Defining The Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

7 January 2015
 Categories: Food & Cooking, Blog


Among the numerous types of pizza that can be found in the United States, the Chicago deep-dish stands out as the most iconic and well-known. It's also the most confusing and sometimes even the most divisive among die-hard fans, all who have their own ideas on what makes an authentic deep-dish pizza.

What Makes a Deep-Dish...a Deep-Dish?

A genuine Chicago deep-dish offers a deep, almost biscuit-like crust that immediately stands out from other pizzas, in both texture and consistency. While many Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas are touted for their thick crusts, the real deal is actually moderate in thickness. Authentic deep-dish pizzas are usually thick enough to eat with a fork and knife.

Another hallmark of an authentic Chicago deep-dish is the tomato sauce, which is usually chunkier than what you'd see on other types of pizza. That explains why many deep-dish and stuffed pizzas appear so rich in depth. Underneath all of that sauce, you'll see a generous layer of mozzarella and the toppings of your choosing, which run the gamut from Italian sausage to pineapples or even shrimp.

Deep-Dish vs. Stuffed Pizza

A bone of contention among many Chicago deep-dish fans lies with the confusion between the deep-dish and the Chicago-style stuffed pizza. At first glance, they both look the same since they offer the same chunky, piled-on tomato sauce and toppings. Most causal pizza fans would likely not be able to tell the difference between the two at first glance.

So it's no wonder that many fans treat Chicago deep-dish and stuffed pizzas as one and the same. However, there are plenty of subtle tells that give away a stuffed pizza's true identity:

  • Stuffed pizzas are actually a bit taller than their deep-dish counterparts, namely because they have to accommodate all of that stuffed goodness within. Some pizzas hide this fact by having the tomato sauce cover most of the crust end.
  • The crust of a stuffed pizza is also quite different from a deep-dish pizza. Whereas a typical deep-dish pizza has a thick and crumbly crust, a stuffed pizza's crust is usually flakier in texture.

But the real tell between the deep-dish and the stuffed pizza is that thin layer of dough separating the sauce on top from the cheese and fillings underneath. Most people don't realize the difference until they've taken a slice, since the cheese tends to ooze out of a stuffed pizza slice.

In spite of their differences, they're both absolutely tasty and there's a good chance that most people will ignore those minute, yet significant differences. The above just comes in handy for pizza lovers who want to amaze their friends with a bit of wonderful pizza trivia. (For more information on pizza places, contact Cosmos Pizza & Pasta or another establishment)