I recently read through SliceOfSlomon's posts here on the evolution of NY pizza, a great read and began questioning the general history of pizza in NYC as the "establishment" claims. With recent demographics showing that NYC Italian-American population being 84% Southern Italian, including Sicilian and Calabrian, and a very small % having roots in Naples, are we somehow misinterpreting the evolution and not taking into account the greater influence of Sicilian culture and it's unique preparations and influence on what we know to be NY Pizza?
The general consensus is that Gennaro Lombardi who came from Naples, invented NY pizza but reading SlicofSlomon, it seems as what is represented at Lombardi's and the lineage therafter including Totonno's are not anywhere close to resembling the ubiquitious NYC slice, nor is it likely that today's Lombardi's pie resembles what was made in the early 20th century. It is infered that today's pies at Lombardi's and Totonno's are commercialized representations and one could also argue that today's wood fire napoletana pies are also commercialized ideals of what may have existed 100 years ago. Additionally, pizza's rise in popularity in the US did not occur until somewhere in the late 40's to 50's and again, vast majority of pies were made by Sicilians.
Lombardi's has also seen multiple ownership changes to Sicilian families and the vast majority of NYC pizzerias were owned by Sicilians and Calabrian families from WWII to the late 90's, and not Neapolitan Italians. And now, since the 90's, there has been a growing void of Italian owned pizzerias, many shops closed, because the younger Italian American generation had no interest or were sold to other minorities. There is also a dearth of Italians on this forum! Many NYC pizzerias are now owned by Muslim immigrants, and alot of the void is also being filled by new non Italian entrepreneurs all of which is again redefining NYC pizza.
So anyway.. Is the quintessential NYC pizza slice that we know it actually Sicilian, and not Neapolitan? "Stuff baked on flatbread" are ancient processes which existed in many sovereignties and cultures.