Apizza Dictionary

Anchovies – One of the first toppings to ever appear on a New Haven Style Apizza! Anchovies did not need refrigeration which made them easy to store and use as a topping.

Apizza – A word that is used in the general New Haven area for pizza. It’s pronounced “ah’beetz” and taken from the Italian phrase la’pizza (the pizza). It was originally used by Italian immigrants who came from Italy in the late 1800’s/early 1900s and settled in New Haven.

Bones – The crust not eaten and stacked on someone’s plate like cordwood. This is a sin by the way.

Cafone – Italian-American slang word for someone who has little class and/or is uneducated.

Cannoli– For adults, the only acceptable dessert to have with pizza. The best cannolis come from Libby’s if you are on Wooster Street in New Haven.

Char – The black over-baked part of the pizza crust originating in New Haven due to the use of a coal oven and thin crust. Char can be found along the rim of the pizza and/or on the top of the pizza. Char is often mistaken as burnt by people outside of New Haven. It has an incredible taste that is enhanced by the high-quality ingredients that go into traditional New Haven Style Pizza.

Cheese – What out-of-towners call mozzarella.

Clam pie – The pie that made New Haven Apizza famous. Clam pie was created in New Haven, CT on Wooster Street by Sally’s and Frank Pepe’s. Traditional clam pie has a coal-fired crust, fresh shucked local clams, garlic, oregano, EVOO, and pecorino romano. Clam pie is consistently rated the Best Pizza in America!

Coal oven – An oven that was originally made to bake bread and burns 100% coal for heat. It was made famous in New Haven when the Italian bakers started using these ovens to make pizza. It has a very dry point heat which is a perfect environment for baking pizza. Ironically, it was also used originally because coal was very cheap to burn vs. wood which is used i Italy to bake their pizza.

Crumb – The cross-section view of an apizza.

Deck oven – This is the style of oven most modern New Haven pizza is baked in. Most deck ovens are gas fueled with some electricity as well. Most deck ovens have cordierite hearth where the pizza is cooked on. Baker’s Pride and Blodgett are a few of the most popular brands.

Flop – The general term used to describe if the pizza slice stays straight out or horizontal when picked up or bends downwards.

Foxon Park Beverages – The official soda of New Haven Style Apizza. Foxon Park started in 1922 and comes in popular flavors such as Birch Beer, Gassosa, Grape, Orange, and Kola.

Football/oval shape – The shape a traditional New Haven Style pizza looks like, not round.

Fresh Tomato Pie – This is a New Haven Apizza staple in late summer when the local tomatoes are picked and these pies are some of the best-tasting pies you will get all year. Traditionally, a fresh tomato pie is white with farm-fresh sliced tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella, and EVOO.

Gavone – Italian-American slang word for someone who eats a lot…. of pizza.

Hearth – The heated surface a pizza is baked on. It usually is made of fire bricks, cordierite, steel, or aluminum.

Italian Ice -Aside from a cannoli, this is one of the only acceptable desserts to have with apizza generally from Libby’s if you are on Wooster Street in New Haven.

Junk – a bad pizza.

Leoparding – Black spots, lines, and/or shapes that form on the under crust/upskirt/undercarriage of the pizza due to the heat from the hearth (deck of the oven).

Mona Pizza – Used to describe an amazing-looking pizza, coined by The Pizza Gavones.

Mootz – Slang name for mozzarella cheese, generally used by people who are not from New Haven or don’t realize there is no “T” in mozzarella!

Mozzarella – An aged whole milk cheese used on New Haven Apizza pies.

Mozz – Slang name used by locals to describe mozzarella or a mozzarella pizza.

New Haven Pie – The “original” New Haven Pie – crushed or milled tomatoes, pecorino Romano, garlic.

New Haven Apizza Hall of Fame – Virtual place to honor all the great pizzerias in CT. More to come in the near future.

Napoletana – New Haven Style pizza – tomatoes, anchovies, and grated cheese.

Neapolitan – The original pizza from Naples, Italy. It is very different from New Haven Style pizza. Neapolitan pizza is made with 00 flour, high heat (900 degrees), 60-90 sec. bake.

Pie – Another word for pizza in New Haven or a commonly used word for pizza.

Pizza Joint – What CT people generally call a small pizza restaurant

Pizzeria – Another name for a place that sells pizza.

Plain Pie – No mozzarella just tomatoes and pecorino romano.

Pizza – 1. Italian word for “a pie” 2. An adopted word from Italy used in America to describe a round to semi-round flour-based dough baked in an oven with tomato sauce (uncooked for New Haven Style) and Pecorino Romano grated cheese and a host of other toppings including anchovies, onions, fresh mozzarella, garlic, aged mozzarella, bacon, meatball, sausage, etc.

Pizza peel – a wooden long spoon-shaped board used to assemble and launch a pizza. Comes in many lengths depending on the size and depth of the oven being used. There are two types. Wooden and steel. Wood is generally used to launch a pizza and steel is generally used to turn and retrieve a pizza.

Pizza Parlor – An old-school term for a restaurant that serves pizza.

Undercrust/upskirt/undercarriage – the backside of a pizza or directly under the sauce, cheese and toppings.

San Marzano Tomato – Tomatoes that are grown in the volcanic soil of San Marzano, Italy. They are ideal for use in pizza sauce due to their low sugar content and juicy flesh.

Sangweech – When you take a piece of uneaten crust and take the cheese from the pizza tray, put it together, and create a sandwich.

Sauseech – Ho we say sausage in New Haven.

Scamotz – A type of mozzarella very popular in Stratford and Bridgeport CT.

Solid – New Haven slang for a very good-tasting apizza.

Surfboard – The term used when you pick up a slice of pizza and it stays in the horizontal position.

The Big 4Sally’s, Pepe’s, Modern, and Grand – what is considered the best and oldest still operating pizzerias in CT.

The Pizza Gavones – Originally a comedy trio, now run by the Polish Pizzalio. The Pizza Gavones review the pizza, the place, and the personality. They also create New Haven Style pizza cooking videos.

The TrinitySally’s, Pepe’s, & Modern – what is considered the best three pizzerias in CT.

Tomato Pie/New Haven Plain – Signature New Haven Style Apizza…coal baked crust, milled tomatoes, pec romano, EVOO, and some garlic. What an amazing taste.

Tree – Ho a Gavone pronounces three.

Wood-fired oven – A oven that uses 100% dried wood to bake an apizza pie.

Wooster Street – At the heart of New Haven’s Little Italy lies Wooster Street. Wooster Street is home to many pizzerias, bakeries, and Italian shops. Currently, it is home to Sally’s, Pepe’s, Libby’s, Consiglio’s, Zenelli, and Trescalina Restaurants among others.

Wooster Street cut – Uneven cutting of slices of a pizza made famous by Wooster Street pizzerias.