'pizza history' on Serious Eats

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: A Brief History of the Pizza Slicer

The development of the pizza wheel is much more schizophrenic than its larger counterpart, but its principle is identical. The wheel uses the same perpendicular impact method to puncture its prey but does so with a circular blade rather than the more cumbersome long blade of the mezzaluna. As previously mentioned, there was no need to quickly dice up a pizza into even units until slice culture rolled around in the middle of the 20th century. At that time, simple table knives were used to divide pies (ie Delorenzo's Tomato Pies in Trenton) but powerful alternatives lurked within unrelated industries. In the case of the pizza wheel, it all starts with wallpaper. More

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: Fried Pizza

Fried pizza is real and New York is currently experiencing its first real dose in the deep fryer. It's soft with a thin crisp on the outside, deceivingly light and airy, and unbelievably addictive, but what exactly is it and where does it come from? More

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: Who Is Pulcinella?

Have you ever noticed the creepy guy hanging out in Neapolitan pizzerias? No, not Adam Kuban. I'm talking about Pulcinella. He's always wearing a puffy white getup, matching white hat, and a black mask with a long, pointy nose. Maybe you haven't noticed him, but Pulcinella is usually within ten feet of most wood-fired ovens in the form of paintings and figurines. Who is this guy and why is he associated with pizza? We'll have to go back a few centuries to find out. More

Blogwatch: NYC Pie Chart

Michael Berman of Pizzacentric has harnessed the power of the Yellow Pages to chart the growth of pizza domination in the most pizza loving city in the States. Using microfilm records of old phone books, Berman was able to compile date to create this graph that says a lot about the culinary history of pizza in NYC. More

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: Ray's Pizza Demystified

It's very likely that other pizzerias used the name Ray before Ralph Cuomo (I found evidence of at least two), but none lasted long enough to be affiliated with the current situation. The pizzeria at 27 Prince Street truly is Patient Zero for the Ray's epidemic. Plenty has already been written about the confusing ownership of the various Ray's locations, so I'm going to give as quick a summary as possible by tracing the lineage through a collection of business licenses and phone books I have collected over the years. More

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: The Story of Coal

The once-necessary-then-obsolete-now-re-popularized coal oven has an interesting past that traces the story of pizza development in the Northeastern USA. Those who have experienced the goodness of a coal-fired oven may take for granted the resulting pizza's crisp yet chewy texture, but how did these chunks of black rock get into our ovens? More

Scott's Pizza Chronicles: A Brief History of the Pizza Box

Most Slice'rs probably agree that pizza is best served directly from the oven, but over 1 billion pizzas are delivered each year and every single one of them is transported to its destination in a simple cardboard box. The contemporary pizza box remains as anonymous as it is simple, as few of its users know anything about the cardboard coffin's humble origins. Let's dig a little deeper into the history of the pizza box to provide some context for an item most of us view as a necessary evil in the life of a pizza eater. More

NYC Quintessential: Lombardi's Coal-Oven Pizza

I'll just say it: Lombardi's is kind of a big tourist thing. After having been hyped in countless national newspaper and magazine stories, guidebooks, and travel shows, this "first pizzeria in America" is pretty much packed any night of the week with people more likely to hail from Manhattan, Kansas, than Manhattan Manhattan. (OK, that's probably an exaggeration, but poetic license, you know?) More

Dear Slice: 'I Was There When It First Opened'

This guy was there when it first opened, too. [Photograph: A. J. Kinik/An Endless Banquet] I got this great email from longtime Slice reader Norman: Was talking to a guy I worked with in England for several years today. I knew he was from Brooklyn, but unsure which part. I got on to mentioning Di Fara's and sent a photo—this was his reply:... More

Flo Consiglio of Sally's Apizza, a Keeper of the Flame

Flo Consiglio adds up the receipts by hand in a back booth at Sally's Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut. [Photograph: Adam Kuban] I thought I had lost this photo of Sally's Apizza matriarch Flo Consiglio in a hard-drive crash. But I was able to recover some files from my camera's memory card today. Flo is a real character, as I found out during a recent visit to Sally's. But more than that, she's what our man Ed Levine calls a "Keeper of the Flame," a direct link to some of our country's fading food heritage. Here, after the jump, I... More

Who Invented Deep-Dish Pizza? The World May Never Know

The Chicago Tribune carried a story yesterday about the quest to officially document who invented deep-dish pizza. Like many a culinary origin story, this one remains shrouded in mystery. The only paper trail indicates the pizza almost certainly came out of a 19th Century mansion built with lumber money at 29 E. Ohio St.—the restaurant now known as Pizzeria Uno. But the question of who exactly developed the concept remains a mystery despite the best efforts of the City of Chicago's official cultural historian. But after proving that deep-dish came from the original Pizzeria Uno location, the question is who... More

Dear Slice: Boston May Have Had the First Pizza in the U.S.

Clicking in to the Slice inbox today, we've got ... GenealogyBank.com (a subscription service) has been adding the Boston Journal. I went through it and found the following long, interesting article [subscription required] on pizza, from 1903. This is two years before Lombardi's establishment opened on Spring Street in New York City, the so-called first pizzeria in America.A similar, 1905 article from the New York Sun about pizza on Spring Street is on the Library of Congress website, FYI. Both articles spell it pizze. --Barry Popik P. S.: I just added a post on Pizza Margherita.... More

In Videos: Sam's Restaurant Featured in Brooklyn Documentary

Clicking into the Slice mailbag, we've got this nice note, with a great link, from M. W. --The Mgmt. I've been enjoying (and commenting upon) the recent Sam's post, and thought you might in turn like to see this video. It profiles a few Carroll Gardens establishments, talking with the proprietors, etc. There's a lot of time devoted to Sam's, mostly an interview with Louie Migliaccio [the waiter/server/busser/bartender there], but a bit with his father, Mario, who talks about making pizza. There's also the owner of D'Amico's Coffee. It's not all pizza- or food-related, but I think the majority is.... More

It's Not Pizza Napoletana if You Don't Follow the Rules

Photograph from stu_spivack on Flickr Pizza Margherita will now be recognized as a "regional specialty" in Naples by the European Union under its official name, the Pizza Napoletana. This means anyone claiming to sell a Pizza Napoletana must now adhere to the rules of what constitutes a Pizza Napoletana, as conceived by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (the True Neapolitan Pizza Association): The diameter must be no more than 35 cm (14 inches) in diameter and no thicker than 1/3 of a centimeter at its center The tomato base must be made from the San Marzano variety of tomatoes... More

Pizza Hut Turns 50

The original Pizza Hut, in Wichita, Kansas. Photograph from Spynotebook on Flickr Fifty years under the regime of Pizza the Hut. It's too much. What they've done to the reputation of pizza worldwide is a disgrace. We need regime change.... More

Is Patsy's (East Harlem) Worth the Trip?

Hope you're thoroughly glutted on leftover turkey sandwiches at the moment. Quick question, I was thinking of finally hitting Patsy's this weekend and was wondering if it's worth the trip to the original up in Harlem? I thought all the Patsy's were owned by the same people but I noticed the original isn't listed on their website. So really who else can I turn to with such a pizza conundrum? --Bret S.... More

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