A list of the best pizzas from all 50 US states includes a macaroni and cheese-topped pie, a pizza topped with fresh grapes and gorgonzola and an homage to Cajun gumbo.
That's according to the editors of The Food Network Magazine, who scoured the country looking for the best pizza ambassadors from each state.
The August issue includes a wide-ranging collection of pies that remain faithful to the classic Italian slice - tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil - but also gives nods to inventive pizza makers like Ian Gurfield of Ian's Pizza in Wisconsin.
When he opened his first pizzeria at the age of 24, Gurfield knew what local university students wanted and turned late-night snack foods and college staples into novelty pizzas. His Mac n' Cheese pizza, for instance, became an instant hit with the college crowd for its medium-thin crust, layer of crème fraiche, shredded mozzarella, cooked macaroni and final layer of Wisconsin cheddar.
Pies & Pints from West Virginia was also saluted for its Grape Pie, an unusual but popular menu item topped with gorgonzola, rosemary and sliced red grapes, while Mississippi pizzeria Tony's Brick Oven pays homage to the Creole traditions of the Deep South with its gumbo pizza. A smoky roux acts as the sauce and is described as the "real star" of the pie, which is then topped with Gulf shrimp, crab, andouille sausage, tomato, onion and okra.
Meanwhile, from the two cities that have a history of duking it out for pizza-pie supremacy, New York City and Chicago, classic Italian pies - one with just cheese and sauce, the other a traditional Naples-style pizza - are the chosen representatives.
The Margherita from Kesté Pizza & Vino in New York City is made with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, and the crust is made with superfine Italian flour to create what editors call a "flawless" crust: puffy, chewy and just a little charred.
In Chicago, a simple deep-dish pizza from Pequod's Pizza is baked in a cast iron pan lined with a sprinkling of mozzarella to give it a crispy, salty, caramelized crust. Editors advise refraining from adding toppings.
Food and Wine Magazine also gives its take on the best pizza spots in the US, and chose Co. in New York City for its signature Popeye pizza made with pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, spinach, black pepper and garlic. The magazine's Chicago pick, meanwhile, comes from Great Lake restaurant and is made with tomato, homemade fresh mozzarella, Dante aged cheese and fresh herbs.
The August issue of The Food Network Magazine hits newsstands August 9.
To see the complete list of pizzas, visit http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-states-50-pizzas/pictures/index.html.