Pizza: one word, five letters, say it and I’m yours.

I’m from New Jersey and in New Jersey, we pride ourselves on our pizza. Arguably prepared the “Italian way” pizza is something we take very seriously. 

Pizza-making is an art form and while New Jersey natives may claim that their pizza is the best, there are countless variations all over the globe—some more obscure than others— that are not quite as well-known and deserve some recognition.

Whether you are craving the standard sauce and cheese slice (#basic), or yearn for something with unique toppings like peanuts and curry, there are different types of pizza served all over the world that are certainly worth a try (or at least a read).

1. USA: New York-Style

Similar to Neapolitan pizza, which originates from Naples, Italy, New York-style is most akin to New Jersey pizza, and is probably what one envisions when they hear the word “pizza,” at least for those from the Northeast (heyyy).

Traditionally hand-tossed and baked in a coal-fired oven, this thin, crispy pizza is coated in a light tomato sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese.

Classic, amirite?

2. Italy: Sicilian or Sfincione

Unlike most pizza, these slices are rectangular and thicker. The Sicilian term “sfincia” is derived from the latin word "spongia" or the Arab word "isfang," meaning sponge. This refers to the thickness of the crust.

It is usually made with focaccia dough, and topped with tomatoes, cheese, onions, olive oil and breadcrumbs, and then seasoned with oregano. The Americanized "Sicilian" slice is much heavier, however (no surprise, USA).

3. USA: Chicago-Style Deep-Dish

Talk about a cheese pull.

This takes the phrase "pizza pie" to a whole new level. Baked in a round pan, this crust can rise up to three inches. Toppings typically include meat and cheese layered underneath a chunky tomato sauce. So it is, quite literally, a pizza pie.

4. Scotland: Deep-fried

Also called “pizza crunch,” this deep-fried pizza is usually served with salt and vinegar, or salt and a brown sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce depending on the region from which it is ordered. Pizza crunch is typically served with french fries—or “chips” as the Scots say—in case your fried fix was not already satisfied.

5. Sweden

The Swedish pizza scene is a strange phenomenon. With so many variations having names like “Jamaica,” “Africana” and “Golden Horn,” Swedish pizza is quite peculiar.

The most popular type is “kebab pizza” which has tomatoes and cheese (usually not mozzarella), döner kebab meat and two sauces—one that is hot and one that is yogurt-based. Iceberg lettuce is sprinkled on top.

The Africana usually consists of toppings like chicken, bananas, peanuts, and curry powder. A pineapple ring rests in the center of the pizza.

Another recipe contains some unconventional toppings, like canned fruit cocktail and chocolate. 

Personally, I like my pizza and I like my chocolate, but I have no plans of bringing them together in one meal. Sorry, Sweden.

6. Japan: Okonomiyaki

This “pizza” recipe varies by region, but it usually includes a vast array of toppings like pork, squid, octopus, noodles, mochi, and vegetables. The “dough” batter is made with water or dashi— a stock made from fish and kelp—grated nagaimo (type of yam), eggs and shredded cabbage. This dish is topped with an egg, Kewpie mayo, dried bonito (fish) flakes, pickled ginger, and okonomiyaki sauce, which is best compared to a sweeter version of Worcestershire sauce.

While this may seem too distant a relative to pizza, don’t knock it ‘till you try it.

7. Korea: Bulgogi and Nurunji

Bulgogi pizza is topped with tomato sauce, cheese and bulgogi—a grilled marinated beef. Other toppings can include kimchi (a spicy pickled cabbage), mushrooms and bell peppers. These ingredients contrast from the sour kimchi, enhancing the sweet and salty blend of flavors.

Nurungji pizza has a base of scorched rice that is shaped into a circle. Pizza dough goes on top of the rice, then gochujang sauce (Korean red chili condiment), peppers, onion, bulgogi and cheese.

8. France: Tarte flambée

What is any French dish without some fromage (aka cheese)? This "pizza" is a thin layer of dough covered with either a layer of fromage blanc or crème fraiche. It may come with muenster cheese, mushrooms, onions, bacon or apples.

9. Turkey: Lahmacun

Similar to a cracker, the “crust”of lahmacun is extremely flat. On top, there is a thin layer of either minced lamb or beef, red pepper paste, onions, herbs, and spices. It is then baked in a super-hot stone oven and topped with a handful of parsley and a drizzle of lemon juice. This doesn't seem all that similar to pizza, but it looks downright delicious if you ask me.

10. Hungary: Lángos

Lángos is a well-known Hungarian street food that was inspired by Turkish cuisine, and is also popular in neighboring countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is a deep-fried flatbread topped with sour cream, grated cheese and garlic. Lángos can be served savory, having toppings like bacon and eggplant, or sweet, topped with cinnamon sugar, Nutella or jam.

Tired of the crêpe scene? Perhaps, give lángos a try.

Feeing bold? Scope out some new eateries to try one of these slices for yourself.

...Or, head over to a pizzeria to grab your usual slice. No judgment. It is pizza, after all.