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New Haven-style pizza, locally known as apizza, is a style of Neapolitan
Neapolitan cuisine
Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France...

 pizza
Pizza
Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and various toppings.Originating in Italy, from the Neapolitan cuisine, the dish has become popular in many parts of the world. An establishment that makes and sells pizzas is called a "pizzeria"...

 common in and around New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. It originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, known locally as Pepe's, is a popular pizza restaurant in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut at 163 Wooster Street. Opened in 1925, it is one of the oldest and best known pizzerias in the United States.-Frank Pepe:Pepe's was founded in 1925 by...

 and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably, Sally's Apizza
Sally's Apizza
Sally's Apizza is a famed pizzeria in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. It, along with its neighbor Pepe's, is often cited by aficionados in debates over the world's best pizza....

, Bar Bru Room, Grand Apizza, and Modern Apizza
Modern Apizza
Modern Apizza is a pizza restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut.-History:Originally called State Street Apizza, Modern Apizza was founded in 1934 and has been in the same spot ever since...

. This geographically limited pizza style has gained considerable culinary and historical importance.

Characteristics


American pizzerias generally consider a plain pizza to be crust, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. In a New Haven-style pizzeria a "plain" pizza is crust, oregano
Oregano
Oregano – scientifically named Origanum vulgare by Carolus Linnaeus – is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family . It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall,...

, and tomato sauce with a little bit of grated pecorino romano
Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese, suitable primarily for grating, made out of sheep milk . Pecorino Romano was produced in Latium up to 1884 when, due to the prohibition issued by the city council of salting the cheese inside their shops in Rome, many producers moved to the island of...

 cheese sprinkled on. Mozzarella
Mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food product. The term is used for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting :...

 (called "mootz" in the New Haven-Italian dialect) is considered to be a topping; a customer who wants it must ask for it. When Frank Pepe began making his "tomato pie
Tomato pie
Tomato pie is commonly regarded as unique to Italian-American populations. Unlike typical New York-style pizza, which is closely related to Neapolitan pizza, tomato pie is derived heavily from Sicilian pizza, and as such can be found in predominantly Sicilian-American communities.The basic recipe...

s" on Wooster Street in the early 1920s, the only varieties were "plain" and "marinara" (tomato sauce, grated cheese, and anchovies
Anchovy
Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are 144 species in 17 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.-Description:...

).

Later on, Pepe invented the "white clam pie" - although not due to allergies to tomatoes and mozzarella, a common misconception. Pepe's restaurant used to serve littleneck clams on the half shell at the bar which he eventually decided to put on the pizza. The white clam pie is crust, olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and fresh littleneck clams. Since then, the white clam pie has become the signature pizza among the New Haven pizzerias, who try to discourage any customers from ordering it with mozzarella.

What sets New Haven-style pizza apart from other styles is its thin crust. Brick or occasionally high temperature gas oven cooking bakes the crust to a very crispy shell (often burnt black in spots, desirably known as "the char") but leaves the inside soft.

Cooking and serving methods


New Haven-style pizza is traditionally baked in a coal white oven and is sold whole rather than by the slice. Many New Haven-style pizzerias also serve East Haven
East Haven, Connecticut
East Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 28,189. The town is just 3 minutes from downtown New Haven...

-based Foxon Park
Foxon Park
Foxon Park is a soft drink brand produced by Foxon Park Beverage Company. The company is located in East Haven, Connecticut and has been in business for more than 80 years. Their sodas are a traditional accompaniment to the New Haven-style pizza sold throughout the area, and they are also served at...

 soft drinks.

Name


Use of the term "apizza" (icon ) is mostly confined to the Italian-American enclaves of southern Connecticut, and derives from Neapolitan dialect. The dish is more widely known throughout the region as simply "New Haven-style pizza", as opposed to "New York-style pizza
New York-style pizza
New York-style pizza originated in New York City in the early 1900s. It is known for its large, wide, thin and foldable shape. The traditional toppings were tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, with any additional toppings placed with the cheese. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce...

" which remains the dominant style of pizza-making throughout the rest of the Northeast.

Availability


Although most commonly available in the New Haven area, New Haven-style pizza has begun to spread to other parts of Connecticut. It has been available in the Italian-American areas of Bridgeport
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

 and other shoreline communities for many years. It is beginning to be served in areas typically not known for large Italian-American populations, including towns in northern and central Connecticut as well as farther away in Stayton, Oregon
Stayton, Oregon
Stayton is a city in Marion County, Oregon, United States, located southeast of the state capital, Salem, on Oregon Route 22. It is south of Sublimity and east of Aumsville. Located on the North Santiam River, Stayton is a regional agricultural and light manufacturing center. The population was...

, Washington, DC, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

,, San Diego, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, West Chester, PA , Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida
Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 , Sigsbee Park , Fleming Key , and Sunset Key...

, and Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Notable establishments

  • Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
    Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
    Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, known locally as Pepe's, is a popular pizza restaurant in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut at 163 Wooster Street. Opened in 1925, it is one of the oldest and best known pizzerias in the United States.-Frank Pepe:Pepe's was founded in 1925 by...

  • Modern Apizza
    Modern Apizza
    Modern Apizza is a pizza restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut.-History:Originally called State Street Apizza, Modern Apizza was founded in 1934 and has been in the same spot ever since...

  • Sally's Apizza
    Sally's Apizza
    Sally's Apizza is a famed pizzeria in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. It, along with its neighbor Pepe's, is often cited by aficionados in debates over the world's best pizza....


External links