A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 10, 2011
Apizza

"Apizza” (pronounced ah-BEETS) is a regional dialect version of the word “pizza,” popular in New Haven, CT. New Haven’s Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (since 1925) has claimed that “apizza” is from the Neapolitan dialect, but, in print, the pizzeria called its product “tomato pies.” New Haven’s Modern Apizza began in 1934 and New Haven’s Sally’s Apizza (owned by a nephew of Frank Pepe) began in 1938.

“Apizza” (sometimes written as “appizza") has been cited in print since at least 1934.


Wikipedia: New Haven-style pizza
New Haven-style pizza, locally known as apizza, is a style of Neapolitan pizza common in and around New Haven, Connecticut. It originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably, Sally’s Apizza, Bar Bru Room, Grand Apizza, and Modern Apizza. This geographically-limited pizza style has gained considerable culinary and historical importance.

Characteristics
American pizzerias generally consider a plain pizza to be crust, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. In a New Haven-style pizzeria a “plain” pizza is crust, oregano, and tomato sauce with a little bit of grated pecorino romano cheese sprinkled on. Mozzarella (called “mootz” in the New Haven-Italian dialect) is considered to be a topping; a customer who wants it must ask for it. When Frank Pepe began making his “tomato pies” on Wooster Street in the early 1920s, the only varieties were “plain” and “marinara” (tomato sauce, grated cheese, and anchovies).

Later on, Pepe invented the “white clam pie” due to his allergies to tomatoes and mozzarella. Pepe’s restaurant used to serve littleneck clams on the half shell at the bar which he eventually decided to put on the pizza. The white clam pie is crust, olive oil, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and fresh littleneck clams. Since then, the white clam pie has become the signature pizza among the New Haven pizzerias, who try to discourage any customers from ordering it with mozzarella.

What sets New Haven-style pizza apart from other styles is its thin crust. Brick oven cooking makes the crust very crispy and chewy throughout.

Cooking and serving methods
New Haven-style pizza is traditionally baked in a coal white oven and is sold whole rather than by the slice. Many New Haven-style pizzerias also serve East Haven-based Foxon Park soft drinks.

Name
Use of the term “apizza” (pronounced /əˈbiːts/ ah-Beetz) is mostly confined to the Italian-American enclaves of southern Connecticut, and derives from Neapolitan dialect.[citation needed] The dish is more widely known throughout the region as simply “New Haven-style pizza”, as opposed to “New York-style pizza” which remains the dominant style of pizza-making throughout the rest of the Northeast.

Wikipedia: Sally’s Apizza
Sally’s Apizza is a pizzeria in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut.

Sally’s serves New Haven-style thin-crust apizza, which is baked in coal-fired brick ovens. By default, a New Haven pizza is a “plain” pizza topped with only tomato sauce, garlic, and hard cheeses.

The restaurant was opened in April 1938 by Salvatore Consiglio, nephew of Frank Pepe, who was the owner of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, another Wooster Street pizza restaurant. Sal Consiglio ran it until his death in May 1989. It is still operated in its original location by his wife Flora and their children Ruth, Richard and Robert.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven, CT)
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is one of the oldest and best-known pizzerias in the United States. Known locally as Pepe’s, is has its Original Location in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, CT, as well as stores in Fairfield and Manchester CT, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT and in Yonkers, NY.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria was founded in 1925 by Frank Pepe (b. April 15, 1893 d. September 6, 1969).
(...)
In 1925, with his wife Filomena, who was a pivotal influence on his success (she was literate and learned to speak and write English), they started making a simple and humble product from their homeland, pizza – or as they would say in their Neapolitan dialect, “apizza” (ah-beets). They baked their pizzas offering two types, tomatoes with grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil and the other with anchovy. The Original Tomato Pie is still offered today and anchovy is still available as a topping. Mozzarella and additional ingredients were to follow.

In the formative years 1925 – 1937, he employed a small crew of relatives that included his half brother Alessio Pepe and his son Mac, cousin Tommy Sicignano, nephews Salvatore and Tony Consiglio. Incidentally, Salvatore Consiglio, after learning pizza baking from his uncle Frank, eventually made the decision to establish his own pizzeria on Wooster Street, the well known Sally’s Apizza.

Modern Apizza
New Haven 1934

Google Books
Dining in New York
By Rian James
New York, NY: John Day Company
1934
Pg. 61: 
Apizza—that inch-thick potato pancake, sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese and stewed tomatoes—Papa Moneta himself will bring for your selection a huge tray of imported cheeses....
(Moneta’s, 32 Mulberry Street—ed.)

January 1942, New Haven (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 130, col. 2:
Tony’s Apizza Place 874 State...7-5641

January 1942, New Haven (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 128, col. 1:
Eddie-App-Pizzeria 208 Washington Av...8-9684
(Col. 3—ed.)
Frank App Pizzeria Restaurant 446 Chapel 8-9207

January 1942, New Haven (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 127, col. 3:
THE ORIGINAL
EST. 1925
FRANK PEPE
Old Reliable
NEAPOLITAN
TOMATO PIES
157 Wooster St.
8-7774

August 1944, New London (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 113, col. 2:
LA PIZZA
APIZZA . SPAGHETTI
42 Jefferson Av.
TEL. 2-3928

August 1944, New London (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 113, col. 2:
GLORY RESTAURANT
APIZZA . SPAGHETTI . RAVIOLI
Call NEW LONDON 2-4583
639 BANK ST.  NEW LONDON

24 December 1945, Naugatuck (CT) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 3 ad:
BEN’S APIZZA

June 1946, New Haven (CT) Telephone Directory, pg. 179, col. 1:
CAMPOSANO’S APPIZZA
One of the oldest appizza places in NH
73Whiting...6-1861

Google News Archive
19 December 1950, Meriden (CT) Daily Journal, ‘Frankly Speaking” by Frank R. Corkin Jr., pg. 4, col. 1:
Pless, a pitcher with a fast ball, bit off a mouthful of apizza.

19 April 1951, Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, pg. 36, col. 8 classified ad:
A BARGAIN, tavern in a good section, owner ill. Good spot for appizza.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, January 10, 2011 • Permalink