Do you remember where you were the first time you became aware of the fact that some people put pineapple on their pizza? Sure, pineapple is a routine topping these days, but as recently as the 1980s, ordering pineapple on your pizza in some was the fast food equivalent of calling yourself a communist. You marked yourself with suspicion until pineapple became the routine topping it is today. If you are not quite young enough to remember those days, you can still replicate the feeling of being some sort of alien dropped into the suburbs by introducing your friends and family to the following 5 types of types of pizza you must try now while they are still capable of making your look like a trendsetter.
1. Pizza Cake
The pizza cake is still a long ways off from being delivered to the doors of American homes on the night of the big games and other live events. The pizza cake is constructed from layers of doughy discs each topped with sauce, cheese and toppings before another layer is situated right on top of it. The idea is to construct what bears the shape of a round multi-layer cake from the outside, but reveals all its creamy colors when sliced open. If the word “decadent” did not already exist, it would have to be invented for this mélange of cheeses, tomatoes and the toppings of your choice. The only addition to the usual suspects involved in the baking of a homemade pizza is a cake pan that rises high enough to provide support for the outer wall of the pizza dough. A pizza cake can be made from a round cake pan, a square cake pan, a rectangular one or, for that matter, any geometric shape you can find. As for the toppings, you can even make a pineapple pizza cake. Although, as any pizza traditionalist will agree, that would just be wrong.
2. Cheese-Topped Pizza Pot Pie
Along the same conceptual lines as the pizza cake is the pizza pot pie. This pizza you need to try is also a variation on the traditional Chicago-style pizza, but with a slight twist: the top of the pizza is not made with crust, but layers of cheese. Baked in a bowl-shaped oven-proof pot, this creative pizza begins with covering the entire bottom of your baking bowl in cheese, preferably sliced rather than grated. Then it’s time to add in the sauce, cheese filling—grated here is fine—and toppings before covering the top of the bowl with pizza dough. Then the whole thing goes into the oven before the magic happens. That magic occurs once the dough has browned into a golden crust. The pot comes out and the whole thing is flipped upside down so that the crust winds up on the bottom like a traditional pizza. The baking process on the cheese that was at the bottom and is now the top is site of the magic. Those cheese slices will have hardened just enogh for the top of the pizza to fold open into a pizza pie sitting in its own edible bowl.
3. Pizza Waffles
The only thing better than how this offbeat pizza tastes is how easy it is to make. Of course, you will require a waffle iron. Then it is simply a matter of placing pizza dough onto the bottom of the waffle maker, adding your cheese, sauce and toppings and then covering securely with the top layer. Let the waffle iron do exactly what it was designed to do and when done, you’ve got waffled-shaped personal stuffed pizza fit for a king.
4. Meat Crust Pizza (AKA The Meatzza)
Is a pizza still a pizza if it doesn’t feature a doughy crust? Here’s one way to answer that question. Pack a pre-cut meat patty of your choice—beef, chicken, pork or other; it really doesn’t matter—into an oven-safe pan and start adding the cheese, sauce and toppings as you would if you were packing it onto a regular crust of dough. Bake until thoroughly cooked and prepare to answer that question. And if the answer is that a pizza without a doughy crust is not a pizza—who care! It’s still delicious!
5. The Mac and Cheese
The millennial equivalent of what the pineapple pizza used to be is the macaroni and cheese pizza. One day you may be able to walk into any pizza joint in town and order up a pizza slathered in that artificially yellow of familiar mac and cheese. For the timing being, however, this pizza idea remains on the fringes, making it worthy of being added to the list of pizzas you must try. If you dare. If you are a pizza rebel who rejects everything that is traditional about this fine, fine food. Yes, it must be admitted, the mac and cheese is nothing more nor less than a complete abomination to all traditionalists. But once upon a time they said the same thing about not only pineapples aboard a pizza, but jalapeños, steak and even—as far as anyone really knows—mushrooms. So go ahead. Take a chance on being ahead of the curve. Take a chance on being looked at with distrust and suspicion. It’s your pizza. It’s your time. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.