Italian Pizza vs American Pizza

Italian Pizza vs American Pizza may look similar on the surface, but scratch just below to discover a world of subtle differences that make each unique. From the type of crust to the ingredients used in making individual pizzas, there are many distinguishing factors between American and Italian pies. In this post we will explore why these two types of pizza stand out from one another, as well as which might be best for you depending on your taste preferences.

The History Of Italian Pizza

The history of Italian pizza dates back to 1738 when the first pizza restaurant, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, emerged in Naples. As the dish gained popularity, particularly among tourists, it sparked a culinary revolution. In 1889, pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito crafted the iconic “Pizza Margherita” to honor Queen consort Margherita of Savoy. This pizza consisted solely of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, symbolizing the colors of the Italian flag.

The History Of Italian Pizza

The History Of American Pizza

The history of American pizza can be traced back to 17th century Naples, where it originated, and its arrival in America was credited to Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. From coast to coast, Americans indulge in over three billion pizzas annually.

The Importance Of Pizza In Italian And Americanized Cuisine

Pizza holds a significant place in Italian culinary heritage, representing more than just a meal. It originated in Naples and quickly became a popular and affordable choice for the working class. Over time, pizza has transcended boundaries and is now enjoyed by people from all backgrounds, extending far beyond Italy’s borders.

In the United States, pizza took on an Americanized twist as Italian immigrants brought their cherished recipes to the new world, particularly after World War II. This adaptation involved incorporating local tastes and ingredients.

Today, American pizza stands as one of the nation’s most beloved foods, boasting countless regional variations and creative reinterpretations that have shaped a unique cuisine of its own.

The Importance Of Pizza In Italian And Americanized Cuisine

Italian Pizza vs American Pizza: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to comparing Italian Pizza vs American Pizza, there are several notable distinctions to consider. Let’s delve into each aspect to understand the contrasts between the two.


American-style pizza is known for its lighter texture, often enjoyed as a convenient, on-the-go meal. In contrast, authentic Italian pizza boasts thicker crusts, generous cheese toppings, and a more filling, flavorful experience. Italians typically savor this dish for dinner with a thinner dough made from mozzarella and tomatoes.


Authentic Italian pizza takes time and effort to perfect the dough. It undergoes a three-day resting and rising process, resulting in a light and fluffy crust. High-quality ingredients, including a specific type of finely milled flour called “00,” create the thin, crispy texture typical of Neapolitan pizza. On the other hand, American-style pizza establishments use various types of flour in their crusts.

Italian Pizza vs American Pizza: What’s The Difference?


The sauce is another distinguishing factor between authentic Italian and American pizza. Italian pizzas feature a light sauce made from freshly picked tomatoes and garlic, offering a less spicy flavor profile. In contrast, American pizza sauces tend to be thicker and spicier, often made with canned tomatoes. Furthermore, Italian pizza traditionally has fewer topping options compared to its American counterparts, and it is less likely to include meat.


Italian pizza holds a distinct approach to cheese. Chefs never use pre-grated cheese, opting instead for fresh mozzarella di Bufala made from buffalo’s milk. This unique cheese is used in scoops, contributing to the pizza’s delicious taste. American pizzas, on the other hand, tend to have heavier and cheesier sauces, offering a wide range of topping varieties. However, Italian pizzas are celebrated for their lighter, more aromatic sauce.


Unlike authentic Italian pizzas, American pizzas cater to diverse preferences with a wide array of toppings. From olives, anchovies, beef, and chicken to unconventional choices like pineapples and cherry tomatoes, American pizzas aim to please everyone’s unique taste.

By understanding these fundamental differences, one can fully appreciate the diverse culinary experiences that American and Italian pizzas offer.

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Conclusion: Italian Pizza vs American Pizza

In conclusion, despite both being referred to as “pizza,” American and Italian pizzas are two distinct dishes with a rich history in their respective cultures. While American pizza has evolved to cater to different tastes and preferences, Italian pizza holds onto its traditional roots, staying true to its origins. Whether you prefer a lighter, on-the-go meal or a more filling, authentic experience, both American and Italian pizzas offer unique and delicious options for pizza lovers worldwide. So, next time you indulge in a slice of your favorite pizza, take a moment to appreciate the cultural heritage behind it.

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