Celebrate National Pizza Party Day with These 4 Regional Pizza Styles

May 15, 2024

Celebrate National Pizza Party Day with These 4 Regional Pizza Styles


For our friends in the US, this week sees the return of National Pizza Party Day, dedicated to honouring one of the most beloved and versatile dishes in the world. Celebrated on the third Friday of May (or May 17 this year), it encourages people to gather with their friends, family and community to share in this culinary masterpiece.

To mark the occasion, people all around the US embrace the spirit of the day by organizing gatherings in homes, schools, offices, and even outdoor venues. The concept is simple: gather a group of pizza enthusiasts, make a variety of pizzas and get stuck in!

National Pizza Party Day also serves as a reminder of the importance of communal experiences. Sharing a meal has long been a significant way to connect and bond with others. Whether it's with family, a group of friends, or colleagues, the act is a great way to celebrate the simpler things in life, forge relationships and create lasting memories.

So if you’re feeling inspired by the spirit of National Pizza Party Day, a great way to mark the occasion would be to create and serve your own versions of American style pizzas. With a head-spinning number of regional variations to choose from, here are 4 styles that you can easily create using Homemade Pizza Club dough balls and pre-stretched pizza bases.



New York Style

When the first waves of Italian pizzaiolo landed in New York City in the early 1900’s, they brought with them Neapolitan pizza. Originally cooked in high-heat coal fired ovens that replicated the wood fired ovens of their homeland, the New York pizza style grew out of shift to gas fired ovens that proliferated after World War II. While being more convenient and controllable, gas ovens can’t reach the same high temperatures as their wood or coal fired counterparts, which led to a longer bake time – a key feature of the New York Style.

The longer bake time required subtle changes to the dough and the preparation of the toppings, most notably the mozzarella cheese. With its high moisture content, fresh mozz is perfectly suited to the extreme heat of wood and coal fired ovens. As the pizza cooks, the cheese sheds its moisture, melts and doesn’t burn. But this doesn’t work for the longer, lower temperature bake of the New York style. Cooked this way, fresh mozz retains moisture and can make a pizza soggy. To combat this, New York pizzerias began using full-fat, shredded mozzarella instead to give a consistent melt.

While there are notable differences between the Neapolitan and New York styles, the great thing about dough is its versatility and adaptability, so why not give the New York style a try with a pack of our Italiana dough balls. Just don’t forget to shred your mozz before it goes on!

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Chicago Tavern Style

Most people know about Chicago deep dish, but few have heard of the thin crust pizza that most Chicagoans grow up eating. Chicago Tavern style originated in taverns (unbelievably), where bar-owners would set out the pizza for patrons cut into bitesize chunks to stretch the free food, encourage the drinkers’ thirst and eliminate the need for plates.

The signature taste and texture of Tavern style is radically different to Italian style pizza, being thin, crispy and loaded to the very edge with toppings. Rather than being rolled by hand, it’s done with a rolling pin, which makes it much easier to prepare than its more traditional counterparts.

The most important (and most interesting) part of this recipe is the dough “curing” step, in which you place the rolled-out dough onto parchment and let it sit in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, during which time the top surface of the dough dries out. When the disc is inverted for baking, this becomes the bottom and gets far crisper than it otherwise would.

Rather than requiring a specialist pizza oven, the Chicago Tavern style pizza cooks best in a domestic oven and is always cut into squares (never slices!) Being easy to prepare and devilishly delicious, it’s no surprise that the pizza has often been referred to as “party cut”, for its popularity at gatherings. If you can find a more suitable option for National Pizza Party Day, we’d love to hear it!

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South Philadelphia Pizzaz

While most of Philadelphia’s signature foods have transcended its borders (here’s looking at you cheesesteak), there’s one South Philly secret that hasn’t yet hit the big time. Introducing pizzaz, a sauceless pizza topped with American cheese, sliced tomatoes and peppers.

In the 1980s, Ronnie Celebre (co-owner of Celebre’s pizza) was reminiscing about the grilled cheese he and his brother used to eat as kids. After deciding to create a pizza that brought back the taste of their childhood, he stretched out the dough and layered up American cheese, banana peppers and tomato slices. Against all odds, the cheesy wonder sans-sauce caught on, and the pizza went on Celebre’s menu, where it remains to this day.

The defining characteristics of the pizzaz are its toppings, or more accurately, the lack of a sauce. Whether or not you think that’s a cardinal sin, and no self-respecting pizza could possibly be left dry is a matter for debate. What isn’t up for debate is the simplicity of the dish, and here’s where our pre-stretched pizza bases come in. All you need to do is layer up some good quality American cheese, peppers and generous slices of tomato and surprise your guests with some South Philly pizzaz.

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California Style

While many regional pizza styles are characterised by crust size or cheese choice, the California style is all about the toppings. Using more health-focused produce like fresh lettuce, avocado, and endive to name a few, the style adopts a thin crust that allows its more unique ingredients to take precedence.

If you’re thinking about making this one, consider using our Wildfarmed pizza dough balls. Stretch them out thin and pay particular attention to toppings with bright, subtropical flavours. Another great tip is to adopt flavour combinations that already work outside of a pizza. Your favourite crushed avocado and smoked salmon toast recipe, for example, will work perfectly on pizza, so get creative and bring the sunshine state to your pizza party!

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