Deep saucy thoughts
Wiseguy was enjoying a great brew the other day and slipped into some deep thoughts while noshing on garlic knots with marinara. It’s easy to do… A beautiful day and a gentle breeze as he kicked back on the Wiseguy patio in Hailey, Idaho.
Where do we come from? It’s one of the biggest questions we mortals ponder now and again. But Wiseguy wasn’t thinking quite that deeply. He was just wondering where did pizza get its great start? Where do Idaho pizza roots begin? Who are its ancestors?
A brother from another mother?
Well fortunately no DNA genetic test is required. We’ve got a breakdown of the incredible pizza family tree, its origins, and off-shoots. Every family has a few folks that venture off the beaten path. We like to think Wiseguy Pizza Pie falls into that category. We make great pizza with unique ingredients you will only find at our Idaho restaurants.
Pizza ancestry dates back to early Roman times. Naples was the birthplace of flatbread-style pizzas in the 18th century. They folded up easily and were portable- making for great eats for busy workers. When U.S. soldiers came through the area during WWII, they discovered this culinary delight. With Italian immigrants arriving in the country and U.S. soldiers returning home after the war, the pizza had landed in America and was here to stay.
It’s still as popular as it was back then. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Like paying homage to its roots, it’s on many a menu across the United States.
When the recipe landed in New York City, hot off the boat at Ellis Island, it began to take on its own shape and taste. New Yorkers were soon churning out many varieties-a few of those pizzerias exist today! In the pizza family, it’s a beloved ancestor. Wide slices give way to diners folding the slices lengthwise to make eating a bit easier. The crust is thick and crisp along the edge, yet soft and thin beneath the toppings. It also happens to be Wiseguy’s closest relative, as we are New York-style inspired! This is the beloved grandparent in the pizza family.
When immigrants from Greece arrived in America and tried Italian pizza, they knew they had to make it Greek. Especially popular on the east coast, it features a thick, chewy crust with an almost deep-fried bottom. It’s prepared on a shallow metal pan making it a bit puffier than thin crusts, but not as thick as the deep-dish styles. Ingredients commonly found on a Greek pizza include- Feta, spinach, olives, and usually a heavy dose of oregano.
From Cirques to Squares
Sicilians may be the creators of the square-shaped pizza, but Americans ended up incorporating the shape into a few iconic favorites.
This pizza has a soft, thick, pillowy dough- with a crunchy crust. It is often baked in a square pan, and sliced into thin squares. By the mid-19th century, this type of pizza was popular in Sicily, possibly evolving from the much older focaccia.
Often referred to as deep dish pizza, it has a high edge crust, providing loads of cheese, chunky tomato sauce and other ingredients with ample room. The difference is in how this pie is constructed. Slices of mozzarella line the dough, followed by other ingredients and then topped with crushed tomatoes.
With Detroit’s strong ties to the automotive industry, it’s no surprise to learn this pizza was born out of a square automotive parts pan in the 1940s. It is layered with pepperoni, followed by brick cheese (usually Wisconsin). The cheese is key, as it is applied so that it creates a very crispy, caramelized outer edge. The sauce is added to the top, much like its cousin, the Chicago.
This thin style has an almost cracker-like crust. It uses Provel cheese- a combo of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. Milan and Sicilian immigrants came to the St. Louis area in the 19th century and gave birth to this sweet, saucy, served-in-squares delight.
That One Relative…
A true black sheep in the pizza fam, it’s a clear departure from the rest of the clan. The California has a thin crust, with toppings like goat cheese, artichoke hearts, vegan ingredients, peanut sauce… the list goes on. It also likes to keep to itself. No big in-your-face pizza here. Think single serve.
From our family to yours
No matter your favorite, we hope you stop by Wiseguy Pizza Pie when you visit any of our Boise, Hailey, or Ketchum locations. Our menu items show our dedication to serving only the freshest ingredients in a relaxed, family-friendly setting.