Great Leaps Forward

1905: New York”Neapolitan Hybrid
The classic New York pie, baked in a coal oven. Bigger, crisper, and sturdier than its Neapolitan ancestor, with a lower, denser crust edge. Photos by Hannah Whitaker

1950s: Sicilian
Pan pizza of two schools: the soft and spongy, and the comparatively thin and crunchy.

1980s: Roman
Uniformly thin and crisp with no crust edge to speak of. Typically baked in a wood-fired or electric oven.

1989: Focaccia Robiola
Split-crust, dimpled flatbread layered with creamy robiola cheese and a judicious swirl of truffle oil. Invented by Ciro Verdi, now of midtown’s Da Ciro.

1993: Grandma style (a.k.a. “Old-fashioned”)
Medium-thick pan pizza with Long Island roots, often heavier on the sauce than the cheese.

1993: Grilled
Imported from Rhode Island and popularized at Fresco by Scotto in midtown. Both sides of its superthin, crisp crust are cooked on a grill.

1994: Pizza Bianca
Roman-style flatbread seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary, baked in six-foot lengths and sold by the slice. Popularized by Sullivan St. Bakery.

1998: Pizza Truck
A Staten Island innovation: square, relatively cheeseless, and thinner and crispier than Sicilian and Grandma style. And, yes, served from the back of a truck.

2004: New-School Neo-Neapolitan
Neapolitan in spirit, but much more freewheeling and unbound by any Verace Pizza Napoletana (a.k.a. the Pizza Police) rules. Noted for its haute-barnyard toppings.

2009: Neoclassical Neapolitan
Soft and chewy, with a tall, puffy crust edge and a delicate micro-layer of surface crispiness. Among many other strict specifications, it must be cooked in a wood-fired oven in under two minutes.

Great Leaps Forward