Pizza 2002 (Wed. NY TIMES)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Nov 6 07:37:58 UTC 2002
From today's (Wednesday's) NEW YRK TIMES:
Pizza 2002: The State of the Slice
By ED LEVINE
HAT'S the best way to set New Yorkers to bickering? Ask where to find the
best slice of pizza in the city. No subject starts a battle faster—not bagels
or hot dogs or chopped liver, not even the primacy of the Rangers or the
fastest route to J.F.K. Pizza, introduced to New York in 1905 by Gennaro
Lombardi, who saw it as a way to use up the day-old bread in his Spring
Street grocery store, has long been the affordable, satisfying food of choice
for peripatetic New Yorkers of every age, sex, race and class.
As I posted here when NEW YORK TIMES full text became available, there is
a "pizza" citation in the NEW YORK TIMES before 1905. No one believes me?
How could the NEW YORK TIMES not believe the NEW YORK TIMES? Their 1903
newspaper was lying?
Anyway, here are some Italian food citations I have sitting around the
9 June 1827, THE CORRESPONDENT (American Periodical Series II, reel 384),
_Festivals at Naples._(...) Here a sun of sugar-candy is arrested in the
midst of his course to obey the voice of a Joshua in chocolate, who is
trampling under foot an army of _biscottini_ (little figues in biscuit.)
(...) He is seen seated on his throne of _pasta-reale_, preparing to
pronounce his celebrated sentence in presence of his people, and of the
guards, by whom he is surrounded. But who, think you, are these guards?
Squadrons of sugar pulcinelli well armed with pikes of maccaroni! (...)
Their garments are composed of _mortadelle_ and _salciociotti_, (particular
kinds of sausages), and the chalice intrusted to their hands is a Dutch
cheese of superior quality.
("Pasta," but no "pizza"--ed.)
May 1901, CENTURY ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE (APS), "Breakfast in Naples," pg.
Groups of delicate, anemic factory-girls surround the sellers of
_ricotta_, a sort of milk-curd, temptingly displayed on bits of green vine or
...innumerable _friggitrici_, or frying-women, preside over huge, deep
skillets of boiling lard.
..._polpette_, or meat-rolls, such as we would call fried hash-meat
Another indescribable mess is the famous _sanguinaccio_, or pig's blood,
mixed with chocolate and whipped to a cream. This is, however, an
aristocratic dish, and appears on the street only at Christmas-tide.
The famous _pizzerie_ of Naples, some of which boast a hundred years of
existence, are devoted exclusively to the manufacture and sale of a sort of
rustic pie, or short-cake made out of risen dough, sharply beaten till quite
thin, and seasoned on top with a great deal of lard, tomatoes, and grated
cheese, or, on fast-days, with olive-oil, fresh anchovies, and a touch of
garlic. The brisk tapping and slapping of the _pizze_ can be heard a block
away, and is as characteristic as the sonorous call of the sellers: "Have
some breakfast! Have some breakfast!" You can buy a slice in the street
from one of the runners, or, if you prefer, can enter the shop, stand by
while your _pizza_ is being vigorously thumped and slapped, can see it cooked
in the glowing open oven under the fierce heat of a lateral fire of wood
shavings, whisked out on an iron shovel in three minutes' time, and served to
you in popular style on a tin plate, all for three cents. Queen Margherita,
when she visited Naples, sledom failed to patronize the pizzerie, though not
exactly at the stalls, nor yet before the street oven. One of the "ancient"
makers was invited to the royal palace at Capodimonte, where she usually
resided, and there, in one of the rustic lodges of the domain, he set up his
marble slab, hard by the stone oven, and merrily beat his pizze before the
interested eyes of the royal dame and her court.
..._cannolicchi_, a long. slim bivalve, very sweet and very much alive,
much esteemed by those who have the courage to eat them;...
January 1906, CENTURY ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE (APS), "The Olive-Vendor," pg.
(...) Then came Lucia Pacini, daughter of Paolo Pacini, who kept the
_pizze cavui_ shop in Mott Street. (...) "I have come for some cheese,"
murmured Lucia, with downcast eyes, as she tendered Pius a small silver
piece. "And let it be as much for the money as you can make it, for summer
is not a good time for _pizze_ cakes and business is poor with us."
Already a sign, "To Let," adorned the dront door of the _pizzi cavui_
(So "slices" were sold in Naples, even back then...See also "The Poor in
Naples," SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE, January 1893, pg. 58, on the MOA-Cornell
database for another brief "pizza" citation...Only about a thousand trillion
more years before the NY TIMES food section mentions my work. My friend
Gersh Kuntzman of the NY POST got mentioned last week--before me, of
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