Sicilian-style pizza Versus Detroit-style pizza

Pizza has become a beloved classic for many people around the world. There are so many styles, toppings, and crusts that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Two popular styles of pizza are Detroit-style pizza and Sicilian-style pizza. Both types have their own unique characteristics, but which one is the best? Let’s take a look at how these two types of pizza compare.

Origins and Distinctive Characteristic

Detroit-style pizza

Detroit-style pizza is an iconic dish that has its roots in the city of Detroit, Michigan. The style of pizza originated in 1946 when Gus Guerra and his wife Anna, opened their neighborhood bar, Buddy’s Rendezvous. They decided to experiment with a unique pizza recipe by taking elements from traditional Sicilian and New York-style pizzas, but making their own spin on it.

Buddy's Pizza Signage

Buddy’s Pizza overtime became renowned for its square pies, and Detroit style pizza started to gain popularity across the entire Metro Detroit area.

The Origin Of Detroit-Style Pizza

The main feature of Detroit-style pizza is its thick square shape that bears greater resemblance to focaccia than other pizzas. To achieve this look they used a rectangular baking pan with raised edges that allowed the dough to puff up evenly while baking. The ingredients are also arranged differently as opposed to other styles, where the cheese and toppings are placed directly on top of the sauce; instead each one goes into separate layers which results in a cheesy center surrounded by crispy brown topping crust along the edge.

What really sets Detroit-style pizza apart is its trademarked “baked-in” cheese – cheddar cheese on top is melted inside the dough during the baking process which creates a unique flavor profile not found in other styles. It also helps keep the pie nice and moist for longer periods of time so you can enjoy it days after baking!

Detroit Style Distinctive Characteristic

Wisconsin brick cheese

The most distinctive characteristic of Detroit-style pizzas is their thick crust. The dough is made with Wisconsin brick cheese mixed right into it, as well as olive oil for flavor and sweetness. This pizza features a thick crust and cheese that extends to the very edges of the pan, this gives it an extra crunchy texture. The shape is rectangular, which makes it easy to cut into perfect square slices when served.

Sicilian-style pie

The Origin Of Sicilian-Style Pizza

Sicilian-style pizza has a long and storied history that dates back to the 1700’s. It originated in Sicily, Italy, where it is known as sfincione or focaccia, and is typically made with thick crusts and a variety of toppings. The traditional recipe usually includes tomato sauce, anchovies, onions, oregano, olives and grated Italian cheeses such as caciocavallo or provolone.

The unique style of pizza was brought to America by Italian immigrants who settled in New York City in the late 19th century. Since then, it has become a popular type of pizza due to its thick crust and flavorful toppings. Today, you can find Sicilian-style pizzerias throughout the United States making this delicious dish for all to enjoy!

Sicilian Style Distinctive Characteristic

square slice of Sicilian style pizza

In contrast to Detroit-style pizzas, Sicilian-style pizzas have a thinner crust that is crunchy on the outside but airy on the inside. The dough is made with all-purpose flour and yeast which creates an airy center when baked in a deep rectangular pan. Unlike other types of pan pizzas such as Chicago-style or Grandma pizzas, Sicilian dough does not rise very much while baking so it produces a thinner crust with more crispiness than chewiness or fluffiness.

Comparison between the two style of pizza

The two styles have distinct characteristics that make them stand apart from one another.

Detroit-style pizza has a thick, square and denser crumb with crispy edges and a sweet tomato sauce. It is also made with Wisconsin brick cheese that gives it a unique flavor.

Detroit-style crust

Sicilian-style pizza has a thicker base than the thin crust of a traditional Neapolitan or New York style pizzas, but not as thick as Detroit-style pizza. It has an airy crust, a sweeter sauce than other styles of pizza and is typically topped with mozzarella cheese, creating a bold yet balanced flavor profile.

Sicilian-style crust


Detroit-style pies are often topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and traditional toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms and olives.

Sicilian-style pizzas prefer mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and sometimes pepperoni. Both styles of pizza have their own unique flavor and texture, making them beloved staples in the pizza world.

Baking Techniques Comparison

Detroit-style rectangular pizza pan

Detroit-style Pizza Baking Technique

Detroit-style are typically cooked in a deep, square pan that is made of heavy steel. This type of pan allows the dough to cook evenly on all sides and ensures that the crust will be thick but still crunchy. The cheese is placed below the sauce, and the entire pizza is cooked in pre-heated oven.

“Detroit pizza are baked at higher temperatures for longer periods.”

Sicilian-style Pizza Baking Technique

Sicilian pizas are typically cooked in a rectangular pan that has been greased with olive oil. This type of pan allows the dough to cook evenly and ensures the the crust will be thin and crispy. The cheese is placed on top of the sauce, and entire pizza is cooked in pre-heated oven.

“Traditional Sicilian recipes calls for shorter baking times at lower temperatures.”

Sicilian style pizza pan

Their key difference

The key difference between Detroit-style pizzas and Sicilian-style pizzas lies in their respective crusts—Detroit style has a thick crispy crust while Sicilian style has a thin airy crust that is crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. Additionally,

Detroit style has cheese that covers the entire surface area whereas Sicilian style uses traditional toppings like tomatoes or olives instead of cheese at the top of the pie. Both styles offer unique flavors depending on your preference—Detroit style tends to be heavier due to its thick crust while Sicilian style offers lighter options due to its thin dough and traditional ingredients like tomatoes or olives instead of cheese at the top of the pie.                                             


Q: What is the difference between Detroit-style pizza and Sicilian-style pizza?

A: The main differences are the thickness of the base, type of cheese used, and sweetness of the sauce.

Q: What type of cheese does Detroit-style pizza use?

A: Detroit-style pizza uses Wisconsin brick cheese as its main topping.

Q: How thick is the crust for Sicilian-style pizza?

A: The base of Sicilian-style pizza is thicker than traditional Neapolitan or New York-style pizzas.

Q: Does Detroit-style pizza have a sweet sauce?

A: Yes, the tomato sauce used in Detroit-style pizza is slightly sweet in flavor.

Q: Does Sicilian-style pizza use mozzarella cheese?

A: Yes, mozzarella cheese is typically used when making Sicilian-style pizzas.

Q: How do the flavor profiles of Detroit-style and Sicilian-style pizzas compare?

A: Detroit style has a sweeter tomato sauce and uses Wisconsin brick cheese for its topping, making it slightly sweeter than Sicilian style which uses mozzarella cheese and has a less sweet tomato sauce.

Q: Is Detroit-Style Pizza viewed as a regional dish in America?

A: Yes, the popularity of Detroit style pizza has grown significantly due to its unique taste and texture that has become popular in certain regions within America such as Michigan and Ohio where it originated from.

Q. Are there any ingredients specific to Detroit Style Pizza?

A: Yes, Wisconsin Brick Cheese specifically is an ingredient not commonly used on other types of pizzas and gives Detroit Style Pizza its distinct flavor profile..

Q. Is the base of Sicilian Style thinner or thicker than that of other pizzas?

A. The base for Sicilian Style Pizza is thicker than most other pizzas such as Neapolitan or New York styles..

Q. Is there a major difference between Milwaukee’s version of deep dish pizza and Detroit’s version?

A. Yes, while Milwaukee’s version often uses heavier toppings such as sausage and pepperoni whereas Detroit’s focuses more on using distinctive cheeses such as Wisconsin Brick Cheese for their topping instead.


In conclusion, both Detroit style and Sicilian style pizzas offer delicious options for those looking for different types of pizza experiences! Whether you’re looking for something light with traditional toppings like tomatoes or olives or something heavier with cheese covering every inch of your pizza pan—there’s something for everyone when it comes to these two iconic styles from either side of America! Try out an original recipe from Buddy’s Pizza in Metro Detroit Area if you’re looking for some classic Motor City flavor.

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