Alternative Names for Pizza in Different Cultures


Pizza, the universally beloved dish, has transcended its Italian roots to become a global sensation. However, as it journeyed across continents and cultures, it acquired various transformations, reflecting the diverse interpretations it underwent. Join us on a culinary adventure as we explore the alternative names for pizza in different corners of the world. 

Italy – Pizza

Let’s start with the birthplace of pizza, Italy. The term “pizza” itself hails from Italian, specifically the Neapolitan dialect. In Italy, pizza comes in various regional styles, each with its unique characteristics and flavours. From the classic Margherita in Naples to the Roman-style thin-crust pizza, the diverse offerings showcase the country’s rich culinary heritage. 

United States – Pie

In the United States, particularly in New York and some other regions, it’s not uncommon to hear the term “pie” used to refer to pizza. This colloquialism likely stems from the circular shape of the pizza, resembling a pie. While it might cause confusion with what we Brits call pies, Americans know that when someone mentions grabbing a slice of pie, they’re talking about a cheesy, saucy pizza. 

France – Pissaladière

Venturing into France, we encounter a pizza variant that goes by a different name – Pissaladière. Originating from the Provence region, Pissaladière typically features a thin crust topped with caramelised onions, anchovies, and olives. This French twist showcases how each culture adds its unique flavours to the pizza concept. 

Turkey – Lahmacun

In Turkey, a delicious variation of pizza is known as Lahmacun. This Anatolian specialty features a thin, round crust topped with a spiced mixture of minced meat, onions, and herbs. Often served with a squeeze of lemon and rolled before consumption, Lahmacun offers a distinct taste that reflects the culinary diversity of the region. 

Japan – Okonomiyaki Pizza

Japan’s take on pizza involves a fusion of traditional flavours with a Western concept. Okonomiyaki Pizza combines savoury pancake, and okonomiyaki with pizza elements. The base is often a savoury pancake batter cooked on a griddle, topped with ingredients like cabbage, meat, and a drizzle of okonomiyaki sauce, resulting in a unique Japanese interpretation of the classic pizza. 

As we traverse the globe, it becomes evident that pizza is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary chameleon that effortlessly adapts to the nuances of each culture it encounters. Whether it’s referred to as pizza, pie, pissaladière, Lahmacun, or Okonomiyaki Pizza, the essence remains the same – a delightful amalgamation of flavours, bridging continents and bringing people together over a shared love for this universally adored creation. So, the next time you savour a slice of pizza, remember all the names and versions it goes by and the global journey it has embarked upon.