It’s almost impossible to spend a day in New York City and not find the time to get a bite of the New York-style pizza. It may not have been where pizza originated, but New York is the home of pizzas in the United States. This city has hundreds of pizza restaurants, pizzerias, and slice joints serving the unique and iconic New York-style pizza.
This pizza style has large and wide slices. The crust is thin and foldable yet very crispy. The traditional toppings used for this pizza style are mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. It may also have extra toppings put on the cheese.
New York-style pizza can be sold as a whole pie (but this is very large, about 18 inches), or it is divided into eight slices and sold by the slices. Many people buy a slice or two, and they find it easier to eat than the whole pie. Traditionally, this pizza style is cooked in an oven fired by coal. However, this method has mainly changed today, with many places now using the regular gas oven.
History of New York Style Pizza
The first pizzeria to open in America opened in New York, so it’s easy to see why New York is the home of pizza in America. The New York-style pizza started with Gennaro Lombardi opening the first pizzeria in the US in Manhattan, a small Italian neighborhood, in 1905. This pizzeria served a large slice of pizza cooked by a famous employee Antonio Totonno, and each slice was sold for five cents. In 1924, Totonno left Lombardi’s pizzeria to start up his pizzeria in Coney Island. These pizzeria cooked the pizza using coal-fired ovens and made the sauce over the cheese. Many other pizzerias that opened after them use the same style.
Characteristics Of New York Style Pizza
Traditionally, this pizza style is hand-tossed and often includes tomato sauce in a light layer with some dry, grated mozzarella cheese. Extra toppings are usually placed on the cheese. Like many other things in New York, the whole pie is big (with a diameter between 18 and 24 inches). So, it is common to cut it into eight slices. The slices are usually eaten as fast food as they’re foldable in half from the crust. The flexibility and size of these slices make it difficult to eat them flat. Another reason for folding the slice is that it collects the excess oil and makes it easy to eat it with one hand.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the New York Style pizza is its crust made from high-gluten bread flour. The flavor and texture of this pizza’s dough are also unique compared to other pizza styles, and this has been attributed to the minerals naturally present in New York’s water. Among all the different types of pizza, this style remains one of the most unique in terms of flavor and taste. This is the reason for the widespread belief that New York water supply is the secret. Although there’s no scientific proof of this, many bakers, in their bid to recreate the New York-style pizza, have had to transport water from New York to replicate the authenticity of this pizza style in other places.