Italian Pizza Vs American Pizza – Which One Is Better

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Pizza has global attention, and whether it’s Italian or American pizza, you’ll love them all. It’s also one of those meals that you can’t resist, mostly because of the flavors, cooking style, and presentation. Originally from Italy, pizza has made itself famous on all sides of the globe.

The one thing you will never hear the end of when it comes to Italian and American pizza is ‘our pizza is the best’ from either side. But we love them both, only they have a few differences, and that’s what we look into today.

How did pizza come to be in Italy?

Whenever you are talking about pizza, the origin matters a lot and the history of how it came to be a household meal. Look around, and you will notice that not many countries have their authentic national dish being a global one. Pizza brings people from all over the world together. But how did it come to be?

I have seen several people claiming that an American founded the pizza, but sorry, this isn’t true.

History shows that the first pizza was made in Naples, Italy. So the Neapolitans are the ones who just started making it out.

Some other history parts even indicate that we should thank the Greeks, who were the first to come up with their flatbread. And they brought it to South Italy over 12000 years back. You also most likely know pita, which is a word that refers to the leaven flatbread. This is what they believe to be the base for the pizza.

Back then, we had some impoverished Italians spending a lot of the time working in the waterfront city, and they didn’t have time to cook.

This is why they needed food that could be made fast, and they could eat it even on the go. So the inexpensive food turned out to be the flatbread with some toppings. This they could easily find in the streets too.

But the real pizza then began in the 16th century in Naples. They didn’t even use the tomatoes in the pizza; they only gathered the different herbs and seasonings with mozzarella cheese.

Even when the tomato was growing in the region, they didn’t use it since they believed it was poisonous. In fact,  most of the people felt that the tomatoes looked spoilt when they were ripe.

By 1830, the people here opened the first pizzeria restaurants. The founder was called Antica Pizzeria. To date, we still have the pizzeria selling the favorite pizza and pasta.

From there, it started growing into a classic Italian food that most of them loved.

Shortly after, King Umberto 1 and queen Margherita visited Naples to get a taste of the pizza. And the queen liked the pizza mozzarella. Since then, they started to call it the pizza Margherita.

Also, she opened the doors to the pizza craze across the globe because, after her, most people wanted to try this unique dish that the queen enjoyed.

And how did the pizza go to America?

In the 17th and 18th centuries, more Italians were immigrating to America. And, of course, that would mean they had to carry along some of their best meals.

They made the pizza in Chicago streets because by then, several Italian immigrants were already in place. Since this was a meal so familiar to them, they started to buy and enjoy it, making others join it.

Check out the video below to know more:

The pizza meal would soon migrate from the city to the suburbs, from east to west and north to south. Here then they began to identify it as a fun food. The pizza has evolved massively; you can even have the one made to mimic your local toppings if to make it tasty.

The differences

If we are going to look at the pizzas’ differences, we must break it down into various aspects. So we are going to check the main difference between the two types.

Italians Americans
The Crust It’s thin They have a variety. It can be thickly stuffed and thin. Nonetheless, it’s not the Italian style thin.
The sauce It’s full of flavors from the herbs. It remains tangy
The toppings They like the limited toppings The more the toppings, the better. They also like to have mixed toppings and not just a single style.

The crust

So here we start with the crust just because it’s going to bring you the main difference. Of course, there are differences between Italian and American pizza.


The Italian pizzeria is often very stretched, almost to the level of the cracker. It’s too thin; it looks like you have a cracker with tomato sauce and the different toppings, including the different cheese types.

So, the reason why people eat a whole pizza by themselves is that they are so thin.


The only different one is the Sicilian Pizza that is usually thicker and rectangular but also heavy. So this one then is going to be hard for you to finish a whole one.


Here you will have different crusts. You will find the thin crust as well; for example, the one they use in New York is thin. They further have a deeper crust that’s further thick and contains many more toppings than the other regular styles of crusts.

  • They also have the stuffed crust.
  • New haven coal fire
  • Chicago deep crust
  • New York has its floppy style

Nonetheless, today we also have several pizza chains, and they are always bringing in a variety of crust styles. Generally, though, the crusts they have are thicker than the Italian ones. The pizza is also generally heavier than the Italian pizza.

The sauce

This is the central part of the pizza too. This is also different on both sides as they both prep their sauces differently.


They mostly focus on the slow-cooked tomatoes to make the sauce. But we can’t also forget that they have fast-food pizza restaurants, which compromises the sauce’s quality. I mean: you don’t expect to make the sauce from the garden-fresh ingredients.


This is mostly true because such restaurants aim at delivering the pizzas to large crowds. As such, you will have them making it from canned ingredients. The truth, though, is that they further utilize different sauces for different pizzas.

Since they also have the herbs and seasoning, then they will be a little tangy. You will mostly like the sauces even if you aren’t an American as they are richly flavored.


Their sauces are mostly based on their countryside lifestyles. So they offer a kind of different sauces from the ones you get anywhere else in the world.

They often use fresh ingredients from the gardens, enhancing the flavors while giving it a distinct taste.

They pride themselves on their unique plum tomatoes. They will always have different kinds of herbs but with olive oil. These ingredients will then seep into the thin crust. Their sauce is made using fresh yet very simple ingredients.

The differences

The secret ingredient to the Italian pizza is more of the herbs. They like to use different herbs for the sauce, and that enriches the sauce. If you are an American, the Italian pizza may be strange for your taste buds.

On the other side, American pizza is tangy, and this could be unique for the Italians.

The meats

The differences here stand out, as you will see below.


If you are focused on the traditional pizza, you are bound to notice that they don’t have much meat on them. This is because they like the single meat style, and it can be ham or prosciutto.

This is quite different from the other pizzas around the globe. Notice that others mostly have different kinds of meats for the toppings.


If you are used to the American way, then the Italian one will not be a full dish for you. They have a variety of meats on the different pizza types.

If you like meat, then American pizza will be your thing. If you go into the pizza chains, you will notice that they offer almost any meat toppings.  This is what will indicate to you what you expect on the American pizza.

Whether you like chicken, bacon, pepperoni, or beef, you will have them on the different pizza styles. This makes it delicious, and thus you can choose the one that suits your taste buds. Notice that the crust is thicker, which is why it can hold different toppings.

Generally, what of the toppings.

Now we go to the final aspect of the pizza, and it’s the general toppings.

I have to mention that the toppings are generally similar but for the quantity.

Italian toppings

They don’t make a lot of toppings for their pizzas. So, of course, for them, it will be strange to have a lot of meats and cheese like the Americans do.

Of course, if you have never tried it, it will look so strange to have the pizza without lots of cheese and meat but trust me, they make it different and delicious.

They say their type is very light that it’s easier to digest. You will not believe the different kinds of flavors that they bring it with. This is why you can finish a single pizza in Italy than you can finish in the US.

American toppings

Notice that the American palate is vastly diverse. This means that if you have a food business, you will only make it if you can capture the varied flavors and ingredients.

They often have mixed toppings, but they like it with a lot of cheese and meats. To them, the toppings are everything, and it has to be a lot. To the Italians, therefore, it looks and feels like that gets harder to digest.

This then shows you that they have the pizza with an enormous amount of toppings. There’s no other country that will offer you the toppings as much as the Americans do.

The varieties

Both sides have different pizza styles, but we must say that the Americans have made it easy to have almost anything on the pizza, including the shrimps. This makes it easy for different people to enjoy different styles of pizza.

I mean, we all have diverse palates, and when you want the dish embracing your taste buds’ needs, the better. So the pizza has some of the native’s favorites included in the toppings. So today, we all find pizza being one of the best meals.

Why the arguments

These arguments on which one is better is something you don’t want to get into because it will never end. It’s sometimes based on the ego of who founded it and which tastes better. Also, which one looks better. When you start to appreciate the different foodstuffs from the different regions, this becomes a non-issue.

You see, the way each side makes it is influenced by their palate or taste buds. Obviously, the Italians have different taste buds from the Americans. So the Americans will make it the way it deems edible, and so do the Italians.

I don’t think one is better than the other. I think each one shows diversity and authenticity. I don’t mind taking either pizza just because I like to appreciate any food.

The Italians say theirs is the best, and the Americans say theirs is the best, so you get to choose which one works for you, though.

The most popular pizzas

We can’t finish this article without first talking about some of the best pizzas in both worlds. In this case, we will bring you three of the best from both sides because remember there are so many different types.

Italian pizza

Pizza Napoletana

You can’t talk of the Italian pizza without first bringing the pizza Napoletana to the world’s attention.

This is one of the most famous styles of Italian pizza. Let’s say the certified style of traditional pizza, and it remains so 36 years later.

Here it has wheat flour, yeast, salt, and even water, but you have to let it rest for over 24 hours when you make the dough. This one, then you can shape with your hands to make a thin and round pizza crust. It will always be around 3 millimeters thick.

Now you will then have to add the toppings. But the uniqueness then comes from where it’s cooked. Remember you will cook it at 900F in a wood-fired oven. It will often have a soft, elastic, and fluffy crusty feeling with the rich spices and herbs.

Pizza al taglio

This generally means the pizza by the cut. They say it’s the best choice of pizza you would like to enjoy in the streets. It will often come to you in a rectangular shape. They sometimes come in squares or strips. This is the one type where you have the size and weight determining the price, so the buyer can decide how large or big they want it to be.

Pizza Sicilian

This is different from the regular pizza in that it comes in a thick crusty style. As you know, this is not the traditional style of Italian pizza. It’s crusty yet fluffy, and it will further give you the sponge-like consistency. You can bake it in a rectangular pan. Also, it has all the ingredients you use to spice Italian food. You will further have to add the hard sheep’s milk cheese.

This one is different since you use the bread crumbs, and it is meant to absorb all the oil in the pizza. But you will also notice that they serve pizza in the bakery.

American most famous ones

Pepperoni pizza

This pizza is one of the most loved options because it contains one of America’s most loved toppings. I mean, you just have to start with it. You should know the pepperoni is the one that has spicy salami. Today the most popular one is the beef pepperoni pizza.

We have to say the way they [prepare it varies from one place to another. They, however, just have mozzarella tomato sauce and then pepperoni.

Chicago pizza

They also call this pizza the deep dish pizza as they bake it in a deep dish and under very high heat.

Also, it has inverted ingredients where the cheese goes just after the dough. Then the tomato sauce is on top. This is not how the other pizzas are usually made, and you would understand it’s because they don’t want to burn the cheese.

New York pizza

Of course, you can’t talk of the Chicago pizza without also mentioning the New York one. This one usually has a thinner crust than the ones above. The crust remains crispy, and of course, it has many toppings so, you can finish the whole pizza by yourself.

More reading: Chicago Vs New York Pizza

It often has the mozzarella cheese, and then it also has the highly seasoned tomatoes together with the meats.

So the article aimed to bring you the differences and similarities, thus making it easy for you to understand them. While I want to say the arguments are uncalled for, I won’t join it because they never end.

However, whichever type you prefer is based on the different reasons that may include your taste buds. So get out and taste all the different styles of pizzas.

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