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A slice of New York-style plain pizza


New York-style pizza is a style of pizza which originated in New York Citymarker in the early 1900s, and may be the American style pizza which most closely resembles that of Naplesmarker, Italy. New York style pizza is characterized by its wide, thin, and foldable slices. The traditional toppings were limited to tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, with any additional toppings placed with the cheese. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The slices are often eaten as a 'street snack' while folded in half, as its size and flexibility sometimes makes it unwieldy to eat flat.

The most notable difference between New York style and other American pizzas is its thin hand-tossed crust, made from a high-gluten bread flour. The flavor of the crust has sometimes been attributed to the minerals present in the New York City tap water used to make the dough. Some out-of-state pizza makers even transport the water cross-country for the sake of authenticity. New York-style pizza is usually sold both by the slice and as whole pies. Slices are taken from a large pie — typically around 18 inches in diameter — and most commonly cut into 8 slices, but other variations do exist. Pizzas to be sold by the slice can be either "plain" (sometimes "regular" — cheese and sauce) or with toppings. While many New York pizzerias also have slices with various toppings ready to serve, they invariably have plain slices ready to go, and can provide slices with toppings by adding them on prior to re-heating.

Pizzas are typically served with condiments such as dried red chili pepper, garlic powder, and grated Parmesan cheese, available for the customer to place on the pizza once served. Oregano is also sometimes available.

Also served in the New York area, square-shaped slices with much thicker dough are called Sicilian slices, though they often differ considerably from the true pizza of Sicily.

Relatives and regional variation

This style of pizza (or at least close relatives to it) tends to dominate the Northeastern states, with many shops advertising New York-style pizza. It is sometimes also known as "Italian pizza" (as opposed to Greek pizza) since it reflects the variety of pizza made most commonly in Italian-American-owned pizza shops. Many stores in Torontomarker have developed this style.

Outside of the Northeast, many pizzas are described as "New York style" - including some by major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut. Authenticity is highly variable; the term is often misapplied to "generic American" pizza - examples would be crust that is too thick (or too cracker-like) or the use of mixed-cheese blends (especially containing cheddar.)

One large pizza chain, Sbarro, markets New York-style pizza, but cuts it into 6 slices, instead of 8. It has locations throughout the United States, although opinions on its "authenticity" vary.

The first pizzeria in the United States was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi, at Lombardi'smarker in Little Italy, Manhattan.

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