Pizza is an important part of New York culture, but one thing they don't always tell you when you buy a slice is how on earth you eat it. I'm used to a thicker crust and something that holds itself together, so when I first tried a traditional New York slice, I was shocked to see it fall down and almost drop it's toppings!
This site is filled with information about everything from social security to bank accounts and credit cards, but sometimes it's important to know about cultural differences as they are basically just as important.
So first things first:
Which traditional New York slice of pizza should you order?
The key to this is minimalism.
For your first slice (and for the majority of your future slices) you want to stick to the traditional: Plain (cheese), pepperoni, or fresh mozzarella.
Sure, there are some places that do some delicious other flavors, and I won't deny that, but you don't want that until you've experienced the original.
You order by the slice (or if you're buying for a group or an extra hungry evening) you can get yourself a “full pie”. One slice will keep you sustained, two slices if you're hungry or making it a meal.
If the place you're at offers too many options, then maybe you're not at the true traditional pizza house that you should be. More below on the best place to order!
So now you've ordered it…
How do you eat a traditional slice of New York pizza?
It's all in the fold.
Hold it at the crust, and pinch together the corners of the crust so you form a U-shape.
The (delicious) oil from the pizza will inevitably slide off and cover your hands so be sure to tip your slice towards its tip and let those run off before you attempt your first bite.
Also important to note is the heat at which it will be coming off the warmer: It's going to be really hot! After doing a fantastic pizza tour of NYC, we learned how the magic of a traditional cheese slice is all in the desaturated mozzarella and the fact that they can re-heat it so easily due to the oils it contains. This makes it delicious and explains why when you walk into most places you'll see pizzas sitting out and when you order it will be freshly reheated in the oven!
So grab it on your paper plate, take a few seconds, maybe add some chilli flakes if you're so inclined, pinch, tip, and bite once it's cool.
Where is the best pizza in NYC?
Finally, where can you get one of these delicious and traditional pizzas? Well, I learned quickly from my New Yorker wife, that there's only one place: Joe's Pizza.
Established in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, who is originally from Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza, Joe's Pizza is a “Greenwich Village institution” offering the classic New York slice for over 37 years. First, we served our customers from our corner location at Bleecker and Carmine Street and now three doors down at 7 Carmine Street. At 75 years of age, Joe Pozzuoli still owns and operates the restaurant.http://www.joespizzanyc.com/
There are now Je's Pizzas all over the city, and they are all just as good as the original.
Get in there, order yourself a slice, and eat it fresh and hot.
It's a special New York experience year round.