Read the following text about deep dish pizza in Chicago and, for statements 1-12 below, decide whether they are True (T) or False (F). The first question (0) is an example.
Chicago’s deep-dish pizza
Pizza in the United States is deeply embedded into the nation’s culinary consciousness, but Chicago’s version took the concept in a much more indulgent direction. Today, deep-dish pizza is as central to the Windy City as Wrigley Field.
To appreciate the story of deep-dish, you must first look back to the 16th century, when modern-day pizza began to take shape in the Italian city of Naples. The flourishing port was home to many working class residents who lived in dense neighbourhoods around the Bay of Naples. Small rooms and cramped quarters meant most of their living was done outdoors, and people looked for food that was inexpensive and quick to eat. Baked in a hot oven and sold street-side, paper-thin pizza became the quintessential fare for the Neapolitan poor.
Over the next decades, pizza grew in popularity, moving beyond Naples and spreading across both the country and social strata. In 1889, Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Espisito created the infamous Pizza Margherita – a simple blend of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil – to honour the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, birthing one of the most classic pizzas to date.
Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, Neapolitan immigrants arrived in the US, like many Europeans of that time, in search of factory jobs. Before long, Chicago was home to a flourishing community of first and second-generation descendants, hungry for the thin pizzas that represented their culture and culinary roots. Eventually two entrepreneurs, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, decided to create something different: an Italian-American version of pizza. In 1943, the pair opened Pizzeria Uno in the Chicago’s Near North Side neighbourhood, serving a new style pizza with a deeper dish, crunchier crust and inverted layers – a far cry from the classic Neapolitan version.
Today, Pizzeria Uno is a big brand with a changed name, Uno Chicago Grill, as well as more than 200 cookie-cutter chain restaurants from Massachusetts to New Jersey, South Korea to Pakistan. But there is something special about stepping into the original location in downtown Chicago, still named Pizzeria Uno. Large groups of tourists circle the building, waiting for their turn to enter the packed restaurant.
Deep-dish pizza is delivered dense and hot. With a heavy spatula, pre-cut slices of weighty pizza are dished out. Intense layers of cheese and tomato sauce fill the pie-like crust, inches high, to the browned edges. This is undeniably a knife-and-fork affair. A few bites satiate, and though it is tasty, it is not Chicago’s best. But people come here mostly for the tradition, not the world’s finest slice. Seventy years after it opened its doors, Pizzeria Uno still stands as the original home of the deep-dish and there is no disagreement that this pizza was first served at here.
A particularly muddled detail involves one of Chicago’s most famous pizza families, the Malnatis. Adolpho “Rudy” Malnati, Sr – a one-time employee at Pizzeria Uno – claimed that it was his spark of genius that created the recipe. He and Riccardo, according to the Malnati family, would hand out slices of Pizzeria Uno’s deep-dish on Chicago street corners in the hopes that passersby would give it a taste. Sewell, the Malnatis say, came later. Records of either Sewell or Riccardo making pizza, or even showing any ability in the kitchen are noticeably absent, fuelling the claims.
According to the Malanti storyline, after Riccardo’s death, Rudy and his son, Lou, co-managed Pizzeria Uno until Rudy Malnati, Sr also passed away. Lou didn’t find his place in the restaurant after being told he was an employee, just like everyone else. Frustrated, he opened his own restaurant in 1971: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.
The story does not end here, however. Lou Malnati had a half-brother, Rudy Jr, who opened his own joint, Pizano’s, in 1991 in downtown Chicago. A waiter at Pizano’s divulged that Rudy and Lou’s mother, Donna Marie, gave Rudy Jr the original recipe developed by Rudy Sr himself. So, while Lou went off to Lincolnwood, Donna Marie spent her nights in the kitchen rolling out dough from the secret recipe at Pizano’s. Who is using the original recipe today remains a point of debate.
Anyway, if you want to tour for more in Chicago, there is also Gino’s East and many other restaurants that offer deep-dish pizzas. To taste them all, book a tour with Chicago Pizza Tours and take a seat on their bus, aptly named “Dough Force One”. The bus traverses the city, guiding visitors on a tour of local spots, inside kitchens and through Chicago’s pizza history.
EXAMPLE: 0. Deep-dish pizza is very famous in Chicago. = TRUE