New York-style pizza is a common style of pizza, originating from New York City. This style is identified by its wide, thin, and foldable slices. The traditional toppings are tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The slices are often eaten folded in half, as its size and flexibility sometimes makes it unwieldy to eat by hand.
The most noticeable difference between New York-style and other American pizzas is its thin and crispy 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. It is said that 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. Slice are taken from a large pie -- typically around 18 inches in diamater -- and most commonly cut into 8 slices, but other variations do exist. Pizzas to be sold by the slice can be either "plain" (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 of oregano, dried red chili pepper, garlic powder, and grated parmesan cheese.
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.
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 in the New York City metro-area, although opinions on its "authenticity" vary.
The first pizzeria in the United States was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi, at Lombardi's in Little Italy, Manhattan.
As people from the New York area have migrated throughout the United States, New York Style Pizzerias expanded their footprint throughout the country. Nonetheless, it can still be difficult to find New York Style Pizza outside of the New York metropolitan area. The New York Pizza Finder is a wiki-based Web site that lists hundreds of New York Style Pizzerias in areas far from New York City. Anyone that visits the site can add a new entry or add a review.