Are you a self-proclaimed pizza lover that gets overwhelmed when it comes to choosing between Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas? We know the feeling.
Both styles of Italian pizza have their unique characteristics, flavors, and ways of preparation—it’s enough to make anyone confused.
If you can’t decide which style best satisfies your craving for a delicious slice of pizza, then don’t worry – we’re here to help.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the key differences between Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas so that you can confidently choose one next time you decide to indulge in an authentic Italian dish.
What is Neapolitan Pizza?
Neapolitan pizza is a traditional Italian pie from Naples.
It’s renowned for its simple, yummy flavors and thin, soft crust.
The dough only needs four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast.
It’s kneaded by hand and left to rise for hours before being stretched into a thin circle.
Toppings are minimal: fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves and olive oil.
Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven, high temp, for just 60-90 seconds.
The result? A blistered crust and perfectly melted cheese.
What is Sicilian Pizza?
Sicilian pizza is a real treat. Its crust is thicker than the Neapolitan version, and it is fluffy and airy.
It is usually rectangular, so it can be easily shared amongst friends or family.
There are lots of topping options – from the classic Margherita to pepperoni, sausage, veggies, and even seafood.
This pizza is a cultural symbol of the Sicily region and it has gained worldwide popularity.
Sicilian pizza really stands out for its thick crust, unique texture, and versatility when it comes to toppings.
Enjoy it at home or in a pizzeria abroad – it’s sure to delight pizza lovers everywhere.
Differences Between Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian Pizza
Neapolitan & Sicilian pizzas may look alike, but they have distinct differences.
Origin and History
Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza have an intriguing past.
It all began in Naples, Italy, in the 18th century.
People loved its simple yet delicious taste.
Meanwhile, Sicilian pizza is rooted in Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island.
Ancient Roman flatbreads combined with Greek and Arabic culinary influences created this unique dish.
Neapolitan pizza is known for its thin, soft wheat crust.
It’s hand-kneaded and rises for hours before baking in a hot wood-fired oven.
It has a light, airy texture and slightly charred exterior.
Sicilian pizza stands out with its thick, rectangular shape.
It’s typically made from semolina flour and baked in an oiled pan or tray.
It’s topped with tomatoes, cheese, onions, anchovies, herbs, and more.
The key element these pizzas have in common? Freshness.
Neapolitan or Sicilian, quality ingredients make all the difference.
Crust and Dough
Neapolitan pizza has a thin, light and chewy crust.
It’s slightly charred on the outside due to the high-temperature wood-fired ovens used for cooking.
The dough is made of highly hydrated flour, making it soft and easy to fold.
Whereas, Sicilian pizza has a thicker and denser crust with a crispy bottom.
The dough is fermented for longer, giving it a more complex flavor and airy structure.
These two types of pizza have distinct crusts and doughs which contribute to their unique tastes.
Toppings and Presentation
Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza have distinct toppings and presentations, giving them unique flavors and looks.
Neapolitan pizza typically has San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil.
It is made in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a soft, chewy crust with charred spots.
The presentation is simple and shows off the colors of the toppings.
Sicilian pizza has a thicker, often rectangular crust.
It is loaded with toppings such as tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions, anchovies, olives, and cured meats.
It is usually spread out thinly on a baking sheet or deep dish pan before being topped.
This type of pizza has a thick and fluffy crust.
The presentation of each type of pizza also varies by region.
Neapolitan pizzaiolos make round pizzas with evenly spread toppings.
Sicilian pizzaiolos make a mosaic of flavors by layering different ingredients.
Overall, Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas have similarities, but their toppings and presentation styles make them unique.
Whether you like Neapolitan’s simplicity or Sicilian’s indulgence, both offer an amazing pizza experience.
Cooking Method and Time
Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas are unique in their flavors.
Preparing and cooking them differently results in varied tastes and textures.
Neapolitan pizza has a thin and soft crust.
It’s traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven at high temperatures.
This rapidly cooks the dough, creating an airy crust with a chewy texture.
The ingredients stay fresh and get a slight charring as it takes only 60-90 seconds to cook.
Sicilian pizza is known for its thick, rectangular shape.
It’s baked in a rectangular pan or tray and requires more time, around 20-30 minutes, due to its thickness.
The bottom crust becomes crispy while the middle is soft and fluffy.
Flavors also differ between the two styles.
Neapolitan pizza is a simple dish with toppings like San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil.
Sicilian pizza can accommodate various toppings like cheese, anchovies, onions, and veggies as its thicker base holds them without getting soggy.
Similarities Between Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian Pizza
Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza have some noteworthy likenesses.
Both pizzas are renowned for their scrumptious flavors, fresh ingredients, and classic cooking approaches.
A key similarity is their utilization of classic Italian ingredients like mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and olive oil.
These components bring about a unique flavor and a delightful culinary experience for both Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas.
Regional Variations within Neapolitan and Sicilian Pizzas
Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas are two Italian classics that have distinct characteristics.
Neapolitan is known for its thin, soft crust.
It has few ingredients, like flour, water, salt, and yeast.
Toppings are simple, but flavorful – like fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.
It’s cooked in a wood-fired oven for a charred crust.
Sicilian pizza has a thicker crust with a chewy texture.
The dough is made with more yeast and rises longer, making a denser base.
This style is usually rectangular or square, and baked in an oiled pan to get a crispy bottom.
Toppings often include tomato sauce, cheese (eg. provolone), onions, herbs like oregano, and sometimes anchovies or meat.
Cultural influences have shaped the identities of both styles.
Neapolitan pizza represents simplicity and tradition, while Sicilian pizza has bold flavors.
Both are popular worldwide, but choosing one isn’t easy.
Neapolitan is light and elegant, while Sicilian is hearty and indulgent.
It’s all about personal preference.
In essence, while the two pizza styles may appear similar to the untrained eye, they are vastly different in terms of taste and in their ingredient composition.
Neapolitan pizzas are very thin with a crispy crust adorned with simple ingredients like tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella.
The Sicilian style is thicker with a sweeter tomato sauce that often includes onions, capers, olives or anchovies for added flavor.
There is no clear winner—it really comes down to personal preference—but next time you’re at a pizzeria wondering which one to order, you’re now better informed about the differences between a Neapolitan and Sicilian slice.
Ultimately, it’s just part of the process in discovering what type of pizza suits your unique tastes best.
So whether you prefer a deep-dish Sicilian or thin-crust Neapolitan, enjoy your pizza however you like it—there’s no wrong answer.
After all good food doesn’t always have to be complicated; when it comes down to something as iconic as pizza that has been around for centuries, simplicity often wins out as great taste.
Neapolitan Pizza vs Sicilian Pizza: What’s the Difference?
- Neapolitan Pizza
- Sicilian Pizza
- Choose between Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza based on your taste preferences.
- Neapolitan: Roll out a thin crust, top with simple, fresh ingredients. Bake in a hot oven or pizza oven.
- Sicilian: Press dough into a deep pan, add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake in a square pan until golden and crispy.
- Enjoy the classic flavors of Italy, each with its unique style, and savor the pizza experience.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.