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This Man Traded His iPhone for a Bite of Pepperoni Pizza

This Man Traded His iPhone for a Bite of Pepperoni Pizza


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It wasn’t even a whole slice of pizza

“The pizza was outstanding and I would do it all again.”

What would you do for pizza? This man traded his iPhone for just one bite.

Allan Banning was one of about 200,000 attendees of a Scottish music festival called T in the Park. The festival was held from July 10 to 12 this year.

Music festivals can be exhausting — everyone is dancing and sweating, and it’s important to eat and drink water to stay fueled. So when someone offered Banning a bite of pepperoni pizza, he said yes — but had to pay a price.

Banning took to Facebook after he traded his smartphone for pizza, asking Facebook friends if anyone was selling an iPhone 5. He said, “If anyone on here is selling an iphone 5 or better please let me know… Swapped mines at titp last week for a bite of pepperoni pizza. If you’re not selling one feel free to leave a wide comment, regards.”

We hope that he was able to find a new iPhone 5. He apparently tweeted later that he had “no regrets,” saying “The pizza was outstanding and I would do it all again.”


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You're Gonna Make This Year | The Food Lab

For the past year, I've been up to my neck in crispy cheese crusts. That's not a bad place to be, mind you.

When did Detroit pizza become a thing? I mean, I know that rectangular pan pizzas have been served in the Motor City since at least 1946, when, according to Pure Michigan, bar owner Gus Guerra and his wife, Anna, decided to throw a batch of her mother's Sicilian dough into a blue steel pan, originally used to carry auto parts, and bake it with cheese and sauce. The pizza emerged with a blackened, lacy, crispy cheese crust all the way around the edges, and a new pizza style was born. Buddy's, the restaurant opened by the Guerras, has been serving it ever since.

But that's not what I mean. When did it become a thing? Starting in early 2016 or so, everyone seemed to be talking about it or writing about it or opening up restaurants devoted to it. I first became aware of it back in 2008, when former Serious Eats editor and current bar pie specialist Adam Kuban included it in his exhaustive pizza style guide, but it wasn't until the following year, during my annual Michigan hunting trip, that I tasted it for the first time, at a Buddy's in Detroit.

To be frank, I don't know why it didn't blow up earlier. The stuff is freaking delicious. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up: The crust comes out crisp and golden on the bottom, with a lightly fried texture that it gets from sizzling in the rendered fat that drips down from the cheese. Next, we move on to the crumb, which is chewy, with a medium-fine bubble structure. Not so rustic as, say, a focaccia, but not quite as soft and fluffy as a New York–style Sicilian slice.

Above that is where things get a little topsy-turvy. Instead of using the "sauce, cheese, toppings" order of a typical pizza, Detroit pizzas are built in reverse. Creamy, tangy Brick cheese from Wisconsin is cubed and applied directly to the top of the dough, where it bakes up gooey, buttery, and thick in the middle, crispy and dark brown around the edges. On top of the cheese is a sweet, thick tomato sauce, seasoned with plenty of garlic and spices and often applied in heavy parallel bands. If you order the pizza with pepperoni (the most common topping), depending on where you are, you might find it cupped and crisp on top of the sauce, or, occasionally, buried underneath the cheese, where its flavor seeps in and penetrates every bite.* It's crispy, fatty, cheesy, tangy, and glorious, especially those coveted corner pieces that give you that extra crunch.

*Should we call them "middlings" instead of "toppings" if they're stuck in the middle?

This is not everyday pizza. It's not every-week pizza. It might not even be every-month, if you want to live to a reasonable age. But damn, is it good pizza. So good that it's worth a trip to Detroit just to taste it. So good that it's worth devoting months of time, weeks of research, and dozens and dozens of experiments to developing a recipe to duplicate it at home. So that's exactly what I did. Here's what I found.


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