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National Detroit-Style Pizza Day

National Detroit-Style Pizza Day celebrates Detroit-style pizza as well as the anniversary of Buddy's Pizza. Detroit-style pizza—one of the local foods Detroit is known for—was created by Buddy's Pizza in 1946. Located at 17125 Conant St. in Detroit, Buddy's Pizza was owned by Gus and Anna Guerra and known as Buddy's Rendezvous at the time and then became known as Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizzeria, before adopting its current name. In 2011, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit's City Council proclaimed June 23 as Buddy's Pizza Day in Detroit. In 2021, in honor of Buddy's 75th anniversary, the holiday went national when Buddy's Pizza created National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, which is still also known as Buddy's Pizza Day in Detroit. Each year, money from purchases of Detroit-style pizzas on the day has gone to charities working to end hunger and homelessness.

The Detroit-style pizza at Buddy's was influenced by Sicilian-style pizza. The pizza created at Buddy's and now served elsewhere too is baked in rectangle blue steel pans—the same ones used as drip pans or to hold nuts and bolts at auto plants in the Motor City, the home of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. The pizza's crust is thick, chewy, and crisp, but light and airy. Pepperoni is placed on the dough, and the dough is topped all the way to the edge with crumbled Wisconsin brick cheese. Finally, the pizza is topped with tomato sauce in the shape of three racing stripes—another nod to the automotive industry roots of the city. Slices are cut into squares or rectangles.

The pizza likely didn't gain the name "Detroit-style" until the 1980s, and even then, the name wasn't often used. The pizza also wasn't regularly found outside of Detroit until the 2010s. But by the end of that decade, it was highly regarded around the United States. More artisanal varieties, with organic ingredients or aged doughs, or baked in wood-fired ovens, became more popular at this time. There are numerous establishments besides Buddy's that now serve Detroit-style pizza. In the Detroit area it can be found at places like Shield's, Loui's Pizza, and Cloverleaf Pizza. Jet's is known for selling it nationally. On National Detroit-Style Pizza Day it is enjoyed at these locations and elsewhere, and money is raised to end hunger and homelessness.

How to Observe National Detroit-Style Pizza Day

According to Buddy's Pizza: "All you have to do on June 23 is enjoy some Detroit-style pizza and part of your purchase will go to our charitable partner on a mission to end hunger and homelessness." To do this, you could go to the original Buddy's, one of the other Buddy's locations, or one of the other participating establishments. Check out the official National Detroit-Style Pizza Day website for more information. Other ways to celebrate include having the pizza at one of the other places known for having the best Detroit-style pizza, or by making your own Detroit-style pizza.

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