Tokyo food-lovers are going crazy for a deep-dish pizza that’s basically a fondue pot. The “Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza” has taken over social media, and Japanese users can’t seem to get enough of the gooey pie. Even though it’s not technically true Chicago pizza, the trend has gotten the Japanese curious about the real thing.
True Chicago pizza should hold its shape even though there’s a lot of ingredients in the pie. This way, the diner can enjoy the unique experience of digging into a fully-loaded pizza. This Japanese pizza, however, lets the structure collapse so the cheese flows onto the plate—making it more akin to fondue surrounded by dough than a pizza. Despite this distinction, it’s still deemed as “Chicago Pizza” by Japanese diners.
Currently, there are more than 20,000 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #シカゴピザ—meaning “Chicago Pizza”. Most depict a video of molten cheese flowing onto the plate after the dough barrier is broken. After taking an Instagram-worthy photo or video, diners can enjoy the cheese with a selection of dough crust, meat and vegetables they can dip into it. The origins of this cheesy trend are unknown, but we do know that the trend started around 2016 and only blew up in the last six months. With many Instagram posts of the pizza getting more attention, maybe the trend will be picked up by stores outside of Japan.
While Chicago pizza purists may find this version appalling, they should be glad to know that the trend is exposing more people to the wonders of Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza. DevilCraft brewpub in Japan has been proudly serving true Chicago pizza since it opened in 2013. With more pizza-lovers searching for the real thing, DevilCraft has received a lot of praise for being the go-to place for deep dish pizza in all of Tokyo.
The cheesy pizza went viral thanks to aesthetic Instagram videos. Even if you’re not cheese-crazy, the posts are so enticing that you want to try the pizza yourself. It just goes to show that presentation and aesthetics are just as important as the taste of the dishes served.