There are many different pizza styles from which to pick. New Haven-style pizza is one variation that stands out from the others.
The thin, chewy dough, coal-fired ovens, and tart tomato sauce of this special pizza set it apart from other varieties.
It is a local pizza that has become well-known outside of its native New Haven, Connecticut and has turned into a pizza pilgrimage site for Americans.
The method of preparation is what distinguishes New Haven-style pizza from other varieties of pizza.
The crust is thin, and chewy, and has an exterior that is slightly charred and crispy from being baked in a coal-fired oven.
Made with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh ingredients, the tomato sauce has a tangy flavor and a hint of sweetness.
The toppings can range from traditional pepperoni and sausage to more unusual choices like mashed potato pie or garden special.
The cheese is commonly low-moisture mozzarella. Everybody may enjoy New Haven-style pizza, whether they favor a round or oblong shape.
New Haven Pizza, also known as Apizza, has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. We will explore the origins of this style of pizza and how it has evolved over time to become the beloved dish it is today.
The story of New Haven Pizza begins with the arrival of Italian immigrants in New Haven, Connecticut, in the early 1900s. Many of these immigrants came from Southern Italy, where pizza was a staple food.
They brought with them their traditional recipes and techniques, which they used to create a new style of pizza that would eventually become known as New Haven pizza.
The first pizzeria in New Haven was opened by Frank Pepe in 1925. Pepe, who had immigrated to the United States from Italy, used his family’s traditional recipe to create a pizza that was unlike anything that had been seen before.
The pizza was cooked in a coal-fired oven, which gave it a unique flavor and texture.
New Haven Pizza Today
Today, New Haven pizza is still made using many of the same techniques and recipes that were used by the early Italian immigrants. The pizza is typically cooked in a coal-fired oven, which gives it a crispy crust and a slightly charred flavor.
There are several pizzerias in New Haven that are famous for their pizza, including Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally’s Apizza, and Zuppardi’s Apizza.
Each of these pizzerias has its own unique style and recipe, but they all share a commitment to quality and tradition.
New Haven pizza has also gained popularity outside of Connecticut, with many restaurants in New York, New York, and Chicago offering their own versions of this regional pizza.
However, true New Haven pizza can only be found in New Haven, where the immigrant population and the city’s unique culinary traditions have created a truly special dish.
When it comes to pizza, there are several styles that are popular around the world. We will discuss three of the most popular styles: New Haven-style Pizza, Neapolitan Pizza, and New York-style Pizza.
New Haven-style Pizza
New Haven-style pizza, also known as “apizza,” is a style of pizza that originated in New Haven, Connecticut. It is characterized by its thin, oblong crust, characteristic charring, chewy texture, and limited use of melting cheeses.
It tends to be drier and thinner than traditional New York-style pizza but is closely related to it.
One of the most notable features of New Haven-style pizza is its use of a coal-fired oven. This gives the pizza a unique smoky flavor and crispy crust.
The toppings used on New Haven-style pizza are also distinct, with the white clam pie being one of the most popular options.
Neapolitan pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It is characterized by its soft, chewy crust, which is often charred in spots.
Neapolitan pizza is made with simple, fresh ingredients, including San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil.
To be considered a true Neapolitan pizza, the pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature for a short amount of time. This gives the pizza its distinctive charred flavor and chewy texture.
New York-style Pizza
New York-style pizza is a style of pizza that originated in New York City. It is characterized by its large, foldable slices and thin, crispy crust. New York-style pizza is typically made with a blend of cheeses, including mozzarella and Parmesan, and is often topped with tomato sauce and various toppings.
One of the defining features of New York-style pizza is its size. The large slices make it a popular option for takeout and delivery. The pizza is also known for its foldability, which allows for easy eating on the go.
When it comes to New Haven pizza, the ingredients used are just as important as the cooking process. Here are the key ingredients that make up this delicious pizza.
The crust of a New Haven pizza is thin, crispy, and charred. It’s made from a simple dough recipe consisting of flour, water, salt, and yeast.
The dough is then left to rise before being hand-stretched and topped with sauce and cheese. The crust is cooked in a coal-fired oven, which gives it a distinct smoky flavor and crispy texture.
New Haven-style pizza sauce is made from imported San Marzano tomatoes, known for their rich, tangy flavor. To highlight the natural flavor of the San Marzano tomatoes, New Haven-style pizza sauce is typically only lightly seasoned with salt, oregano, and sometimes garlic.
The sauce is spread thinly over the crust, leaving room for the toppings to shine.
Mozzarella is the most commonly used cheese on New Haven pizza, but some pizzerias also use pecorino romano or other types of cheese. The cheese is grated and spread evenly over the sauce, melting into a gooey, delicious layer.
New Haven pizza is known for its unique topping combinations. Some of the most popular toppings include littleneck clams, bacon, fresh garlic, parsley, and olive oil. The white clam pie is a local favorite, featuring clams, romano cheese, garlic, olive oil, and parsley.
Other popular options include the Italian bomb, mashed potato pie, and garden special. Fresh tomato pie is also a popular choice during the summer months when tomatoes are in season.
When it comes to New Haven-style pizza, the cooking method is just as important as the ingredients. There are two main types of ovens used to cook New Haven pizza: coal-fired ovens and brick ovens.
Coal-fired ovens are the traditional choice for New Haven-style pizza. These ovens are heated by burning anthracite coal, which burns hotter and cleaner than other types of coal.
The ovens are typically kept at temperatures between 650F and 1000F, which creates a crispy, charred crust, and perfectly cooked toppings.
One of the benefits of coal-fired ovens is their ability to cook pizzas quickly. The high temperatures mean that pizzas can be cooked in just a few minutes, which is essential for busy pizzerias.
However, these ovens require a skilled operator to maintain the right temperature and ensure that the pizzas are cooked to perfection.
Brick ovens are another popular choice for New Haven-style pizza. These ovens are made from bricks and are heated by burning wood. Wood-fired ovens are typically kept at temperatures between 600F and 800F, which creates a slightly different crust than coal-fired ovens.
One of the benefits of brick ovens is that they impart a smoky flavor to the pizza that is hard to replicate with other cooking methods. However, they require more skill and attention to maintain the right temperature and ensure that the pizzas are cooked evenly.
New Haven-style pizza is a unique pizza that has a number of distinct characteristics. Here are some of the key features that make it stand out from other types of pizza.
One of the defining characteristics of New Haven-style pizza is its chewy crust. The crust is thin and crispy, but still has a satisfying chewiness that sets it apart from other types of pizza crusts. This is achieved by using high-quality flour and allowing the dough to rise slowly.
Another key feature of New Haven-style pizza is its charred crust. The pizza is cooked in a coal-fired oven at high temperatures, which gives the crust a distinctive smoky flavor and a charred appearance. This is one of the things that makes New Haven-style pizza so unique and delicious.
New Haven-style pizza is also known for its thin crust. The crust is rolled out very thinly, which allows it to cook quickly and evenly in the high-heat coal-fired oven. This results in a crispy crust that is not too thick or doughy.
The high-heat coal-fired oven also creates a blistered crust on the pizza. This means that the crust has small bubbles or blisters on its surface, which adds texture and flavor to the pizza.
Tangy Tomato Sauce
New Haven-style pizza typically uses a tangy tomato sauce that is made with high-quality tomatoes and other fresh ingredients. The sauce is not too thick or heavy, which allows the other flavors of the pizza to shine through.
Another key feature of New Haven-style pizza is the use of fresh ingredients. This includes high-quality cheese, fresh herbs, and other toppings that are sourced locally whenever possible.
This commitment to fresh ingredients helps to ensure that the pizza is always delicious and flavorful.
Finally, New Haven-style pizza is known for its consistency. Whether you order a pizza from one of the famous New Haven pizzerias or from a local pizza shop, you can expect the same high-quality pizza every time.
This consistency is a testament to the dedication and skill of the pizzaiolos who make New Haven-style pizza.
New Haven is known for its pizza, and there are several famous pizzerias that have helped put the city on the map. Here are a few of the most well-known:
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is often referred to as the “granddaddy” of New Haven’s pizza scene. It was founded by Italian immigrant Frank Pepe in 1925, and it has been serving up delicious pies ever since.
The original white clam pie is a must-try, featuring clams, fresh garlic, olive oil, parsley, romano cheese, and oregano.
Other popular pies include the Margherita, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, and the Pepperoni, which is topped with sliced pepperoni and mozzarella.
Sally’s Apizza is another iconic New Haven pizzeria that has been around for decades. It was founded by Salvatore “Sally” Consiglio in 1938, and it has been family-owned and operated ever since.
The tomato pie is a fan favorite, featuring a thin, crispy crust topped with tomato sauce, garlic, and grated cheese.
Other popular pies include the white potato, which is topped with thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, garlic, and mozzarella, and the pepperoni and mushroom, which is self-explanatory.
Modern Apizza opened its doors in 1934. However, it has quickly become a New Haven institution thanks to its delicious pies and unique toppings.
The Italian Bomb is a must-try, featuring bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, pepper, and garlic. Other popular pies include the Margherita, the white clam, and the plain cheese.
Zuppardi’s Apizza is located in neighboring West Haven, but it’s still considered one of the best pizzerias in the New Haven area. It was founded by Dominic Zuppardi in 1934, and it has been family-owned and operated ever since.
The white clam pie is a standout, featuring fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated cheese. Other popular pies include the Margherita, the pepperoni, and the sausage and mushroom.
Pepe’s Pizza is another iconic New Haven pizzeria that has been around for nearly a century. It was founded by Frank Pepe, the same man who started Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana.
The white clam pie is a must-try, featuring fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, and grated cheese. Other popular pies include the Margherita, the pepperoni, and the sausage and mushroom.
When it comes to New Haven-style pizza, there are a few unique pies that stand out from the rest. These pizzas have become iconic in the pizza world and are must-tries for any pizza lover.
We’ll take a closer look at some of the most unique pizzas you can find in New Haven.
White Clam Pizza
One of the most famous New Haven-style pizzas is the white clam pizza. This pizza is made with a thin, crispy crust and topped with fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese.
The combination of the briny clams and the savory garlic and cheese makes for a truly unforgettable pizza experience.
Mashed Potato Pie
Another unique pizza you’ll find in New Haven is the mashed potato pie. This pizza is made with a thin crust, mashed potatoes, bacon, scallions, and a sprinkling of rosemary.
The result is a pizza that’s both savory and comforting, with a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
For those who prefer a vegetarian option, the Garden Special is a great choice. This pizza is made with a thin crust and topped with fresh vegetables like mushrooms, onions, peppers, and olives.
It’s a great way to enjoy the flavors of the garden on a delicious pizza.
Last but not least, we have the classic tomato pie. This pizza is made with a thin, crispy crust and topped with a simple tomato sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of oregano.
It’s a classic pizza that’s been enjoyed in New Haven for generations.
We learned that New Haven-style pizza has its own distinct flavors and textures that reflect its local origins and sets it apart from the rest.
Its popularity has spread beyond Connecticut, and many people consider it to be one of the best pizza styles in the country.
We also discovered that making New Haven-style pizza requires a more extended fermentation period compared to its counterpart, the New York style.
It is preferred to make the dough proof slowly overnight in a refrigerator. They then let the dough come to room temperature before shaping. This allows for a more flavorful and chewy crust.
Lastly, we found that New Haven-style pizza is not just a quick bite to eat, but a legacy that restaurants, operators, and home chefs are working together to preserve.
It is an iconic part of the city’s reputation, and its unique taste and texture are worth trying for anyone who loves pizza.