New York-style pizza originated in New York City in the early 1900s; it is wide, thin and foldable. The traditional toppings were tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, with any additional toppings placed with the cheese. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The slices are often eaten as a ‘street snack’ while folded in half, as its size and flexibility sometimes makes it unwieldy to eat flat.
The most notable difference between New York style and other American pizzas is its thin hand-tossed crust, made from a high-gluten bread flour. The flavor of the crust has sometimes been attributed to the minerals present in the New York City water used to make the dough.Some out-of-state pizza makers even transport the water cross-country for the sake of authenticity.New York-style pizza is usually sold both by the slice and as whole pies. Slices are taken from a large pie – typically around 18 inches in diameter – and most commonly cut into 8 slices. Pizzas to be sold by the slice can be either “plain” (sometimes “cheese” or “regular” ) or with toppings. While many New York pizzerias also have slices with various toppings ready to serve, they invariably have plain slices ready to go, and can provide slices with toppings by adding them on prior to re-heating.
New York pizzerias generally have condiments that can be added to the pizza after serving. Common condiments include oregano, grated Parmesan cheese, dried red chili pepper and garlic powder.
Also served in the New York area, square-shaped slices with much thicker dough are called Sicilian slices, though they often differ considerably from the true pizza of Sicily. In some cases at shops offering both, normal (thin crust) New York style is distinguished as Neapolitan pizza although the relationship is distant.