New York-style pizza

New York–style pizza
Type Pizza
Place of origin United States
Region or state New York City, New York
Main ingredients Pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella
Cookbook: New York–style pizza  Media: New York–style pizza

New York–style pizza is a style of pizza characterized by large hand-tossed thin-crust pies, often sold in wide slices to go. It has a crust which is crisp along its edge yet soft and pliable enough beneath its toppings to be folded in half to eat.[1] This style evolved in the U.S. from a type that originated in New York City in the early 1900s, and today refers to the style of pizza eaten in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This style of pizza is similar to the original Italian version. Regional variations exist throughout the Northeast and elsewhere in the U.S.


The first pizzeria in America was founded by Gennaro Lombardi in New York City's Little Italy in 1905.[2] An immigrant pizzaiolo from Naples, he opened a grocery store in 1897; eight years later, it was licensed to sell pizza by New York State.[2] An employee, Antonio Totonno Pero, began making pizza, which sold for five cents a pie. Many people, however, could not afford a whole pie and instead would offer what they could in return for a corresponding sized slice, which was wrapped in paper tied with string. In 1924, Totonno left Lombardi's to open his own pizzeria on Coney Island, called Totonno's.

The original pizzerias in New York used coal brick ovens and baked their pizza with the cheese on the bottom and sauce on top. By 2010, over 400 pizza restaurants existed in New York City, with hundreds more of varied cuisine also offering the dish.[1]


New York–style pizza is traditionally hand-tossed,[3] consisting in its basic form of a light layer of tomato sauce[2] and dry, grated, full-fat mozzarella cheese; additional toppings are placed atop the cheese.[3] Pies are typically around 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter, and commonly cut into 8 slices. These large wide slices[4] are often eaten as fast food or a "street snack" while folded in half from the crust, as their flexibility sometimes makes them unwieldy to eat flat. Folding the slice also allows it to be eaten with one hand.

New York–style pizza gets its distinguishing crust from the high-gluten bread flour with which it is made. Minerals present in New York City water are also credited with giving the dough in metro area pies their characteristic flavor.[4][5] Some out-of-state pizza makers even transport the water cross-country for the sake of authenticity.[6][7]

Typical condiments include dried oregano, dried basil, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and dried red chili pepper flakes.

Regional variations

New York–style pizza is most prevalent in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, but can be found throughout the Northeastern region.[3] Outside this area, many pizzas described as "New York style,"[1] including those of major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut, generally do not fall within the variations commonly accepted as genuine in its native area.

See also


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  1. 1 2 3 Jackson, Kenneth T.; (et al.) (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd edition). Yale University Press. pp. (unlisted). ISBN 0300182570. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. 1 2 3 Otis, Ginger Adams (2010). New York City 7. Lonely Planet. p. 256. ISBN 1741795915. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 MacKenzie, Shea (1995). The Pizza Gourmet: Simple Recipes for Spectacular Pizza. Penguin. p. 81. ISBN 089529656X. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. 1 2 Downing, Johnette; Kadair, Deborah Ousley (2011). Today Is Monday in New York. Pelican Publishing. pp. (unlisted). ISBN 158980886X. Retrieved November 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. Gilbert, Sara. "New York Pizza: is the water the secret?". Slashfood. Weblogs, Inc.September 26, 2005.
  6. Cornwell, Rupert. "New York's 'Champagne Tap Water' Under Threat". The Independent UKJuly 21, 2006.
  7. Wayne, Gary. "Mulberry Street Pizzeria". Seeing Stars in Hollywood. 2008.
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