Cultural Immersion: A College Student’s Perspective


Italian Pizza vs American Pizza: Who wins?

Many cultures are centered around food. Meals with family and friends are valued to high standards in both American and Italian households. However, many differences are apparent when it comes to the ways meals go about in these different cultures.

Even though Americans value time spent with family at dinner time, breakfast and lunch seem to be more on the go. Fast food in America shows how fast-paced the American lifestyle acts when balancing time.

In Italy however, each meal takes time. Dinner can be on average three hours, and it takes what feels like years to get the check. Other than the time difference, another big change remains surprisingly- pizza. Many people don’t realize that Italian pizza and American pizza are pretty different, but determining the better pizza stays for you to decide.

In America, ordering pizza happens at get-togethers, such as sleepovers or watching a game. Getting two large pizzas from Dominos can be perfect for a group of 6-8 people. The sharing aspect brings people together- which also makes it easier to order, rather than figuring out what every individual person wants. In restaurants, the big cheesy pizza sits in the center of the table and people grab however many pieces they desire. People nicely ask others to “pass a piece”, which brings the table together as one big family.

However, in Italy, I have only seen personal pizzas. Each person orders whatever kind they want, and they each get a little pizza of their own. They look like a pretty decent size, definitely enough to fill you up. But the community aspect of this food does not really stand out in this culture. To me, it seems odd because everyone has a personal pie- but they don’t split checks in Italy. It makes it easier not having to worry about deciding on what kind of pizza for the whole group, since everyone can get what they want. So if you’re picky, personal pizzas are perfect for you.

The cheese also remains a big factor when looking at these pizzas. In America, the pizza consists of all cheese. While in Italy, the pizza consists of all sauce. Little white mozzarella balls can be found splattered across an array of dark red marinara sauce. The cheese tastes exquisite, soft and savory which then melts in your mouth- can’t get any better than fresh mozzarella. But in my opinion, the Italian pizza could use a little more of it. In America, the pizza consists of layers on layers of cheese and garlic. Greasier for sure- feels like an oil spill on your face after digging into an American pizza.

Another big factor in determining the best pizza is the crust. In America, you usually have the choice of thick or thin crust pizza. Here, I have yet to see thin crust pizza. But thick crust here does not taste like the thick crust in America. Italian crust comes out thick but also light and airy. Some people think it comes from the water, and that’s why the crust in Italy stays so voluminous. Sometimes even rumored that pizza places in New York City get water shipped from Italy, just to get the best crust.

In the United States, pizza is considered a heavy meal. American pizza can be found typically stacked with thick heavy crust and loads of cheese. But Italian pizza remains fresh, authentic, and made just for you.


Shana Megan

Shanamegan Blog






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