As I sit here staring at a very cool-looking surfboard hanging on the wall next to some elegant black and white photos, I can’t help but wonder why this delicious Santa Cruz pizza is round. I know it isn’t the main concern. Most are enthralled by the Garlic Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), mozzarella, feta, fresh spinach, black olives, tomatoes, red onions, and artichoke hearts flavor combination, but I can’t stop my mind from wandering in between bites. So off to Google I go.
As luck would have it, I didn’t have to look far. Google is a really convenient and wonderful tool. I typed in “why is pizza round?” and got more information than I could have imagined.
Turns out that there are several reasons why pizza is round. Some reasons are just because, but also some really scientific reasons. First, I was happy to find out that I am not the first one or the only one who has thought of this question. One of the articles I found actually said that I wasn’t.
So at this point, besides getting answers, I am feeling pretty good about myself, eating great pizza, and learning all about it.
One of the reasons pizza is round is because round shapes are easier to cook evenly vs. more angular shapes. Similar to cakes, square, rectangle, pentagon, or any shape with established corners cook unevenly because of those corners.
Round pizza is also much easier to quickly divide into equally sized pieces in a smaller amount of swipes with a round pizza cutter. Watching a seasoned pizza chef make and cut a pizza can make your head spin. They move through the process so fast it will impress anyone.
The really nerdy reason….. Also known as the scientific reason…. is when a pizza maker stretches the lump of dough, they typically toss it in the air using a circular motion with their hands and fists to elongate the shape. The centrifugal force of the spinning motion naturally causes the circular shape. Forming the dough this way takes less effort than reshaping it into a square, is more consistent, and takes less time. These things are excellent reasons to keep pizza as a circle.
I also found out today that there is a formal “pizza association.” It is called the True Neapolitan Pizza Association. In 1984, this group created a rule that the pizza must be round to create an authentic Neapolitan pizza. They also noted that it must not be larger than 13.7 inches in diameter. Of course, we know that our friends from the North are losing their minds over such a “small” pizza, but rules are rules.
Of course, you can find square pizzas also. It is actually a pretty common occurrence in Southern Ohio, Kentucky, and many other Mid-Western states, but you won’t find that at Ultimate California Pizza. We cut our pizza into triangles. The way it should be done. Triangles are easier to pick up, easier to eat, and for those that insist, easier to fold.
The one negative thing about my experience today with my Google search is now I am trying to answer why pizza that is round is cut into triangles and served in a square box……. more to come on that.
Thanks for joining me today. If you want to learn more about our pizzas, check us out at www.ultimatecaliforniapizza.com. Our website features our menu, take-out ordering options, locations, and many other things. If you want to check out the entire Divine Dining Group’s family of restaurants, head over to www.divinedininggroup.com. You will be able to link directly to any of our other restaurants, purchase gift cards good at any of our locations, or even apply to join our team!