National Cheese Pizza Day

Every September 5th is designated as National Cheese Pizza Day, giving pizza lovers everywhere an excuse to enjoy a cheesy slice or a whole pie. Cheese pizza is the original anchor of the American pizza tradition, providing the foundation that allowed the incredible diversity of pizza toppings and styles to flourish. Read on to learn about the history of pizza, the different regional pizza varieties across America, tips for making or ordering better cheese pizza, and fun ways to celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day.

National Cheese Pizza Day

The History of Pizza in America

While pizza traces its early origins to Naples, Italy, it became an American staple through Italian immigration:

  • Late 19th Century – Italian immigrants bring pizza recipes and pizza-making skills to US cities
  • 1905 – First US pizzeria, Lombardi’s, opens in New York City
  • 1943 – Ike Sewell invents deep-dish pizza in Chicago
  • 1950s – Rapid rise of pizza parlors and chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s
  • 1960s – Frozen pizzas introduced allowing national distribution
  • 1980s – Gourmet pizza movement emerges on the East and West Coasts

From its humble immigrant beginnings, pizza has soared in popularity to become a ubiquitous American food today.

Regional Pizza Styles Across the U.S.

American pizza has evolved into a diverse array of distinct regional styles:

New York Style

  • Large, thin, foldable slices
  • Crisp crust, moderate cheese
  • Iconic style across Northeast US

Chicago Deep Dish

  • Two-inch deep crust filled with cheese and toppings
  • Layers of chunky tomato sauce on top
  • Requires fork and knife to eat

Detroit Style

  • Square pies with caramelized, crispy edge crust
  • Toppings under generous cheese layer
  • Baked in steel auto parts pans originally

California Style

  • Nontraditional toppings like barbecued chicken, Thai chicken
  • Focuses on seasonal, local ingredients
  • Health-conscious crusts and sauce

St. Louis Style

  • Ultra-thin cracker-like crust
  • Oval shape with distinctive edge “strips”
  • Cheese blended into crust for crispy bites

Tips for Improving Your Cheese Pizza

Making or ordering better cheese pizza comes down to a few key strategies:

  • Use high-quality ingredients – Fresh mozzarella over preshredded; canned tomatoes over sauce; olive oil over vegetable oil
  • Choose the right crust – Pick your preferred thickness and texture – thin, thick, crispy, chewy, and let oven time vary accordingly
  • Add herbs and spices – Oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, garlic powder all enhance cheese pizza flavor
  • Use the bestcheese blend– Mix of whole milk and low moisture shredded mozzarella for ideal melt and stretch
  • Cook at high heat – Use a pizza stone or steel and crank the oven up as hot as possible to get the crispy crust char
  • Upgrade condiments – Swap out basic Parmesan for grated Pecorino Romano or drizzle with chili oil for a flavor boost

Celebrating National Cheese Pizza Day

On September 5th, join the cheese pizza party with these fun ideas:

  • Throw a build-your-own pizza party with friends or family and get creative with toppings
  • Try recreating different regional pizza styles at home for delicious variation
  • Order from your favorite local pizzerias supporting small businesses
  • Make it an all-day pizza marathon moving from plain to pepperoni to Hawaiian
  • Brush up on your pizza trivia to impress your fellow pizza lovers
  • Give back by donating pizzas to homeless shelters, hospitals, or first responder stations
  • Share your pizza passion on social media with cheese pull photos using #NationalCheesePizzaDay

However you choose to observe, make room for cheesy goodness this National Cheese Pizza Day. Pizza’s built on the simple foundation of crust, sauce, and mozzarella, so keep things classic with a plain slice or pie.