My idea of a pizza, bought from a pizzeria in Sweden (at least growing up and when I last did, which was a few years ago now), is as follows:
- A standard pizza dough is grabbed and turned into a flat circle. It's very thin.
- Some tomato sauce is put in the middle and circled around to just cover the dough.
- Small shreds (or flat, thin squares) of ham are sprinkled over this, in a reasonable amount which doesn't add significant height.
- Cut pieces of standard "champion" (Agaricus) mushrooms are added, complementing the ham pieces but not "taking over" them in quantity nor taste.
- Standard pizza cheese shreds are added on top, causing the entire thing to still look very thin and absolutely not anywhere near a "pan" pizza.
- It's put into the pizza oven for a few minutes. (I don't remember exactly how long.)
- The finished pizza has some oregano sprinkled on top from a jar.
It could also be that the cheese is put on before the other "toppings". I'm foggy on that detail.
The pizza described above is called "Capricciosa". If you remove step 4, it instead becomes what is known as a "Vesuvio". These two pizzas are what I consider "real pizzas". I have tried many other versions, but (almost) none of them taste good at all to me; it seems like this is the "gold standard" for what a pizza is.
However, Americans (and probably Italians) seem to have a completely different idea of what makes a pizza. At least judging by countless movies, TV series, live streams, videos, cartoons and photos I've seen. Most notably, the USA pizzas seem to be much thicker, what I'd call a "pan" pizza, with both way more bread part and fillings/toppings, and seem to never, ever contain the ingredients I mentioned above. It seems like "Pepperoni" is by far the most common. That is, little round slices of Pepperoni sausage. While that can be good for sure, it really gives the pizza a very different taste compared to the ham or ham + mushroom kind which I like.
I tried to locate a good photo, but sadly didn't find any. These two pizzas (which don't look very appealing on these photos) at least give an idea of what I'm talking about, I suppose:
- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Pizza_bella_vista.jpg (also includes pineapple and shrimps, so please ignore that)
- https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Italian_pizza_from_stockholm.jpg (Vesuvio)
Is this "thin" kind of pizza, with specifically ham and mushrooms (or ham only), entirely nonexistent in the USA? Is that just something that nobody makes over there? Would perhaps nobody even want such a pizza? The typical American pizzas do look tasty, but it seems like they would be just "too much" with such enormous amounts of toppings.