October 9, 2018

Food for Thought

What Exactly Is “New York Style Pizza”? According to Wikipedia, Lombardi’s originated it. I’d argue that New York style evovled from Lombardi’s and is different from theirs. Gourmet pizzerias in New York typically serve a similar style of pizza to Lombardi’s. Another classic one is John’s of Bleecker Street. Their crust is noticeably thinner and softer. For the lack of a better term, I’ve been calling this style of pizza “Neapolitan.” But “Neapolitan,” strictly speaking, is a specific combination of crust and toppings that is being policed by some fascist organization in Italy.

To avoid the confusion, let’s call it “Lombardi style.” The reason I argue Lombardi style cannot be the same as New York style is that the former cannot be reheated—the crust is too thin and airy for that. If you tried, it would turn into a huge cracker. This, I believe, is one of the reasons neither Lombardi’s nor John’s sell slices. In fact, not many pizzerias sell this style of pizza by the slice. Patsy’s (pictured above) is an exception but interestingly enough, their crust is a bit thicker than Lombardi’s and John’s. And, also, they are famous enough that they would never have to reheat any pizzas—their slices fly off of the oven.

I believe New York style pizza was born out of the need to reheat and deliever it. When you order a Lombardi style pie for delivery, it often arrives in a mess—the whole thing is smushed into one side and the crust is wet and mushy. A true New York style pizza can withstand reheating and delivery because its crust is much thicker and denser.

I would also argue that Lombardi style pizza is not American; it’s somewhere between Italian and American. Americans prefer quantity over quality. A Lombardi style pizza is indeed tastier but it’s not as filling because the crust is thin and airy. And, it’s not pragmatic because it cannot be reheated or delivered. These are not American traits. New York style pizza loved by the average New Yorkers are different from Lombardi’s. They should not be lumped together.

#pizza #nypizza #nyslice #neapolitan #patsyspizza #nycfoodie #nycfood