The third largest city in the USA, Chicago is situated in the state of Illinois on the south west shore of Lake Michigan. It is known as the “Windy City” although the origins of this title have been disputed and are still subject to debate. Possible explanations offered relate to the weather, politicians, and a derogatory title bestowed by traditional city rivals Cincinnati. Early newspaper reports from that city refer to Chicago as the ‘Windy City’; Chicago newspapers in turn referred to Cincinnati as ‘Porkopolis’.
Chicago now boasts one of the highest skylines in the USA. It is dominated by the USA’s tallest building – The Sears Tower – and also contains a further two of the top five highest buildings in the USA. Indeed, the world’s first skyscraper was built in the city in 1885, during a massive rebuilding program following the disastrous fire of 1871 which wiped out a third of the town.
Passionate about its history and architecture, Chicago offers over 80 city tours per day to visitors, accessible by bus, river boat or on foot. Although the wealth of culture, shopping, sporting events, museums and interesting buildings is all well documented, the city also boasts its own unique cuisine.
One dish in particular – the Chicago Deep dish Pizza pie – has been cooked in the city since 1943; a basic dish with a buttery crust, cheese and chunky tomato sauce served in a deep dish. However, unlike a normal pizza the deep dish variety is eaten with a knife and fork as it can’t easily be picked due to its gooey consistency.
Deep dish pizza is to Chicago what chilli is to Cincinnati, and has an interesting history. Invented by University of Texas football star Ike Sewell, he launched it on an unsuspecting public when he opened a pizzeria in the city of Chicago called Uno. But, his unique pizza pie proved so popular he soon opened a second establishment, a grill and bar called Duo, in order to cope with demand.
By 1955 Gino’s East just off Michigan Avenue was also serving deep dish pizza, which led to an exponential increase in its popularity with the fashionable crowds along Chicago’s ‘Magnificent Mile’. The rest, as they say, is history and today there are over 2,000 outlets in Chicago where you can buy the deep dish pie. Some of those restaurants will even ship their partially baked deep pan pizzas to locations within the continental U.S.A, such is their popularity. The dish is also widely available from many of the restaurants based in the hotels of Chicago, although most aficionados recommend that you try the original at Uno’s.