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What Do You Call the Outer Crust of a Pizza?

We all know that the doughy layer of a pizza is referred to as the “crust” of the pie. The outer ring of a pizza is also commonly called by the same name, which can lead to confusion.

Fortunately, the doughy edge has a name of its own. It’s called the “cornicione” and it’s a term that all pizza lovers should memorize.

The word may ring a bell for architects and home improvement enthusiasts. The term “cornice” describes a horizontal decorative molding on the edge of a building or indoors (i.e. crown molding). Cornicione, an Italian word, describes the raised edge of a pizza.

You may be wondering when it’s appropriate to use “cornicione” in conversation. Dropping your newfound Italian lingo may raise confused eyebrows in your local pizza parlor, but it’s probably the best way to disambiguate between the outer ring of dough and the rest of the bread underneath. If you enjoy the chew-to-crunch texture of the crust, but feel that the cornicione is lacking something, you can go right ahead and give your take with a newfound accuracy.

If you’re not an Italian speaker, you may want to give this word a few practice reps in the mirror before taking it out on the streets. The correct pronunciation is “cornee-CHO-nay,” and you can freely award yourself bonus points for nailing the Italian inflection.