New York-style pizza
New York-style pizza is hand-tossed and thin crust. Often sold in wide slices that are foldable yet crispy.
New York-style pizza typically has a diameter between 18 and 24 inches (45-61 cm) and is cut into 8 slices. This size allows for easy handling and sale of individual slices, which is important in busy pizzerias.
A busy pizzeria usually cuts a pizza into eight slices. An uncrowded shop might decide to make a smaller pizza and make six pieces out of it. In this way, both pizzerias can have an excellent turnover of slices on the shelf.
The story of New York-style pizza
The idea to sell pizza by the slice started in early 1900, in New York. The goal was to increase sales and make the product affordable for everyone. Initially, the pieces were different sizes, based on how much the customers could pay.
The story of New York-style pizza is similar to that of pizza al taglio in Rome, where pizza has been sold by weight since 1950. While the two styles are quite different, they both emerged from a similar need to increase sales and make pizza more affordable for everyone.
New York-style pizza must be hand-tossed (even if some stretching tools are allowed). With a thin crust, with not many toppings on it. The layer of cheese has to be light, to embrace the toppings gently, and has to melt, with some darker/brown spot, during the cooking time.
During the baking process, the dough gets a golden colour and a firm crunchiness on the crust, but still semi-soft in the centre.
When you hold a New York-style pizza slice, without bending the crust, the tip will droop: this is called “flop.”
The flop can be small: the tip bends down a little.
The flop can be significant: the entire slice is bending down, and probably some of the toppings start to fall.