Why we all love Detroit-style pizza now


Detroit style pizza is being cooked

Years before the pandemic, Detroit-style pizza was on the rise. The pizzeria I worked at (and where I still have moonshine), Paulie Gee’s Logan Square, was a specialty on quiet nights until we realized: people wanted them all the time. So we made them an everyday thing and they have become more and more popular. This wasn’t just the case with Paulie Gee: it was a nationwide trend while we responsibly protected ourselves. HuffPost explores why Detroit-style pizza was so popular during the pandemic.

Detroit-style pizza is unique in several ways: It is baked in a rectangular steel tray. it has a fluffy, almost focaccia-like crust; The edges are lined with cheese, which caramelizes during the baking process. it’s sauce above; and the cheese used is typically brick cheese which is buttery when melted. If you feel like you’ve heard a lot about Detroit-style pizza lately, it’s because Pizza Hut’s recent foray has caused quite a bit of controversy.

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But why was it such a hot seller? For one, it travels and warms up very well in my personal experience. Since the cheese is baked directly on the dough with the sauce on top of the cheese, the crust does not get very moist during transport. HuffPost spoke to the food consultancy Technomic, who had an interesting insight.

“With the crust being such an important part of this style of pizza, I think that’s why this has become so popular,” said Lizzy Freier, Technomic senior research manager who monitors menu trends. Detroit’s menu mentions in the pizza category have increased 63% over the past five years, she said.

According to Technomic, 40% of consumers consider the crust to be the most important ingredient in pizza. If you’re a bread-and-butter lover, the Detroit-esque fluffiness and sheer size is definitely for you. HuffPost also suggests Detroit-style cakes are easily Instagramable (and I have to agree).

I don’t think this is a fad either. You have the depth! Deep! Dish at Little Caesar’s (based in Detroit, of course) and the national chain Jet’s Pizza, whose turbo crust I can’t resist, as well as pop-up and boutique restaurants and Detroit-style food trucks that are still open. I think Detroit style pizza keeps popping up and definitely staying here. Go get a square.


Dusty Kennedy