A classic Fresh York pie from John’s of Bleecker Avenue.
Picture: Konstantin Sergeyev
Pizza is easy: cheese, sauce, bread. But pizzahistoryis an eternally grand saga of feuding families, mob ties, and brutal in the support of-the-scenes deals. Fresh wrinkles in the Helpful American Pizza Legend aren’t unfamiliar, but it on the opposite hand shook the pizza world to its core when, final week, a Chicago researcher named Peter Regas detailed contemporary proof that he says basically changes the sage of how pizza first arrived in Fresh York — which is to bid of how pizza first arrived in The United States.
All the pieces in pizza lore is disputed by somebody, however the most recurrently authorized sage is that The United States’s first pizzeria became as soon as Lombardi’s, established by Gennaro Lombardi at 53 ½ Spring Avenue in 1905. What Regas proposes is that this take care of became as soon as dwelling to a pizzeria, but it didn’t on the starting build belong to Lombardi, and that a contemporary, lengthy-forgotten figure named Filippo Milone became as soon as “doubtless” the one who opened Fresh York’s first pizzerias, at the side of Lombardi’s and John’s of Bleecker Avenue. “We maintain proof that two of the locations he opened, and worked in,” Regas says, “had been described as two of the most edifying.”
maker who began the hugely in model blog Slice, of the startling revelations. “All these tales we’ve suggested — and I’d bid I’m one among the more responsible folk of spreading the ‘spurious files’ of pizza history, if here is lawful.”
Regas believes that Milone emigrated from Italy in 1892, and opened a meals market at 53 ½ Spring Avenue around 5 years later. He believes it’s going to maintain been a pizzeriaas early as 1898. “What is amazingly consuming just a few few of his files that now we maintain got, and it’s bright,” Regas says, “is that he presumably became as soon as a pizza maker in Naples earlier than he came here.” Regas knows for clear that, in 1901, the shop became as soon as owned by somebody named Giovanni Santillo, and Regas believes Milone became as soon as one thing of a mercenary pizza evangelist, who would spread the gospel of pizza thru one alternate earlier than transferring on and opening but every other. “I reflect of him because the model of popular pizza handbook,” Regas explains. This study may perchance rewrite pizza history, and Regas intends to post a e book on it.
In step with his naturalization papers, Lombardi arrived in Fresh York in 1904. Pizza, Regas says, became as soon as unquestionably being served on the Spring Avenue shop in 1905: He came upon an Italian newspaper ad for a alternate known as Antica Pizzeria Napoletana at that take care of. The strong point, in step with the ad, became as soon as “pizze imbottite,” or stuffed pizza.
Santillo became as soon as out by 1908. It’s the same year that Regas is “extremely confident” this critical stammer of Lombardibecame as soon as taken. At this point, it appears the Spring Avenue shop became as soon as passed around as many times as a bottle of grappa: Starting up in 1908 or 1909, it became as soon as scramble by but every other man, named Francesco D’Errico, who’s named because the proprietor in Fresh York’s 1910 alternate directory. “All I may perchance obtain became as soon as this D’Errico and I believed,I’ve purchased to search out out who he’s,” Regas says. By 1917 or 1918, D’Errico sold the pizzeriasupportto Lombardi, who apparently then made up our minds he became as soon as drained of having fun with musical pizza chairs and stayed set.
John’s. Milone additionally opened a since-shuttered Purple Hook establishment named Pop’s, as properly as three quite loads of pizzerias.
Regas think Milone’s sage has been lost on story of he doubtless had no younger folk to raise on his legacy, and that on the present time he’s buried in an unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery. Nonetheless, it became as soon as Milone, Regas argues, who did bigger than someone else for the invention of pizza in Fresh York — although no one has heard his title earlier than. “He became as soon as the one who became as soon as quite loads of — in the longevity, and the persistence of his institutions. He had three live to deliver the story for more than one decades.” Regas adds, “I enact reflect Milone had the skill to interchange things in a correct contrivance, on the least in the starting build.”
On February 23, Regas willmost modernhis study at Chicago’s U.S. Pizza Museum.
Also featured in the stammer: Anthony “Totonno” Pero, who would mosey on to initiate Totonno’s in 1924. Pero’s family says he must still net credit ranking for bringing pizza to The United States, arguing that he became as soon as the one who made the pizza and tickled Lombardi to sell it.
Regas argues there’s a remnant of this legacy at John’s, where a neon stamp in the window entails the words Pizzeria Port’Alba.