National Detroit-Style Pizza Day Date in the current year: June 23, 2024

National Detroit-Style Pizza Day Detroit is probably best-known as the center of the United States automobile industry and the birthplace of Motown and techno, but foodies primarily associate it with the square-cut pan pizza style known as Detroit-style pizza. It even has its own holiday, National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, celebrated annually on June 23.

Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular pizza with a thick crust topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and tomato sauce (other toppings may be included, but the cheese and the sauce are a must). The crust of authentic Detroit-style pizza is thick and crisp, yet light and airy. It is covered with a generous layer of ground Wisconsin brick cheese that caramelizes when baked, giving the pizza a golden crispy edge. Other toppings go on top of the cheese (except for pepperoni, which is usually pressed into the crust), and finally cooked tomato sauce is poured over all the toppings. Some recipes call for the sauce to be added when the pizza is already baked.

One of Detroit’s signature local foods, Detroit-style pizza was developed in the mid-20th century and spread throughout the United States in the 2010s. The birthplace of Detroit-style pizza is Buddy’s Pizza, originally known as Buddy’s Rendezvous. A former speakeasy opened in 1936 by Gus Guerra, it started selling Sicilian-style pizza (sfincione) in 1946.

According to different accounts, the original recipe was provided either by Gus’s mother-in-law or by Connie Piccinato, a Sicilian women who worked at the restaurant. What we know for sure is that the pizza was originally baked in steel pans borrowed from local automotive plants – hence its iconic rectangular shape.

For several decades, this style of pizza was relatively unknown outside of Detroit and was typically referred to as Sicilian-style pizza by the locals. It wasn’t until 2011 that the first restaurant serving this type of pan pizza was opened outside of the Detroit area in Austin, Texas. Its owners, to brothers from Detroit, used the name “Detroit-style pizza” to differentiate it from other types of pizza, and the name stuck.

The history of National Detroit-Style Pizza Day dates back to 2011, when the then-mayor of Detroit Dave Bing and the city council proclaimed June 23 as “Buddy’s Pizza Day” to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the iconic pizza style. Ten years later, Buddy’s Pizza renamed it National Detroit-Style Pizza Day to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its signature dish.

Of course, the best way to celebrate National Detroit-Style Pizza Day is to take a trip to Detroit and enjoy authentic Detroit-style pizza at one of the Buddy’s Pizza locations or another pizzeria. If you can’t make it to Michigan, this is not an excuse to skip the celebration! You can try to find a pizzeria that serves Detroit-style pizza near you, buy a frozen pizza at a grocery store, or make a delicious pan pizza from scratch. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your pizza before eating and share it on social media with the hashtags #NationalDetroitStylePizzaDay and #DetroitStylePizzaDay to spread the word.

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National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, food days, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, Buddy’s Pizza