New York-style pizza
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|New York-style pizza|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||New York City|
|Main ingredients||Pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella|
|Cookbook:New York-style pizza New York-style pizza|
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New York-style pizza is characterized by large hand-tossed thin-crust pies, often sold in wide slices to-go. Distinguished by being light on the tomato sauce, it has crust which is crisp along its edge yet soft and pliable enough beneath its toppings to be folded in half to eat. This style evolved from a type that originated in New York City in the early 1900s, and is particularly popular in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Regional variations exist throughout the Northeast and elsewhere in the U.S.
The first pizzeria in America was founded by Gennaro Lombardi in Little Italy, Manhattan in 1905. An immigrant pizzaiolo from Naples, he opened a grocery store in 1897 which eight years later was licensed to sell pizza by New York State. 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. Unlike many modern chain pizzas, these were made with high quality ingredients such as homemade fresh mozzarella and robust crushed tomatoes. Sallys Pizza in New Haven Connecticut opened in the same year. It was voted best pizza in the country several times, and is similar to the two shops mentioned above.
By 2010 over 400 pizza restaurants existed in New York City, with hundreds more of varied cuisine also offering the dish.
New York style pizza is traditionally hand-tossed, consisting in its basic form of a light layer of tomato sauce and genuine mozzarella cheese; additional toppings are placed atop the cheese. Pies are large, typically around 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter, and commonly cut into 8 slices. These large wide slices are often eaten as a fast food or "street snack" while folded in half, as their flexibility sometimes makes them unwieldy to eat flat. Eating it folded also allows its oil and any toppings to collect more manageably.
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. Some out-of-state pizza makers even transport the water cross-country for the sake of authenticity.
New York-style pizza is most prevalent in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, but can be found throughout the Northeastern region. Outside this many pizzas described as "New York style," including those of major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut, may or may not fall within the variations commonly accepted as genuine in its native area.
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