Everyone knows that pizza is a typical Italian dish, but this wonder has become so popular that every place in the world has its own “way” of making. In New York the story is no different. As in most countries and cities around the world, this dish has been hidden in Italian immigrant communities for many years.
The dish was even considered “homemade”, after all, there were no pizzerias and restaurants that served this delight as we see today. In New York the scene changed at the beginning of the 20th century, more specifically in 1905, with the opening of one of the most famous pizzerias in the world and certainly the most traditional in the city: the Lombardi’s.
The owner, Gennaro Lombardi, started making traditional Neapolitan pizza, but over the years he has adapted to the style now known as New Yorker. The city’s “classic” pizza is bigger than the Italian ones and has a thinner and less crunchy dough than we are used to. Thanks to these characteristics, New Yorkers always fold the pizza and eat the pieces with their hands – it is almost a faux pas to use cutlery to enjoy a beautiful pizza in the city.
The interesting thing is that the culture of eating with hands is so strong that in January 2014 the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, caused a scandal after being caught eating pizza with a knife and fork. For you to have an idea, this story ended up in The New York Times! Can you believe?
Lombardi’s is such an iconic place in the city that, even after closing its doors in 1984, it reopened in the same block a decade later. The importance of the pizzeria goes further: it was from there that the main pizzaiolos of the city and the owners of many other traditional pizzerias in the region came from. Between 1924 and 1933, three former Lombardi’s employees opened pizzerias. The first one was Anthony “Totonno” Pero with Totonno’s, then it was John Sasso with the John’s Pizza and, later, Pasquale “Patsy” Lanceri with the Patsy’s.
As nothing in gastronomy remains the same for a long time, it is clear that New York has won new and delicious pizzas. The pizzerias I mentioned above have basically the same characteristics as Lombardi’s, but nowadays you can find a little bit of everything. At Roberta’s, for example, we were delighted with the fresh ingredients and delicious pasta that is also this hybrid between classic Neapolitan pizza and New Yorker. Aah, the decoration of the whole hipster place is also a charm 😉 To understand more of what I’m talking about, better watch our vlog over there!
Two other pizzerias that have the new york style are the Di Fara, which offers slices starting at $ 5, and the Joe’s, at Greenwich Village.
There are also the famous pizzas served in rectangular slices. The “Sicilian” style, as it is known in NYC, is actually quite different from that found in Italy. The dough is actually a little thicker, but it is still a city classic. Some of the best pizzerias in the city, such as L&B Spumoni Gardens, they serve delights that way. In fact, in this pizzeria you will find nothing less than a version with red sauce on top of the cheese.
In addition to the places I have already mentioned, I cannot fail to mention one of the most famous pizzerias in the United States: Lucali. The place is expensive, a point among the famous, but still very well recommended.
Well, even if you live in São Paulo and love a pizzinha with a crunchy and well-stuffed dough, which is even Paulo’s favorite, you can’t stop eating a typical New York pizza when you’re in the city, right? As you saw, there are plenty of good places to go!