We won’t proselytize yet again simply how much better Detroit deep-dish pizza is than Chicago’s Sahara-dry brick of crust hollowed out sufficient to pour in a tepid pool of marinara sauce. It totally is, but that’s not why we’re here.
Detroit deep-dish pizza is just as much a reflection of Detroit because it is a revelation in Jets Pizza menu with prices. And sure, most outsiders don’t comprehend it, but Detroiters don’t have to have the validation of outsiders to know what a very important thing they’ve got taking place on this site. It might be stubborn in its resistance to the standard pizza form, playing fast and loose with the thought of “toppings” as well as the “order” where they go on, but its uncompromising individualism is part of the items can make it so damn enjoyable. Detroit is its deep-dish pizza, and the deep-dish pizza is Detroit.
And thus we’re here to cover homage to that particular most superior of deep-dish pizzas, the deep-dish pizza to which other so-called “deep dish” pizzas aspire to: Detroit deep dish.
First, it starts with a little bit of automotive history. Detroit may be its deep-dish pizza, but it is much more therefore the Motor City, and several local innovations in the last century are directly born from the automotive roots. Like our neighborhood-skewering freeways and vast swathes of parking lots. (Nobody said all innovation was inherently good.)
And so it is the fact that, in 1946, Gus Guerra was looking to add new menu things to his struggling neighborhood bar, Buddy’s Rendezvous at 6 Mile and Conant, and acquired a couple of unused blue steel (not the Zoolander pose, the grade of steel) industrial utility trays from a friend who worked at a factory.
He thought the lipped trays will make an excellent Sicilian-style pizza, despite their rectangular shape. He happened to become right: all the characteristics that make Detroit deep-dish pizza distinctively itself are caused by the heavy trays, comparable to cast iron skillets, employed to bake them. The crunchy exterior crust soaked through with oil and bubbled over with caramelized cheese, the soft and airy interior crust: it’s all thanks to these repurposed trays.
Legend receives a little shaky here, however the preferred version of local lore is the fact Guerra’s wife Anna got the dough recipe for his or her signature deep-dish pizza from her Sicilian mother. The alternative story is the fact that a classic Sicilian dude named Dominic taught Guerra the “Sicilian way.” Blame the omert?ode of honor for that silence and subsequent speculation. In any event, Detroit deep dish’s roots are in Sicily, using the unique dough, sfincione, being more akin to a focaccia than what’s typically identified with pizza, which is apparently a defining characteristic about Detroit’s hot take on the subject. It defies what’s considered traditional.
Through the Sicilian dough and also the rectangular trays, the toppings go directly on top of the dough; the pizza is then piled over with high-fat, semi-soft Wisconsin brick cheese all the way to the sides from the pan, melting on the sides in the crust and caramelizing, bubbling up nice brown on the top and melting at the center. It gets another layer of toppings following that, and, lastly, the last touch: streaks of thick red sauce over top. The end result is a dense deep dish that still seems to be light mfpeyl airy, loaded with flavor and a lot of the coveted corner pieces to go around.
There is no dispute that Buddy’s — now with 11 locations throughout Metro Detroit — was the originator, and the other local institutions who have made a name for themselves with their own versions of Detroit jets holiday hours did so through a point of cultural diffusion.
Just across the road from Buddy’s, the owners of Shield’s took notice of the competitor’s newfound popularity and hired away Buddy’s long-time chef, Louis Tourtrois Sr., to make their pies. Shield’s has since expanded to three locations within the suburbs (the initial Detroit location is gone). Tourtrois eventually moved on to open his own pizzeria, Loui’s Pizza in Hazel Park, widely considered among locals to be the best of their class.