Every so often there comes a food that transcends the origins from which it came. In the pizza world, Detroit-style is a regional fare that may have begun in the Motor City, but it’s taken the United States — and even other parts of the world — by storm.
At least that’s what data from Anytime Estimate says. The United States houses an estimated 78,000 pizzerias, and 2022’s results show that Detroit is No. 1 in a number of areas. Anytime Estimate analyzed U.S. business data, economic and labor statistics and Google Trends data, and it also consulted Thrillist, Pizza Today, Expensive and Menu With Price. Detroit ranked No. 1 in “Pizza Passion,” measured in the amount of Google searches by locals. Detroit, where of course Detroit-style originated, boasts the most independent pizzerias per capita — around six per 100,000 residents, and that’s almost double the average of the 50 cities that Anytime Estimate analyzed. If you live in Detroit and have a craving for pizza, you’re in luck: There’s a pizzeria every 1.5 miles, and of course Detroit-style came on top as the most desired.
With countless numbers of pizza styles in the States alone, why is Detroit-style hitting the spot with customers? First, it’s sort of a cousin to Foccacia-like Sicilian-style pizza, which originated in the pizza region of the world. The magic of Detroit-style, Tasting Table says, is the meaning behind the pizza’s first bake. In 1946, Detroit’s Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizza Tavern started baking Detroit-style as an expansion experiment, and owner August “Gus” Guerra kneaded Sicilian-style dough into a quintessentially Detroit item: a repurposed steel automobile pan. Wisconsin brick cheese (hint: brick cheese is key in Detroit-style) came after the dough, and instead of serving as the base, the sauce was spread on top. The result was an airier dough than Sicilian, developed according to Tasting Table, due to the cheese’ high fat content that seeped into the base. The thick pan saved the pizza’s chewiness, caramelized the cheese, and the first Detroit-style pizza came to life. Now, it’s LloydPans’ No. 1 selling pan style, thanks to Buddy’s innovative spirit that started it all.
Detroit-style, which also made Lifehacker’s “20 of the Most Beloved Types of Pizza from Across the U.S.” list, really started spreading through the city in the 1980s, and by the 2010s we saw it on menus across the country, possibly due to the late Shawn Randazzo’s win at the 2009 World Championships. He won with a Detroit-style pizza and put the rectangular style on a more worldwide map.
Detroit-style pizza was Yelp’s top trend choice in 2021, and heading into the 2022 holiday season, the rectangular fare shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Forbes named Detroit-style as the “fastest-growing trend in pizza,” with large chains like Pizza Hut adopting its own special style with four iterations — Detroit Double Pepperoni, Double Cheesy, Meaty Deluxe and Supremo — on its menu.
And, LloydPans’ faithful across the country are feeding customers — and our eyes — through Detroit-style creations on Instagram. @MattBurgner of Stamford, Connecticut, used the LloydPans’ Detroit-Style Pan and simmered crushed tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and a touch of sugar for the sauce. Roni cups, red onion, backyard banana peppers and a drizzle of @zabs hot honey finished it off.
@Eddiespizza412 showed off his supreme Detroit-style pizza loaded with onions, mushrooms and olives, while @ptbo_pizza_guy piled on the roni cups for a double pep Detroit-style baked in a 12×12 LloydPans Detroit-Style Pizza Pan.
Have you created a delish Detroit lately? Share it with us @LloydPans, and don’t forget to load up on our Detroit-Style Pizza Pans for the next bake.