The History of Chicago-Style Pizza

San Mateo Pizza Delivery

How Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Came to Be

As most people can agree, pizza is one of the focal points of American tradition and the city of Chicago is no different. The Windy City is drenched in unique pizza history that continues to marvel locals and visitors alike.

During the early and mid-1900s, American society was filled with a myriad of dramatic events. On one hand, there was Al Capone and his criminal mob activities that captured the imagination and attention of the public. While on the other, a daring pilot managed to complete a transatlantic flight all the way from Italy to Chicago in the year 1933, which further electrified the atmosphere. However, World War II is what changed the state of affairs drastically.

Despite all these things, the American people’s taste for pizza was literally impossible to prevent, particularly after the troops returned home with a craving for their beloved American pie. According to food stats, there are more than 15,000 pizza places from the Boston Area all the way to Honolulu. However, as we all know, each pizza has its own unique taste and style. Perhaps this sort of individualism, together with Americans’ love for pie, is what led to the remarkable deep dish pizza.

History of Chicago-Style Pizza

The now well-known Chicago-style deep dish pizza was the lucky result of the economic and cultural changes that occurred during WWII. According to the story, the ingredients needed for pizza dough – oil, salt, wheat flour and yeast – were not included in the rationed foods of the time and any fillings could be made out of leftover vegetables and meats.

Due to the keen eye of two entrepreneurs, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, the first deep-dish pie was sold in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno. However, this crust had a thinner Napoli crust, not the super-thick crust associated with Sicilian pizza. Also, as opposed to baking flat on a baking sheet, deep dish pizza was baked in a circular pan that was two to three inches deep. Furthermore, the pizza had somewhat of an upside-down anatomy with a thick layer of mozzarella cheese atop the bottom crust (rather than sauce), then topped with veggies and meat, all covered with another thin layer of crust and lots of sauce. This mountain-high pie required a fork, knife and lots of napkins.

Read more about the birth of Chicago-style pizza and Pizzeria Uno’s history here.

The Best Pizza in San Mateo is Found at Windy City Pizza and BBQ

If you want to enjoy the best Chicago-style deep-dish pizza west of Chicago, stop by Windy City Pizza and BBQ today. We’re conveniently located in the Borel Shopping Center at 35 Bovet Road in San Mateo–one block north of highway 92 and El Camino Real. Questions about pick-up or pizza delivery? Give us a call at (650) 578-1942 or check out our online menu here!