Slice slice baby

A taxonomy of pizza styles in the Lowcountry.

Pizza is one of the few foods that almost everyone knows and loves around the world. It arrived in America in the late 1800s along with thousands of Italian immigrants, but didn’t gain popularity here until after World War II. You might not think of pizza when you think of the Lowcountry, but we are fortunate to have many wonderful pizzerias serving many different styles. To make sense of it all, we present to you this taxonomy of Lowcountry pies.


Hand Tossed

Hand-tossed pizzas have a crust that is formed by stretching and tossing dough into the air by hand. The chefs are sometimes referred to as “dough slingers” because of their polished craft. Dough slingers toss and spin dough on their hand into the perfect round base for a pie. This art truly takes practice and talent.

How you should eat it: Hold the slice by the firm outer crust and put the point of the slice into your mouth. This is the most popular way to eat pizza.

Where to get it: Dough Boys, Hilton Head; Mangiamo’s, Hilton Head; Mellow Mushroom, Hilton Head and Bluffton; Super Baked, Hilton Head; TJ’s Take & Bake

Best bet: Holy Shitake Pie. Olive oil and garlic base, shiitake, button and portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and mozzarella. Finished with a garlic aioli swirl and a spritz of black truffle oil. Garnished with fresh chives and shaved parmesan. Available at Mellow Mushroom.


Sicilian

Sicilian pizza provides a thick cut of pizza with pillowy dough, a crunchy crust, and robust tomato sauce. This square-cut pizza is served with or without cheese, and often with the cheese underneath the sauce to prevent the pie from becoming soggy.

How you should eat it: Use a fork and knife. Cut it up into smaller pieces and savor each bite.

Get it here: Gator’z Pizza; Local Pie; New York City Pizza

Best bet: Authentic Sicilian Pie. Cheese, sauce, crust and your choice of toppings. Available at Local Pie.


New York Style

With its characteristic large, foldable slices and crispy outer crust, New York-style pizza is one of America’s most famous regional pizza types. Originally a variation of Neapolitan-style pizza, the New York slice has taken on a fame all its own.

How you should eat it: Take the sides of the slice and fold them together, creating a “U” shape with the crust. It’s a great way to eat pizza on the go because it keeps everything in place.

Get it here: Bella Italia, Hilton Head; New York City Pizza, Hilton Head & Bluffton; Old School Pizzeria, Port Royal; The Upper Crust, Okatie and Beaufort

Best bet: Margherita. Roma tomato sauce, house-made mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil and fresh garlic. Available at New York City Pizza.


Neapolitan Wood-Fired

Italy’s original style. This style of pizza is made from dough that is allowed to ferment anywhere from a few hours to several days. The result is a soft crust with airy pockets that add a nice crunch. This style is traditionally cooked in wood-burning ovens. Neapolitan is delicate, so it must be handled carefully. The perfect pie is topped with the freshest ingredients such as juicy tomatoes, Italian cheeses and homemade sauce.

How you should eat it: To keep from losing toppings, create a “pizza wallet” by folding the tip of the slice back over the top.

Where to get it: Local Pie, Hilton Head and Bluffton; MidiCi Italian Kitchen, Hilton Head; Hearth Wood Fired Pizza, Beaufort; Piace Pizza, Beaufort

Best bet: Little Bear. San Marzano sauce, mozzarella, house Italian sausage, pepperoni and sliced local meatball. Available at Local Pie.


Pittsburgh Weggie

This famous sandwich originated in Pittsburgh and is now recreated at pizza joints across the country. A weggie is folded pizza dough stuffed with pizza-style fillings plus lettuce, tomato and condiments. Imagine a pizza sandwich with endless possibilities of filling combinations in the middle.

How you should eat it: Use a fork and knife. Cut it up into smaller pieces and savor each bite.

Get it here: Giuseppi’s, Hilton Head and Bluffton

Best bet: Original Weggie. Ham, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onion and a house-made ranch. Available at Giuseppi’s.


Brick Oven

Many restaurants choose to cook their pizza in a brick oven since it can cook at a high temperature that conventional ovens cannot reach, allowing an even cook throughout without burning. A brick oven cooks the crust fast, keeps the inside of the pizza moist and the toppings well cooked.

How you should eat it: Use your thumb, index and middle finger to crimp the crust into a V shape for added stability. Use your free hand to guide the slice into your mouth.

Get it here: Fat Baby’s, Hilton Head; Il Carpaccio, Hilton Head; Pizza Co., Hilton Head

Best bet: BBQ Chicken. Grilled chicken smothered in tangy barbecue sauce with bacon, onions and a three-cheese blend. Available at Fat Baby’s.