13 Pizza Terms And Styles To Sauce Up Your Pizza Lingo

Pizza is among the most loved dishes around the world. However, when you ask ten people from different locations about what pizza is, you’re sure to get more than just a few diverse answers. Take a look back at the background of pizza as a word, and you’ll discern the reason why there’s more than an ounce of confusion.

The essence of pizza is a crust with a sauce of some sort, as well as cheese and other toppings. It’s a classic food battle over regional differences. A thin crust or a deep dish? Sauce or cheese on the top? The list of regional variations continues. Here are a few of the most important ones to be aware of, along with some of the keywords that every pizza lover should know about.

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Once you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the tasty words below, come back here and take our delicious and delicious pizza test. You won’t be satisfied, for sure.


Cornicione is Italian for the cornice or decorative molding along the edge of a structure. In the case of pizza, it’s the edge of the pizza. Cornicione is an excellent term for English people who want to describe pizza crusts in a more sophisticated manner. It is the True Neapolitan Pizza Association ( Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (or AVPN) has the same strict rules regarding the cornicione as they do for any other component of the Neapolitan pizza. It must measure between half to an inch high. Bonus points when it has air pockets. cornicione is a little air pocket.


The HTML1margherita is the main point of referring to pizza for a large number of people. This is due to the fact that the ingredients and recipe are very simple and consist of a thin, crispy dough that is then covered with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and basil. It is believed that it was created at the time of 1889 by Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi for the visiting queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. It is thought that mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil were selected to represent the colors – red, white, green, and red of the newly unified Italy. The fact that the story is true remains open to debate (it does not require a major imaginative leap to put these ingredients readily available onto a pizza at all, right?). It is believed that the Margherita is a basic staple of Italian pizza.

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Neapolitan pizza, which was first introduced in Naples, is the clearest definition of pizza due to it being made by the Association Verace Pizza Napoletana. The dough must be made using only either 00 or 0 Tipo flour (a kind of flour milled finely that is thought to be perfect for making pizza dough), along with yeast, water, and salt. Neapolitan pizza: Neapolitan pizza will be a Margherita-like pizza but is topped with specific ingredients: buffalo mozzarella (see the next item on our list), San Marzano tomatoes, and basil. It can also only be cooked in an oven that burns wood for a maximum of 90 seconds. It is the definition of a “roundish” pizza (per the rules! ). And yes, those who are concerned about authentic Neapolitan pizza are also concerned regarding its Cornicione.


This is a fresh and unaged Italian cheese that is traditionally made from the milk of water buffaloes in Italy and Bulgaria. The flavor is mild, and the texture is soft. It is water buffalo-only mozzarella, which is what authentic Neapolitan pizzas are made of. Yes, it’s a mozzarella made from cow’s milk from a specific breed known as the Italian water buffalo. However, it is important to note that the mozzarella you buy at the store mozzarella that you can find in the supermarket is likely (unless it is marked as such) fresh and unaged dairy cheese made from cow’s milk.

pizza al taglio

A common slice you’ll see in pizza places in Rome, the name pizza al taglio originates from the way they serve it: the word “al taglio” is “by the cut.” It has a more substantial crust and a lower bottom than the ones found in the traditional Neapolitan pizza. It’s also rectangular instead of oval. The toppings are diverse, and there’s a good likelihood that you’ll find a variety of toppings that will suit your preferences if you find yourself in a well-stocked store. When you’ve found the best pie for you, buy it in slices of a square, which is like New York-style pizza (see below for a list of toppings).

pizza alla pala

Another type of Italian pizza that comes with a simple name. Alla Pala is Italian, meaning “on the paddle,” and this oval pizza indeed comes served with the paddle. It’s distinct from the other Italian types because it’s cooked in the use of an oven with electricity that heats up close to 600°F, as opposed to an extremely hot wood-fired range. The hefty crust is then covered with a variety of ingredients after it has been in the field, as opposed to the crispy, cooked toppings that are typically served on pizzas al-taglio. The most reliable way to tell if the authenticity of an alla pala is to look at the paddle.

pizza al paneling

What’s called pizza in the padellino style and is popular in Italy is what Americans in the US call Pan pizza ( padellino is a Spanish word meaning “pan”). This style is popular in Torino, Italy, where it’s cooked in a round pan, which provides a hefty crust that can be topped with a variety of toppings.

Grandma pie

“Grandma’s pie” is a bit like a spin on a Sicilian pizza that has a cozy, nostalgic name. The pan-baked, rectangular pizza’s primary characteristic is a thinner crust, which doesn’t require the same amount of space to bake. It’s also usually baked without a pizza oven (neither wood-fired nor an electric oven), and the sauce usually goes over the cheese rather than placing the cheese on top.

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New York

There are very few, if any, pizzas that originate from the US that are as popular as the New York-style pizza. Thin-crust pizzas are usually served as a slice (never in the form of a “piece”), which is stored behind a glass counter and then reheated by a fire in the brick oven after being directed by the next patron who is waiting. The toppings are simple or elaborate, and the slice is flexible enough to fold but strong enough to stand up until you are able to eat it all–while walking, if necessary.


Detroit-style pizza resembles Sicilian and grandma-style. It’s rectangular, cooked in a skillet, and the slices are rectangular. The dough is soft, similar to the Sicilian friccino, and the sauce is served over the cheese and toppings, much like pies from grandma.

St. Louis

If the huge Detroit, as well as Sicilian-style pizzas, were to have the opposite of it, it would be St. Missouri-style pizza. The most distinctive pizza style of Missouri is easily identifiable due to its unbeveled crust with toppings so evenly distributed that there’s no crust to hold. Also, it contains what’s called Provel cheese, which is a squishy mix made up of cheeses like cheddar, provolone as well as Swiss cheeses.


Sicilian pizza is, as you can imagine, a style of Sicily. The only difference is that in Sicily, it’s called sfincione, which translates to “thick sponge.” It’s fairly obvious what the pizza will be according to the title and even to those who’ve never had a pizza before. This pizza’s focaccia-like base is covered with tomato sauce, vegetables, anchovies, vegetables, or whatever else you like. Instead of mozzarella or another soft or melty cheese, Sfincione is the designation of a hard cheese.

Did all this pizza talk leave you hungry? Find out about “elevenses” and other terms to help you snack!


It’s not an error. Apizza (pronounced “beets”) is a product of New Haven, Connecticut, and is a thin-crust pizza similar to Neapolitan-style pizza. The dough is, however, made of high Gluten with high water content. In order to shape it, pizza makers make use of potassium bromate flour and allow the dough to undergo a lengthy and slow rising time. The resultant pizza is then hand-cut, topped with a few toppings, then baked in a hot brick oven. The name “pizza” is derived from Italian pizza, which means “the pizza.”

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