what part of the pizza is called crust?

I'm actually a bit confused, and it seems like nobody here is able to tell me what is what. Is it just the "outer part" which is the crust, or all of the pizza on the picture? And if only the outer part is called crust, what's the whole thing called then?

3 Answers 3


I can see your confusion. The photo you show could be called a pizza crust.

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However the bits of pizza slices that don't have topping on them are called "crusts".

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If someone asks you "do you eat the crust?" they are almost surely referring to the outer parts without topping (I suppose you could scrape the topping off the pizza and eat that, but that would be odd).

  • @P.H. You may wish to wait a while before accepting an answer (including mine), because a better one may come along. Jun 30, 2018 at 15:31

In foods like pastries, the "crust" is generally the part made of bread or something similar. In a pizza, the crust is the bottom layer, usually made of bread or something similar, on which you put any cheese, sauce, and "toppings".

stuffed crust pepperoni pizza

In the above picture, the crust is underneath and on the sides of this pepperoni pizza. You may also notice it's a "cheese-filled" crust, meaning the outer edge has a hollow center filled with melted cheese.

In a pie, the crust is the outer "shell", that goes up the sides and sometimes completely covers the top:

apple pie with a slice removed from the top crust

In the above picture, the crust is what encloses the "filling" of the pie. Here it's a full crust that completely covers the top, but in others it can be a "lattice" crust that forms a pattern over the top, or no top crust at all.

In bread, "crust" refers to the (usually harder) outermost layer.

sliced white bread showing brown outer crust

In the above picture, the crust is the brownish part around the softer yellow part. For example, some people like to cut the crusts off of their sandwiches before eating, preferring only the soft part of the bread.

Lastly, there are other foods that have a crust that is not made of bread but simply harder than the rest. For example, a crème brûlée is a dish of custard where the top part has been caramelized (melted with a hot flame) into a hard shell.

crème brûlée with caramelized layer on top and creamy custard underneath

In this dish the crust or shell is the thin top layer which you crack to get to the custard underneath.

"Crust" is not only used for food. It can be any hard or solid substance that forms on the edge or top of some other substance, usually a liquid. For example the outermost layer of the Earth is often referred to as the "crust", as it is outer to the semi-liquid "mantle".

earth diagram showing very thin crust as the outermost layer, above the mantle

Side note: Now I'm hungry.


I can't tell by looking at the picture what it is. If it's only baked pie dough, then it's all (and only) crust.



2 a : the pastry shell of a pie : piecrust
b : the bready layer that forms the foundation of a pizza



a dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked — called also pizza pie

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