People Can't Agree Which Style Of American Pizza Is Their Least Favorite

Old rules of etiquette discouraged the mention of politics or religion in general company. But Emily Post never said anything about pizza. So at the risk of starting a culinary culture war, we went ahead and asked this question, in an online survey: Who has the best pizza? Some 44,000 respondents from across the globe had four regions to choose from, each with a distinctive pizza style: Detroit, Chicago, New York, or California.

Before we discuss what turned out to be a virtual tie for last place, let's define our terms. New York pizza is big and thin, with a chewy, high-gluten crust and not too much tomato sauce or cheese (via Slice).

Chicago-style pizza is dramatically different from New York: It's a deep-dish pizza that's so thick, the cheese goes on the bottom with the sauce on top, so the cheese doesn't burn. Then, there's Detroit pizza, which is close to Chicago-style pizza in both the culinary and the geographic sense. Both Midwest pizzas are loaded with lots of cheese and sauce. Detroit pizza, however, is rectangular, while the Chicago is round. Chicago pizza has a flaky crust, while Detroit is chewier, like New York's. The Wisconsin brick cheese that is particular to a Detroit pizza is pushed all the way to the edges of the pan so it will caramelize (via Home Cook World). The mozzarella on a Chicago pizza is nowhere to be seen, under all that sauce.

Detroit and California-style pizzas ended up at the bottom of our best pizza survey

Last but not least (or is it...?) is the California-style pizza pie. Basically, it's a New York crust (thin, chewy) with toppings befitting the California vibe: fresh, healthy, organic, often vegetarian or vegan (via Culture Trip). Honestly, the idea that the California pizza concept translates well outside state lines sounds dubious.

What did the respondents to our survey say? We asked online, who has the best pizza — New York, Chicago, Detroit, or California? Here, we consider the least popular choices, according to the 44,000 people who took our survey. Both the California and the Detroit style wound up at the bottom of the survey results, garnering a mere 7 percent of the vote each. (New York won in a landslide with 64 percent of the vote, and Chicago came in second with 23 percent of voters backing it.)

In comments underneath our survey, one respondent said, "Any human that said California has never left California in their lives." Fair enough. Another commenter made us think Detroit-style pizza suffered more from the reputation of its home city than from that of the food itself: "Detroit pizza is the only industry Detroit has left," they said.

Of course, everyone's a critic. Or if they're not critics, they're survey writers. Commenters wanted to see some recognition in our poll for other places, including New Haven, Connecticut; Naples, Italy; and New Jersey. But this might be the best write-in of all: "My kitchen!"