Pete-zza, thank you for the research and the time you took to do it, as well as the time taken by the other moderators.
I'm surprised that people want to TALK about New Haven pizza, about whether or not it is better than (or as good as) NY pizza, but nobody (comparatively, of course) wants to replicate it at home. Not being sarcastic, just wondering about the apparent dichotomy. Guess I assumed that a lot of people on these boards wanted to recreate Sally's and Pepe's at home, but it appears not to be the case.
As for Calvin Trillin, thanks for the suggested reading... and, thanks to Amazon.com's Online Reader (which, if you click "surprise me" will continue for quite a while to give you groups of about 5-6 pages to read) I have spent quite a while this afternoon browsing his "The Tummy Trilogy". Yes, his style is definitely tongue-in-cheek. Haven't found the part yet about New Haven being deemed "the holy city of pizza" vs New York, but I did find, on page 15 of "American Fried" where he prints a conversation he had with an unnamed "freelance food and travel writer". In this interview he says "I'm surprised at the implication that a fancy freelance food and travel writer like you was not allowed into Arthur Bryant's Barbecue, which is only the single best restaurant in the world." (emphasis mine) Hmmm.... I must be really out of the foodie loop because I have never heard of Arthur Bryant's Barbecue in Kansas City, MO.... and Calvin Trillin says it's the best restaurant in the WORLD! And he knows more about American food than most people on earth. <oops, that was bordering on sarcasm, sorry...> I have read enough to know that I will continue "beefing up my knowledge of food" by continuing to read my usual, such as the publications of The Culinary Institute of America and America's Test Kitchen for starters.
So, if Calvin Trillin is given often to these bouts of hyperbole, (as in the bold example cited above) I can see why you believe him if he says that YOUR hometown is "the holy city of pizza." He also said, in another excerpt, that we all want to believe that everything in our hometown is the BEST. Is he the one who stated that calzones were invented in New Haven?? No, wait... I remember... it was the restaurant owner, wasn't it?
Jamie, remember first and foremost, that Mr Trillin is a food HUMORIST... which means... don't take him so seriously! There are other humorists, such as Mark Twain, who offer nuggets of wisdom wrapped in humor. I would take them more seriously than Calvin Trillin.
EDIT: I guess I made an assumption I should not have made. I *ass*umed that, from the way Jamie was throwing his name around, Calvin Trillin was a food CRITIC I had never heard of.... and was quite surprised to find that he is a HUMORIST. BIG difference. If you know what I mean, and I think you do!