Detroit Style Pizza Surges in Popularity, But Some Versions Not Authentic

As Detroit Style Pizza continues to earn worldwide praise, big pizza brands add the style to their menus; World Champion Pizza Maker Shawn Randazzo wants pizza lovers to make sure they're getting the real deal.

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Authentic Detroit Style Pizza

Authentic Detroit Style Pizza

It would be a shame for people to make a judgment about Detroit Style Pizza without first getting to enjoy the real deal.

Detroit, MI (PRWEB) February 28, 2014

Detroit Style Pizza continues to surge in popularity as Authentic Detroit Style Pizza Makers have recently opened pizzerias in 7 U.S. states, Europe and Asia, with even more restaurants serving the traditional Detroit pie opening soon. Big brand pizza companies have taken notice of the national-award-winning style, with several offering their own versions of Detroit Style Pizza. However, World Champion Pizza Maker Shawn Randazzo worries that big brands' inability to bake and serve truly Authentic Detroit Style Pizza could jeopardize public perception about the "Motor City Secret."

"My mission is to make sure everyone gets a taste of Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, so it's an odd position to be in. On one hand, big brands are more capable of promoting Detroit Style Pizza than smaller, locally-owned pizzerias, and for doing so, I applaud them. On the other hand, if they're not properly preparing the style, they're not really serving Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, and we don't want people to think they're eating our style of pizza if they're not," said Randazzo, who owns three Detroit Style Pizza Co. pizzerias in Metro Detroit and founded DetroitStylePizza.com, an educational and training resource for operators who want to serve Authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

Recently, big pizza brands such as Little Caesar's and Hungry Howie's have added Detroit Style Pizza to their menus, but Randazzo said large chain operations aren't equipped to properly prepare Authentic Detroit Style Pizza. Key differences include:

  • Authentic Detroit Style Pizza is baked in well-seasoned square steel pans (the same kind of pans once used as parts trays by the automotive industry), while some pizza chains opt for aluminum pans that don't impart the baked-in flavor and crust caramelization of properly-seasoned steel pans
  • Authentic Detroit Style Pizza is best baked in deck ovens, whereas most big brand pizzerias use quick-bake conveyor ovens that do not result in the same quality of bake: a light and airy inside, crispy outside, thick crust in the true tradition of Authentic Detroit Style Pizza. Some deep fry their dough in pans containing up to one-quarter inch of oil to make up for this, while Authentic Detroit Style Pizza requires only a light brushing of oil and its cheese caramelizes to the crust during baking
  • Authentic Detroit Style Pizza dough features a high level of hydration, which lends to its light and airy texture, while brands who do not adhere to the same hydration level standards tend to bake pizzas that have denser, heavier crusts than Authentic Detroit Style Pizza
  • Authentic Detroit Pizza Makers traditionally line the dough with pepperoni before cheese, and they ladle the sauce on top of the pizza – traditionally after baking, a practice not followed by most big brands

These practices are adhered to religiously by Randazzo and other Authentic Detroit Style Pizza Makers such as Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, Co., Via 313 in Austin, Texas, KJ's Pizza in Grass Valley, Calif. and Loui Loui's in Louisville, Ky. If big brand pizza companies do not likewise adhere to the same standards, their versions of Detroit Style Pizza will not feature the same flavor, texture, or consistency that has skyrocketed Authentic Detroit Style Pizza's popularity in recent years.

"It's not that I believe big brands are bad, it's just that they're simply not equipped and trained to properly prepare Authentic Detroit Style Pizza," said Randazzo. "It would be a shame for people to make a judgment about Detroit Style Pizza without first getting to enjoy the real deal."

Learn more about Authentic Detroit Style Pizza and locate Authentic Detroit Style Pizza Makers at DetroitStylePizza.com.