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Pizza means different things in different regions. Here is a look at the styles:
Neapolitan. Normally cooked in a wood-fired or brick oven, good Neapolitan pizza emerges with an extremely thin, bubbled crust. Slightly charred areas will offer hints of bitterness to offset the sweet-tangy flavor of tomato sauce and the licorice flavor of julienned basil. Scattered pieces of fresh mozzarella accent, rather than cover, the tomato sauce. A Neapolitan pizza is never served by the slice, and rarely comes out pre-cut.
Chicago. Chicagoans are all about quantity when it comes to pizza. The thick crust is best when made with oil and butter, providing a crisp, bread like texture and buttery flavor. The sauce is on top and the cheese on the bottom, and a bevy of ingredients, ranging from sausage to cooked peppers and onions, are stuffed in between. Fork and knife are required.
California. Seasonal ingredients, often organic and local, define California pizza. The crust — thinner is better — is merely the vehicle for showcasing the bounty of the season. From stinging nettles to orange bergamot, anything is fair game when it comes to toppings for a California pizza.
New York. A true New York pizza will have a blanket of blistered cheese covering a thin crust and a layer of sweet tomato sauce. Too many toppings are sacrilegious to a die-hard New York pizza-lover — nothing should ruin the pure genius of a plain slice. And it tastes better if you fold it in half.