What Makes Sicilian-Style Pizza So Unique?

Pizza arrived in the U.S. during a wave of southern Italian immigration in the early 20th century. It's difficult to imagine that one of America's most beloved foods has only been sold here since 1905, per Serious Eats. The first pie, served out of a grocery store in New York City, was based on a Neapolitan style. However, Gennao Lombardi adapted that seminal pie with local ingredients and preparations. And in such a manner, regional Italian pizza variations mixed and mingled with outside influences. Now, there's everything from Roman, and Cajun, to Sicilian Pizza found in New York City, reports Eater.

Sicilian pizza, also known as Sfincione, was born from market vendors and bakers, and popularized in cities like Palermo. Noted for its square shape, it's defined by a unique dough and taste explains Best of Sicily Magazine. Such qualities still separate it from the classic tomato sauce and cheese slice, and many pizzerias in the American Northeast are noted for their expression of this style, per Taste Atlas. Let's examine what makes it so special.

Sicilian pizza is thicker, more bread-like, and served in a square shape

For starters, Sicilian pizza is a type of bread cooked on a square pan rather than directly in the oven. Its dough recipe is heftier, with twice as much flour and water and three times as much yeast. And toppings take less of a stage; small bits of leftovers like herbs, tomatoes, and cheese are simply sprinkled atop. For a truly authentic version, throw in some anchovies, too, describes Delighted Cooking.

Additionally, this pie does not have a bordered crust. Instead, the ingredients are layered across the entire dough area and occasionally stuffed inside like a calzone. Unlike variations in the States, it also doesn't use mozzarella, which is uncommon in Sicily, per Pizza Need. Very similar to focaccia, the two doughs have a nearly identical process, including a final proof unusual to classic pizza, reports MasterClass. For an excellent rendition, head to Iganzio's in Brooklyn. They know how to do it right.