizza available, Greek-style pizza is one of the best.
Most people cannot tell the difference between Greek pizza and other types of pizza. Up to now, you might have not even known it exists.
However, it would be best if you did not think that since it is called Greek pizza, this is the pizza they eat in Greece. Interestingly, pizza is not part of Greek cuisine.
They hardly eat pizza in Greece. However, it is a big part of American culture.
Greek immigrants are living in the United States who adopted the American culture.
Some of them own pizzerias. They serve pizzas that have common characteristics; hence they are called Greek-style pizza.
Greek pizza boasts of simplicity. This is the reason why we love it so much.
You may be interested in some other style of pizza below.
- St Louis Style Pizza
- Quad Cities Pizza
- Ohio Valley Pizza
- Artisan Pizza
- New York Style Pizza
- New Haven Style Pizza
- Greek-Style Pizza
- Colorado Style Pizza
- California Style Pizza
- Sicilian Pizza
- Brooklyn Style Pizza
Why does greek pizza stand out?
The Greek-style pizza stands out because of the puffy crust, oily crust, sauce, and toppings.
The crust of a greek pizza is way puffier than other types of American styles pizza. The chefs lay it out in a pizza dish smeared with quite a lot of oil to stop the pizza from sticking to the pizza dish.
Usually, in other pizza styles, the pizza dough is laid flat pizza stone. This results in a thinner crust.
The dough is no-knead. It has a far hint of sweetness because the chefs add sugar to it. Once ready, it is left overnight to poof. This makes the slices sturdy but puffy and soft.
Because of the method of cooking, a Greek pizza has a greasy crust. Greeks are known to love using a liberal amount of olive oil. Other American pizza styles tend to achieve a crisp, thin crust but not the Greek style. For them, it is a puffy, crisp crust.
To achieve the puffiness, they smear some olive oil on the shallow pan. The oily flavor permeates through the crust. This also prevents the pizza from sticking to the pan.
If oily food repulses you, do not despair. You can still have your Greek-style pizza. Just ask for extra paper towels or napkins and dab your pizza crust against it. Then place the pizza on the napkins. The paper will absorb the oil.
Some people also add parmesan cheese to reduce the greasy feeling.
Sauces and toppings
Greek Americans like both meaty and vegetable toppings on their pizza. You would find a lot of Greek pizzas having pepperoni, sausages, feta cheese, and olives.
However, the type of toppings does not define whether a pizza is greek or not, at least not in restaurants owned by greeks.
In greek owned restaurants, what sets apart a greek pizza is a lot of olive oil used in the pizza, the way the chefs cook it, and the thin sauce used.
However, in restaurants owned by non-Greeks, regular Italian pizza with toppings traditionally greek makes the pizza a Greek-style pizza. For instance, toppings like olives and feta on an Italian pizza make the pizza Greek.
They also use very little sauce, which is relatively light compared to other styles of pizzas. Secondly, Greek-style pizza sauce has a tangy taste. It is not as sweet as other pizzas. This is because they add a splash of vinegar to their sauce.
The sauce is thin because they add water and olive oil to keep it so. They also keep the sauce on the stove for a whole day. This ensures that the pan caramelizes the edges of the tomato sauce.
You have to keep stirring the sauce from time to time to repeat the caramelization process.
Other characteristics of Greek pizza
Greeks are more inclined to gluten-free flour. This makes their dough less stretchy hence the crust cannot stretch too wide. Molding is also a bit harder with gluten-free flour.
The pan type
Pizzerias bake the other pizza types on flat pans or pizza stones. This is put in a brick oven.
However, this unique pizza is mostly cooked on a shallow pizza dish in an electric pizza oven.
Greeks have been said to love a lot of oil. The Greek pizza proves that. They smear olive oil on the pizza dish before putting the pizza on it.
They also add oil to the dough when molding it. Finally, they sprinkle it on the cheese before baking. This results in a puffy, greasy pizza and crust.
The Greek-style pizza uses a mixture of two kinds of cheese. This is cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
The mixture enhances the bright flavor in the pizza toppings. It would be best if you used equal quantities of the cheeses when mixing them.
Because you cook Greek pizza in high temperatures( at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit), you need to combine these two kinds of cheese for the toppings to stand up well.
The cheese melts well around the oiled pan. This helps push the hint of olive oil as you cook.
Butter or lard.
In some restaurants, they no longer use olive oil but use butter or lard. This makes the crust airy, soft, and chewy.
The outside of the crust remains crispy. Together with other ingredients, this yields the most delicious crust ever made.
Simple and easy to make
Greek pizza is an easy dish to make. You can make it at home. The dough is easy to make as all you need is yeast, salt, water, and sugar.
It would help if you also had a cast-iron skillet. Since the pizza requires up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, most home ovens can reach that high.
Heavy doses of spices characterize the greek pizza. The most popular spice is oregano. In most recipes, you add lots of oregano, rosemary, and basil.
In some restaurants, the greek style pizza has adapted to include Italian seasonings to its crust. If you are a person who says away from lots of spices, you might not like the first bite very much.
Contrary to what we know, where the pizza sauce is made from fresh tomato juice, we use tomato paste as the foundation of the sauce in Greek-style pizza.
This adds a new flavor to the sauce. Additionally, it is healthier since it has lots of vitamins C and K as well as iron.
White sauce is an option too.
If you prefer white sauce over tomato sauce for one reason or another, this pizza style allows you to add white sauce. It is still delicious with white sauce.
White sauce is not traditionally Greek, but it still maintains a greek pizza’s high flavor profile.
You can order a salad to go with your white sauced pizza to have a complete meal.
If you went to some pizzeria, they might give you an option of using provolone cheese over the mixture of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
This is a plus since provolone does not burn quickly. Therefore it will not burn but allow the pizza ingredients to simmer spectacularly.
But if you are an experimentalist, you should try adding provolone cheese to the mixture of cheddar and mozzarella. This makes the pizza brownish at the top after baking.
The toppings will look even more salivating. And we bet it will taste even better.
High doses of vitamins and minerals.
Mediterranean diet boasts of being wholesome. Most health experts advocate for it. Fortunately, Greek-style pizza is part of this diet. This means with every bite you take; you will be getting a mouthful of healthy vitamins like vitamin B6 and minerals like zinc.
Because of the high amounts of olive oil used, you will receive anti-inflammatory properties leading to weight loss.
The pizza also contains Feta cheese. Feta cheese is known to have large amounts of Vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and selenium.
Down with wine.
We all love a meal that we can pair with wine. Greek-style pizza is one of those lucky dishes. It goes well with most wines. Your pizza type, whether meaty, vegetarian or purely cheese, does not matter.
This is because the Greek-style pizza has lots of flavors that, when combined with the taste of wine, give you a delicious burst of flavors.
This characteristic makes the Greek-style pizza your go-to pizza when you have a party or hang out with friends. If you are a beer person, a light ale will work for you.
Greek-style pizza is a unique pizza with a strong personality. This makes it a recipe that people are either crazy in love with or hate. This depends on your taste preference.
If you love natural spices, then this is the pizza for you. Additionally, it does not sit heavy in your stomach because it has light toppings.
A Greek-style pizza is mostly about the preparation and cooking method of the crust. This means that it does not restrict your choice of toppings. You can put whatever leftovers you have in your fridge.
Many pizzerias are serving Greek-style pizza. They include but are not limited to Tommy’s Pizza, George’s Pizza house, G&D Pizzaria, and Arri’s Pizza.
Just look for one in your area of residence that has specialized in Greek ingredients. Give it a shot. This might end up being the best pizza of your life.