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Difference Between Greek and Italian Pizza? [moved from Boston board]

Someone asked me today what the difference between Greek and Italian pizza is. Duh......I know it when I see it or eat it, but I can't qualify it. So what makes, say, Regina's different from any "House Of" pizza?

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  1. Greek pizza is not handthrown and is always cooked in a pan. The sauce is sweeter and I believe they use a cheese blend as opposed to mozz.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

      In addition, Greek pizza crust is spongy, lots of tiny bubbles.

      1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

        Really? I've seen it handthrown at multiple places, just not to the degree found at Regina and others.

        The sponge-like crust reminds me of Pizza Hut's crust. Greasy too.

        1. re: Dax

          Lots of oil in the dough makes it easy to work into the pan. Different cheeses have more fat and the oil is released.

        2. re: ChickenBrocandZiti

          It's sweeter because Greek cooks like to add cinnamon/nutmeg to everything! I used to work at an Italian restaurant that was owned and operated by a lovely Greek family. Everything always looked good but the smell and taste of their food was always off, in my Italian-American mind. I like Greek food, but not fake Italian-American Greek food.

        3. It can be a lot more oily than traditional thin-crust pizza. I know of a couple of places where you have to put a bunch of napkins on top of the pizza to soak up the excess oil.

          1. Crust won't fold and something about the sauce is almost always off..

            12 Replies
            1. re: rosie17

              I've noticed the non-folding crust thing too. Any theories on why? Is the crust thicker? The edge of the Greek pizza crust is bumpy, where Italian crust is smooth except for the occasional bubble.

              I've also noticed how the Greek pizza is more oily. Good point about about the different cheeses producing more fat. So is mozzarella the only cheese used on Italian pizza? What cheeses are used on Greek pizzas?

              1. re: pollystyrene

                The Greek crust is more biscuit-like, with less give than the Italian version.
                It's definitely thicker and drier which isn't conducive to folding.
                The pan is greased first too, which, on the rare decent greek pie, gives a tasty golden crust, and also more oil.

                1. re: joestrummer

                  biggest differences are crust and cheese. greek is pan pizza with mild white cheddar cheese, no mozzerlla ever, at least in the Boston area.

                  italian is hand tossed/strecthced, no pan and should have mozz in the cheese blend.

                  1. re: Bighead

                    Greek pizza is probably cooked at a lower temp. than italian pizza too.

                    1. re: Bighead

                      So you've been to every greek pizza place in the area to verify? ;-)

                      Pretty sure Steve's in Waltham uses mozz - and actually does a good job with the style - I love and prefer italian style pizza, but willing to give room for other styles that are done well. Granted if you desire italian style pizza, greek pizza isn't going to satisfy, but its all about the results, not the "authenticity" imo. Sauce at Steve's isn't that sweet -actually has a lot of acidity- and no cinnamon or other weird spices.

                      I used to go to New London out in Acton that used mozzarella and cheddar blend. Not a huge fan of cheddar on pizza (works on bbq pizza though), but loading the toppings up with meat seemed to make it work better.

                  2. re: pollystyrene

                    it simple cheap cheese
                    the reason it is so thick is to hold thew grease
                    1 slice if any of those (house of pizza) you can squeeze out enough grease to change the oil in your car

                    i don't know where anyone got the idea of no mozzarella. or a cheese blend is why it is greasy
                    the papa gino's co has always used a blend and like their pizza or not it is thin and not as greasy as the house of pizza
                    and no it is not all cooked in a pan either
                    it ia just all those house of pizza types use crap ingred. for everything inclu subs

                    1. re: foodperv

                      Did Jimmie The Greek give you some bad betting advice years ago ? I have had some fine Greek or Bar pizzas as I have also heard them called. In my experience, they are cooked in a pan, are usually more of a single serve size, and can use any type of cheese.

                      1. re: TonyO

                        Greek pizza is crap. Italian is the only way to go, especially when you have tried pizza in Italy, there is just no comparison. It would be like trying to compare Chicago style to New York style.

                        1. re: marcusnaz14

                          To be fair, not all Greek pizza is crap. It's a different style, that's all. I have been known to enjoy a Theo's pizza (Teele Square Somerville) even though my favorite local pie is Regina's and I've eaten a lot of pizza in Italy. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, but it's not completely out of the question that one might enjoy Greek-style pizza. Why all the haters?

                          1. re: yumyum

                            I'm with you. Growing up in RI, I ate tons (probably literally) of both Italian and Greek pizza. It's almost apples and oranges.

                            And there is plenty of greasy Italian pizza out there.

                      2. re: foodperv

                        but papas blnd has mozz. I once worked in restuarant supply schelping deliverys. we had dozens of greek pizza joints on our route and every single one uses cheap mild white cheddar and no mozzerella.

                        I'd bet money that you wouldn't find one greek joint inside 495 that uses anything but the cheap cheddar...

                        1. re: Bighead

                          My old b/f had that same job in the 80s - delivered cheese, sauce and meats to every pizza joint in New England. He made the exact same distinction you make - the Greek pizza parlors use cheap mild white cheddar and no mozzarella. (You didn't work for HB did you??)

                          (Ooops - sorry - didn't realize I was getting in on the 2007 end of this thread!!)

                  3. Here's a good discussion I remember from earlier this year:

                    What is Greek Pizza
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404325

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rubee

                      Thanks, Rubee (and everyone else). So, here's the summary, as I see it. Greek pizza (compared to Italian) has:

                      -thicker, stiffer crust
                      -the edge of the crust has a lot of tiny brown bubbles
                      -the cheese is white cheddar instead of mozzarella
                      -the difference in cheese makes it more oily
                      -the sauce is scant and sweeter

                    2. I've worked for several years at a greek pizza place. Where I work both the cheddar blend that is being discussed as well as mozzerella is used. The biggest difference I see between greek and italian style in boston is that greek pizza is cooked in a pan, and depending on how long the dough has been left to rise in the pan the crust becomes much thicker (leading to the no folding thing). Some greek pizza places are really crappy, some can be really great, i guess it depends on your mood (or pizza style preference). But like someone already said it really is comparing apples to oranges.