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


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 
house here.
   9 June 1827, THE CORRESPONDENT (American Periodical Series II, reel 384), 
pg. 319:
   _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 

More information about the Ads-l mailing list