What Is the Difference Between Flatbread, Pizza, and Flatbread Pizza?

The terms “flatbread” and “flatbread pizza” appear on many restaurant menus these days, but many people still haven’t completely figured out difference between the two. Flatbread Pizza, Ceres Bistro, Worcester, MAIs a flatbread a pizza? Does the shape or thickness of the crust have anything to do with the name?

To begin, let’s determine what constitutes a pizza.  What’s Cooking America explains that, “the word ‘pizza’ is believed to be from an old Italian word meaning ‘a point’ [the triangle’s point?], which in turn became the Italian word ‘pizzicare,’ which means ‘to pinch’ or ‘pluck.’” Pizza essentially began as a plate of dough that would be topped with a variety of foods because no plates or utensils were necessary, plus it was inexpensive and convenient for working men and their families – much as it still is today! It wasn’t until the 1500s that tomatoes were taken from Peru back to Europe and added to dough to make pizza as we now know it.

When it comes to flatbread, most definitions aren’t much more descriptive than, “It’s bread that’s flat.” Aren’t you glad that was cleared up? What is of note, though, is that it’s usually made of unleavened dough, which means it is made without yeast or sourdough and doesn’t really rise (hence the flatness). Of course there’s always an exception to every rule, and pita bread, though it contains yeast, still falls in the flatbread category. Darn that pita!  Pita aside, the idea is that a flatbread pizza is made with this thinner bread.  According to this school of thought, your favorite sausage, Hawaiian, or pepperoni pizza could be a flatbread pizza if made with the right sort of dough.

The second school of thought is that flatbread pizzas are differentiated by their toppings. Often the toppings of flatbread pizzas stray from the normal tomato sauce, pepperoni, and cheese. “A rotating crop of seasonal ingredients [seems] to be the rule,” according to Serious Eats. For example, there’s an abundance of recipes for flatbread pizzas topped with everything from kale to zucchini to roasted fennel. That’s certainly not the typical fare you would order from popular delivery places!

So while all flatbread pizzas are pizzas, not all pizzas are flatbreads. Capisce? In truth, the term “flatbread pizza” is used very loosely in the United States, to the point that a thin crust pizza could be described as a flatbread pizza. Your definition all depends on whether you mean bread that is flat (not thick), or an unleavened bread that is recognized as a true flatbread.

At Ceres Bistro we feature three outstanding flatbread pizzas on our bar menu, and they’re even part of our $5 apps that are offered from 4-7pm and 10pm-close every day! Our Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza includes basil pesto and fresh tomato; the Prosciutto & Rosemary Flatbread Pizza is topped with olive oil, grilled onion, and parmesan; and our BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza is tantalizing with Great Hill Bleu cheese and red onion. As a matter of fact, our entire bar menu is delectable and far more appetizing than typical bar offerings. You should stop in at Ceres Bistro and show your taste buds a good time.

Join us in the comments section and let us know your favorite flatbreads and flatbread pizza toppings. We change our menus from time to time, so maybe you’ll see your favorite treats on there soon!