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Pizza cut into squares...a Chicago thing?


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#1 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:03 PM

On my current blog thread, someone asked me if pizza cut into squares was a "Chicago" thing. It sure is common around here and I don't remember seeing it done in too many other places. Anyone know the story behind the "square cut" pizza?

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#2 maggiethecat

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:08 PM

Just a guess:

Old time Chicago Italians--like my Nonna-in-law, preferred to make pizza at home in rectangular pans. The square cutting style transferred over to the professional places. Maybe.

It's way easier to cut than a wedge, especially if you want a lot of pieces.

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#3 woodburner

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:16 PM

Rectangular pans and square slices have been around the upstate ny area for many years. My guess is that generally speaking, you could fill more surface area with rectangular pans than round, in a square pizza oven.


woodburner

Edited by woodburner, 26 October 2004 - 05:18 PM.


#4 yellow truffle

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:17 PM

Old time Chicago Italians--like my Nonna-in-law, preferred to make pizza at home in rectangular pans. The square cutting style  transferred over to the professional places. Maybe.

Is your Nonna-in-law from Sicily? I believe they call this a Sicilian Pizza.

#5 snowangel

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 07:12 PM

As I mentioned in my reply on your blog, ronnie, squares are sometimes seen in the Twin Cities.

Interesting about pizza. When we live in the city (Minneapolis) all of the local little pizza joints were squeezed out by Pizza Hut and Dominos, except for Broaday which cuts the 'za into squares.

Now that we've moved to a 'burb, local pizza joints abound.

Our new favorite is but two blocks away. Pizza Flame. A chain, but with only two joints, and family owned. The mom and I have kids in the same class at the same school and both chaperone field trips (OT, I know). But, the pizza is great. Cut into squares. Not greasy. Crisp crust (thinner, I think, than what you portrayed, ron).

The square cut pizza. Until a couple of months ago, those little corner pieces that are almost all crust were mine. The kids have discovered them, much to my :angry:

And, I like to sprinkle crushed red pepper on my pizza slices. I think sausage and onion are my favorites at The Flame.
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#6 Marlene

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 08:17 PM

Squares are also seen in Canada, at least here in Oakville. Especially on our party size pizzas. :biggrin:
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#7 jhlurie

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 08:26 PM

Mentioned in Ronnie's blog, the most frequent appearance of square pizza in the NY/NJ/CT area is on Sicilian pizza--which is almost universally available. Other square cut pizza is pretty rare, but in the few other cases I've seen is almost REALLY thin crust (as opposed to Sicilian style, which is VERY thick).
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#8 rlibkind

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 08:44 PM

I grew up in North Jersey and there it was called Sicilian pizza.

Here in Philadephia you can find it, too, particularly at Italian bread bakeries where they make a rectangular pie out of their standard bread and slather some sauce (gravy) on top. Sarcone's makes a good one.
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#9 Suzanne F

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 08:49 PM

In Beloit, Wisconsin from 1966 to 1970, our Sunday night pizzas were round -- but cut into squares maybe an inch and a half on each side. :wacko:

#10 yellow truffle

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 09:05 PM

On my current blog thread, someone asked me if pizza cut into squares was a "Chicago" thing.  It sure is common around here and I don't remember seeing it done in too many other places.  Anyone know the story behind the "square cut" pizza?

It seems that we are focused on "square cut" pizza, on a rectangular base, that is prepared thick.

Perhaps the questions should be: Is the round thin crust pizza, that is cut into squares, a Heartland phenomenon? Just like the blue cheese stuffed olives to garnish a martini.

#11 rabidscottsman

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 10:53 PM

Ted's pizza just down the road from me in Farmington MN servers their pizza cut in squares.

I also believe that Basils and Bill's pizza in Northfield MN do it the same way. It has been quite a few yrs since i have been to the Northfield places. I would highly reccomend all 3 places...they all serve a pretty mean pizza!

#12 lovebenton0

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 01:55 AM

Very thin, crispy crust Chicago pizza cut in squares (whether a round or rectangular pie) was the pizza I always went for around there. If you try to cut that super thin crust into big wedges it just doesn't work.
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#13 kuan

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 02:56 AM

Who knows. Pizza is cut in squares for the same reason Chicago people don't call the interstate highways by their numbers. Kennedy, Eisenhower, Stevenson... now once again, is that 90 or 94 ON THE MAP!?!?!?

#14 =Mark

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 03:02 AM

We have thick crust square cut pizza here in Jersey (Sicilian).

As for Chicago style, thats not pizza, it's a casserole... :wink:
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#15 maremosso

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 04:25 AM

A Chicago thing? Naaah... it's all over Italy - sold mainly to tourists in every Piazza.
It's called "al taglio", and it's easier to eat, while walking around and looking around at the Italian architectural wonders, than the triangular slices.
It's been around for ages.

#16 GordonCooks

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 06:03 AM

Re; Upstate NY - Just about every pizza I remember as a kid was a round pie that was cut into square pieces - my sister liked crust I liked the middle slices. Certainly hard to find nowadays though.

#17 daniellewiley

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 06:23 AM

One of our favorite pizza places in Toledo (Inky's) cuts theirs in rectangles. Once down the middle and then straight cuts perpendicular. The corner pieces are long triangles, and the middle pieces are all rectangles.
I'll need to go soon and take some pics!
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#18 Tess

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 06:56 AM

We get our pizzas mainly at Malnati's and cut them at home. They suggest that so they stay hotter. I prefer the thin crust and find the squares much easier to handle.

#19 mnebergall

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 07:47 AM

Roberto Donna at Galelio in DC make pizza in a big rectangular pan and slices it into squares.

#20 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 09:03 AM

As for Chicago style, thats not pizza, it's a casserole...  :wink:

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LMAO! We're not discussing "deep dish" here. Are you just trying to be controversial? :biggrin:

I guess I'm in the vast minority of locals...more or less burnt out on "deep dish" and eternally obsessed with thin crust pizza. That's pretty much blasphemy around these parts. I do love that Chicago has its own "style" of pizza and it's great when you're in the mood but for me that's only about once a year.

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#21 yellow truffle

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 09:17 AM

I guess I'm in the vast minority of locals...more or less burnt out on "deep dish" and eternally obsessed with thin crust pizza. ...

The thinner, the better. ChefG had the thinest and smallest slice of pizza I ever had. You would have to use a micrometer to measure the thickness of it.

#22 rickster

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 12:44 PM

When I used to live in Connecticut, I would frequent a Greek pizza place that would cut their large size round pies into squares. Only place back east that I saw this though.

#23 razer

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 11:47 PM

St. Louis Imo's pizza is thin almost cracker like crust cut into squares. Plus it features the infamous and oft maligned PROVEL cheese (I believe it is a mix of smoked mozzerella and provolone).

Regular consumers are almost all familiar with Imo's Pizza Burn which comes when piping hot cheese sticks to the roof of your mouth.

DD

#24 lovebenton0

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 03:36 AM

As for Chicago style, thats not pizza, it's a casserole...   :wink:

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LMAO! We're not discussing "deep dish" here. Are you just trying to be controversial? :biggrin:

I guess I'm in the vast minority of locals...more or less burnt out on "deep dish" and eternally obsessed with thin crust pizza. That's pretty much blasphemy around these parts. I do love that Chicago has its own "style" of pizza and it's great when you're in the mood but for me that's only about once a year.

=R=

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Thin crust a blasphemy?!! :shock: Tain't that a shame. When I was a kid around Chicago (no not 100 hundred years ago :raz: ) you just didn't see all that thick doughy crust. Thin was in. No cheese and sausage casserole in a pan. Hey, if you wanted a lot of bready dough that's what bombers were for. :wink:
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#25 kuan

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 05:43 AM

As for Chicago style, thats not pizza, it's a casserole...  :wink:

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Hotdish :laugh:

#26 elfin

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:06 AM

Born and raised eating Chicago round- thin crust pizzas cut into squares. As a kid, we would fight over the center squares-no crust and the pieces were fully saturated with cheese.
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#27 elfin

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:09 AM

Born and raised eating Chicago round- thin crust pizzas cut into squares. As a kid, we would fight over the center squares-no border crust and the pieces were fully covered with cheese. As an adult, we now fight over the outside pieces- for the hard edges that are not totally covered with the toppings.
What disease did cured ham actually have?
Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

#28 eunny jang

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:10 AM

I prefer the square slices for their eatability. But I dislike them because most of the slices have no crust.

Ohhhh, the agony and the ecstacy.

#29 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:31 AM

I prefer the square slices for their eatability.  But I dislike them because most of the slices have no crust.

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You'll notice on the Barnaby's pie pictured in my blog that only 4 of the pieces are completely devoid of crust. At my house, those are always the last 4 left in the box...ymmv :smile:

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#30 gmi3804

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 10:41 AM

When I was a kid, I'd like the center pieces too. I'd eat all the toppings first, then the tomato bread. I know...weird kid. :rolleyes: