Pizzas & Falafels

New York City Pizza Trivia
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NY Pizza Trivia to rattle off to friends while eating at a NYC Pizzeria.



Did you know (or even cared) ....

The earliest pizzas didn't have tomatoes.  The first tomato seed was introduced to Spain and Italy in 1572.  Tomatoes where still considered poison in the 1800s.

The first pizzeria anywhere was established in 1836.  First pizza delivery was to Queen Marghereta in 1889.   Yes,  it was cheese.

Gennaro Lombardi opened the first NY pizzeria at 53 1/3 Spring St. in 1905.   The place is gone but his grandson now runs a nice sit-down pizza restaurant down the block (33 Spring). 

talians invented the pizza but only got the pizza craze when their American cousins invaded in WWII.

Way back in time they used coal for pizza ovens in NYC.    Now coal is outlawed.  The few remaining coal ovens are grand fathered in.  Coal baked pizzas are totally different from the usual NYC slice.  Enjoy them while they last.  

The subway token connection. It is widely reported that sometime in the 1960s t Eric Bram discovered the pizza-token theory. The New York press has been reporting on this theory for the past four decades. It recently elevated into a YouTube episode so it must be true.

1980: the pizza-token connection (soon to become a theorem) revealed to the world for the first time in the Metropolitan Diary column of the New York Times.    

1985: A  New York Times article If You Understand Pizza, You Understand Subway Fares, by George Fasel explains the economic theory behind the pizza-subway token connection.

1995:  Another New York Time article Return of the Subway Token Dance recalls the "Fasel Theorem"  2002 (January): An article titled Beware The Price of a Slice anticipates a rise in the price of a subway ride based on the "Fasel Corollary."   2002 (July 9): New York Times article reveals  in As Inevitable As Pepperoni: Higher Fares that original theorem was Bram's not Fasel's.    2002 (July 15): in a letter to the editor Fasel acknowledges that he was not the first with the theorem.   

2004: The New Yorker Talk-of-The-Town picks up on the Bram pizza-token theorem  2005: with the price of a slice increasing the New York Times puts an urgent phone call to Bram for an updated assessment, as related in the article titled Digging Deep For a Slice Of the Pie    2007:  BestPizzaNY wiki reviews the story from start to present (Pizza and Subway Tokens)

2010: New York Magazine Intelligence reports that pizza prices are diverging from the theory. (But that's an exaggeration: our 12/2009 survey found that the theory is still 95% accurate.).
2012: A couple of very cool dudes discuss the theory in 'A Fare Slice' on YouTube
. mentions it too.

2014: The story is in Wikipedia. Grimaldi call attention on their front door.


There is also a short summary in Wikipedia.


The original Lombard's at 53 1/3 Spring St.



A beautiful coal-fired pizza

The Pizza&Falafel webmaster is attempting to reconstruct a spreadsheet of the pizza-token connection.  The above graph is incomplete.  This is work in progress.

A Fare Slice
2012:A Fare Slice


2010 R. Abileah

Last updated January 14, 2010