You may have noticed a surge of news about Detroit-style pizza lately. Born and raised in Michigan until I was 13, this newfound interest in the thick, square pies with signature crispy-edged crust may mean that the style is headed my way sometime soon, which makes me very happy.
A couple of years ago, PMQ had two Detroit-style pies
entered into the American Pizza Championship. One came in second and the
other came in third. It was almost unheard of, seeing as they were the
only competitors who had that style in the entire competition, and
neither had competed with us before.
The next year, the second
place winner, Shawn Randazzo, went on to compete in a Vegas pizza
competition and won the title of World Champion Pizza Maker of the Year,
against Italians no less! The third place winner from our competition,
Jeff Smokevitch, won Gold in the American Pan Competition during the
Now this is probably pure coincidence, but Little
Caesars just introduced a Detroit-style pizza nationwide at the
beginning of April. The very same day, Madison Heights, Michigan-based
Hungry Howie's introduced its Detroit-style pizza, with a flavored crust
(what the chain is famous for). Hungry Howie's company executives have
said that they decided to add the menu item after they tested it in
other parts of the country and it got "very positive" reactions. Chains
do not usually introduce new menu items without a fair bit of confidence
that the item will do well.
It's perplexing to me that the
Detroit-style pie has been around since the '40s, and yet it's just
getting its time in the spotlight; most people don't recognize it the
way they would NY-style or Chicago-style. It will be an interesting
development to watch. Maybe we'll start to see other regional pizza
styles start to migrate across the country as well.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Detroit-Style Pizza Makes Headlines
My goal at The Pizza Insider is to give you the inside scoop on the latest trends, marketing tactics and technology so that you're always one step ahead of the competition! I've been a part of the pizza industry since 2007, first as the editor-in-chief, and now as the editor-at-large at PMQ Pizza Magazine. My first pizza book, Pizza: A Slice of American History, was just released; find out more here.