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Pizza of the World

17 May 2018

The bastion of the takeaway world, loved by food snobs and the uncaring alike, pizza is (in my humble opinion), the best possible food to eat at anytime, anywhere. What's not to love about it? From the humble yet delicious margarita, to the extravagant veggie supreme or meat feast, this delicious dish can be eaten by anyone throughout the world, with gluten free options available for those of you who are intolerant!

It is also a sauce (sorry) of controversy, with the great pineapple debate ripping apart families and friendships, and causing countries to turn against each other against which place really serves the best slice. So here it is: my definitive list on where to eat the best pizza or variation thereof. These are in no particular order, but there is certainly only one winner.

New York

The pizza in New York is pretty close to the pizza in Italy, thanks, in no small part, to the massive number of Italian immigrants who came through the ports of this gateway to the states in the early 20th century. It can be found on every street corner, and is usually served by the slice - as just a single slice is usually the size of a small pizza. They're thin and crispy, and the most popular flavours are pepperoni or margarita. Healthy they most certainly are not, but you can eat them on the go, and they make for a rather fun lunch on your New York explorations. If I was to choose a personal favourite from the range of American pizzas on offer, it would certainly be this one - the dough is simply unbeatable.

Chicago

As putting the two in the same category would probably cause riots, we come to New York's closest rivals, Chicago. This iconic deep dish pizza is called a 'pie' for a reason, with high walls of dough holding back a cauldron of sauce, cheese, and whatever fillings that particularly take your fancy. These pies are certainly different to New York, as it seems that the fillings are put in the wrong way. The cheese and other assorted goods are hidden under a thick and chunky tomato sauce. The most popular type of topping here is sausage, spicy chunks of meat hidden in the delicious gooey mess of cheese. It's probably not the best thing to walk around eating, perhaps more of a sit down thing, but you can't deny it's messily satisfying.

Japan

It's time to get funky with the pizzas now (although you could argue that Chicago is already pretty funky) and take a look at a country that's really grabbed on to the idea and run with it. In Japan, their take on the pizza is called okonomiyaki (o-ko-no-mee-yah-kee) and is exactly what one would expect a Japanese pizza to be. Although technically it's more of a pancake with toppings more than anything, since the street term for it in Japan is 'Japanese pizza', it's going in the list. Rather than the traditional dough, the base is a fried batter, and topped with squid, noodles, and an okonomiyaki sauce, which is similar to our own Worcestershire sauce.

Hungary

There's something inherently satisfying about Hungary's addition to the pizza world. Maybe because somehow they've found a way to make pizza even more unhealthy, by deep frying the dough (making Scotland's football chant of "we'll deep fry yer pizzas" to the Italians a bit moot). Said to be a descendent of the Roman flatbread, this dish can be either sweet or savoury, and was fairly popular in the Ottoman Empire. The bread is topped with traditionally Hungarian ingredients, including sour cream, cheese, ham, and sausages. Alternatively, you can have it as more of a garlic bread (pizza's rebellious younger brother), or smother it in sugar for dessert.

Italy

Let's be realistic, there's really only one place in the world that serves the best pizza, and that is Italy. The original, the home, the one and only, this is the place where this delicious bread based dish was born, and it's really the first place that pizza connoisseurs should consider enjoying a delicious slice. From the Neopolitan in Naples, to the Pizza Bianca in Rome, the delightful variety of flavours and slices are a way of life in this country. It's often said that the worst pizza slice from a petrol station by the autostrade will be miles better than any pizza found elsewhere - and as a rampant pizza lover myself, I am inclined to agree.

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