What is Buffalo-style pizza?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New Yorkers take a lot of pride in Buffalo, from our dramatically improved football team to our always-good food.

Of course, we’re known for wings. I mean, everywhere in the country even tends to call them “Buffalo wings.” Chicken wings were born here, but they’re not the only piece of Buffalo food that makes us unique.

Have you ever heard of Buffalo-style pizza? A series of recipes and descriptions gathered from AllRecipes and Visit Buffalo Niagara agree that it’s got this in common — cup and char pepperoni, sweet sauce, lots of cheese and a crust that’s not quite thick, but not as thin as what you’d find downstate.

Bocce Club Pizza, a popular proponent of Buffalo-style pizza, says it’s been serving this kind since 1946.

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“Buffalo-style pizza is characterized by its thick crust, which is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside,” Bocce Club says. “Compared to New York-style pizza, which has a thin, floppy crust and is often eaten folded in half, Buffalo-style pizza is thicker and more substantial.”

La Nova is another staple of Buffalo-style pizza in Buffalo and Williamsville. Sam Pantano, the general manager of the Williamsville location describes Buffalo-style crust as “kind of in the middle.”

The cheese, piled on in plentiful helpings, is unique itself, Pantano says, noting that lots of Buffalo pizzerias use whole milk mozzarella, although different brands of it.

“Whereas if you go to like Ohio, you’ll see provolone or provolone blend, stuff like that,” Pantano said. “So yeah, the cheese is certainly identifiable, specific to Buffalo.”

Pantano believes specialty pizzas, like chicken finger or Philly Cheesesteak pizza, are more common around Buffalo, too, than elsewhere in the country.

“Overall, Buffalo-style pizza is a unique and delicious style of pizza that has its own distinct flavor and texture,” Bocce Club says. “While it shares some similarities with other types of pizza, it is definitely in a category of its own.”

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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