Author Topic: Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)  (Read 76485 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #175 on: October 31, 2015, 01:38:54 PM »
It is taking longer than expected to get an article/story ready about the Mastro family and how they greatly contributed to NY style pizzas, and the birth of the first gas deck ovens for NY style pizzas. More information is found each week.  Madeline's memory is still sharp as a tack and she has, and is going to provide many articles, photos and receipts.  Peter has graciously said he would keep all of the information in one place, so if something happens to Walter's computer or mine, he will still have the information, voice recordings and videos.  Scott Wiener also is keeping everything we send him in a folder.  When Scott has time he will look at everything we found so far and the videos.  Scott said by mid November he might have time to start looking at everything.

Amber, from the Library of Congress has found many interesting articles.  These are 2 of them.  I am guessing they were on microfilm. They are difficult to read, unless a magnifying glass is used. 

What prompted me to make this post was the one article called NY style pizzas “Big Sloppy Round Ones”.  I had to chuckle about that phrase for NY style pizzas because I never heard it before.  I wonder what would happen now if we called our NY style pizzas “Big Sloppy Round Ones”.  :-D

Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #176 on: January 21, 2016, 01:29:50 PM »
Madeline and I talked this morning and she said she wanted to make the videos public that I did on her, so maybe someone might be interested enough to do an article or story about the Mastro family. Madeline is the only person that knows so much what happened when her father and brother were going about trying to invent deck ovens for NY style pizzas.

Some of the videos aren't the best and some are long, but I find it interesting what happened so long ago with NY style pizza and Madeline's whole family.











Norma

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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #178 on: February 14, 2016, 09:56:30 PM »
This post was written by Madeline Mastro Ferrentino on facebook today. 

Can't believe what the pizza industry has become after my father started it in l935 with his gas fired portable pizza oven that he designed and had manufactured by G.S. Blodgett in Vermont. He spent the remainder of his life until his death in 1957 promoting it and designing and have manufacturers produce the ancillary products needed to operate a pizzeria. My brother picked up the mantle and continued with it until his death in 1965. He demonstrated what one person can do with perseverance, dedication, and belief in a cause to follow it thru. The impetus was the depression when his customers struggled to keep their businesses alive and the necessity to keep his own livelihood going. He started a restaurant and supply business in 1925, at the beginning handling mostly china as a distributor for the Scammell's china company out of Trenton who manufactured the china for the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Waldorf Astoria, Horn and Hardart's and others. As his business and customers continued to grow his inventory expanded to all equipment needed to run restaurants, hotels and institutions. Then came the DEPRESSION. With jobs in short supply people hardly were able to put food on their own tables, much less go to a restaurant. Pizza at that time was made in the Italian bakeries after the morning hours in huge coal fired brick wall ovens but mothers and grandmothers made them for their children after school in their own kitchen gas ovens. Ingredients to make pizza at that time were inexpensive and my father felt it would be a good addition to an Italian restaurant or bar's menu. He theorized that pizzas could be made in gas ovens in restaurants as well. He experimented with his design first putting a gas line in a commercial coal deck oven, then going to a design to a full gas oven and after several further designs ending up with a model that could put out one pizza a minute by maneuvering the pizzas on the decks in a certain way. Pizza was instantly popular, because of price and taste. The first huge pizzas were sold for 25 cents and I remember people standing around the block waiting for pizza at Greenpoint Pizzeria one of the first places my father set up (and my mother and Dad helped to run) for takeout as well as waiting for seating. And so the industry started. What has brought me back to remembering all of this is Norma Knepp contacting me and her curiosity about all things "pizza" including the history of the industry in the U.S. She has opened up this whole new world of pizza as it is today which I had not realized was going on since my brother's death....pizza forums, competitions, days long shows, pizza tours etc that is world wide. I was amazed to find that my father and brother were no longer known as the major participants in the industry , but thrilled to know that what started as my father's desire to see people employed during the depression has made such an impact on so many lives as he believed it would. Norma is an amazing woman in her own right. I hope my Mom and Dad can see her from Heaven. From operating this one little stand in a Pennsylvania farm market to almost world wide recognition.

Norma

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #179 on: February 14, 2016, 10:01:29 PM »
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #180 on: May 01, 2016, 08:27:16 AM »
Walter's email to PMQ Magazine was in the April issue.

Recently on facebook this is what Rick Hynum posted. 

We'll run a feature story on the amazing Mastro family in our June-July issue! Thank you VERY much for your help, Walter, and for all the interview footage you sent. I have followed up with both Mrs. Ferrentino and Vincent. What a fascinating story. I feel like I can't do the story the full justice it deserves in a 2,000-word article, but I will do my best.

Norma


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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #181 on: August 01, 2016, 01:30:46 PM »
Norma Knepp and I have been working on documenting the history of NY style pizza which was invented by Frank Mastro.  It came together when we  met his 90 year old daughter Madeline.  Through hours of taped phone interviews, videos, and literature, we presented this to PMQ Magazine and they ran the story in this months issue.  Here it is.  It is a fascinating story that has been long forgotten and our hope is someday a documentary will be done on it.  This article is great - thanks Rick Hyman the editor of PMQ but only touches the surface of all Frank and his son Vinnie Mastro did for pizza as we know it today.  I feel blessed to have gotten to know Madeline and we use her father's last and best oven design in our pizzeria.  It is a work of art and 50 years later still outperforms today's deck pizza ovens.   The only thing missing is giving Norma Credit on the article.  Walter 

http://digital.pmq.com/pmqmag/august_2016?sub_id=xPZ7vtC8kzU4&folio=40&pg=46#pg46
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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #182 on: August 01, 2016, 08:50:19 PM »
That pizza dough recipe in the story is interesting; 72% hydration, 9% salt, 2.2% yeast (presumably fresh yeast), 2.5 hour rise time.   Unusual to say the least.
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #183 on: August 01, 2016, 09:01:37 PM »
That pizza dough recipe in the story is interesting; 72% hydration, 9% salt, 2.2% yeast (presumably fresh yeast), 2.5 hour rise time.   Unusual to say the least.
Jonas,

Maybe it was intended that the salt be one teaspoon rather than 1 ounce. One teaspoon would be about 1.8%. The 2.2% fresh yeast would be suitable for an emergency dough that is to be used after a few hours.

It also looks like a lot of sauce (one cup plus one ounce) was used for a 15" pizza, along with a full pound of mozzarella cheese.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #184 on: August 05, 2016, 10:38:24 PM »
If anyone wants to know a little more what Madeline knows, and what her family did, these are some things she told me today. 

It was my brother with his brother-in-law that introduced the frozen dough. I was in Missouri when my brother started the Pizza Plaza franchise, so I believe it was soon after my father died and soon after the Frank Mastro franchise in Puerto Rico which was in effect I think still in the late 1950's. I returned to the east coast in 1960 so I believe that the Pizza Plaza franchises started in 1958 or 1959 or so. The concept of the frozen dough was so that all of the pizzerias because they were individual franchises in all parts of the country and Puerto Rico would produce the same pizza product. My brother enlisted his brother-in-law, a food chemist, to develop the frozen dough. My father died in 1957. The Pizza Plaza franchises were very attractive. They had lovely country pine furniture with trestle tables and my brother had a company make the old style ceiling fans (first in the day) for the light fixtures. (I believe it was a company in the south that manufactured the furniture and fans for him).

Don't know anything about the white powder, only that my mother use to bring it over to the commissary and a few times my son, Frank did. It was not used in Puerto Rico, just know the concept came up because of the Frank Mastro franchise experimentation, finding out they needed a way to get the pizzas all to be similar in all locations.

I was in Missouri in1954 in Springfield. While the people in Kansas City and St. Louis were familiar with Pizza (My father had sold an oven I believe in each city) but those in Springfield were not. My father made pizza for our friends when he came to Springfield and my Georgia friend had never had never heard about it.

My father’s first ovens were sold in l936 in NYC and upstate NY and I think in Mass. in the late 30's.

By the 1940's many were sold,during the war, and after. In 1944 he stopped on his way back from a customer in Detroit at my college to see me before he went home and it was in the 1940's that he sold to Alaska. I lived in Missouri in the fifties and didn't come back east until 1960. My father started selling his oven in 1935, that's when I was nine and he first got the information from the Mass. utility company about the gas usage.


Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #185 on: August 05, 2016, 11:06:38 PM »
I didn't have time to see if any patents might be issued to Lino Linteris for the secret white powder that was put in the frozen dough.

Just by doing a search for Lino Linteris inventor he was issued many patents.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Lino+Linteris+inventor

This is a tribute to Lino.

 

Norma

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #186 on: August 05, 2016, 11:53:51 PM »
I can add a little to this too, it was indeed the U.S. service men who were stationed in Italy and upon returning home were looking for a job but work was mighty scarce post WWII so many of them turned to doing something that they learned while in the service, my dad and 3 uncles opened a garage (that's a story in itself) while others did indeed remember that great Italian food "pizza" but rather than going looking for it they got busy and made it as a living. this is why a lot of the early pizzerias (since 1945) were run by vets. The problem was that no one knew where to put pizza on the daily menu, was it for lunch, or dinner? Neither, it was considered as a snack food for a good number of years with the majority of pizzas being sold after 7:00 p.m. and until the dough ran out or midnight, which ever came first. In the 60,s the big pizza chains started to come into their own and pizza began to settle in as dinner fare. Then the wholesale pizza manufacturers jumped into the pool and the marketing of frozen pizzas was a big thing. The time during the late 70's and early 80's was known as the time of the "pizza wars" with all of the large wholesale manufacturers trying to out compete the competition, it got so bad that pizzas had to be labeled as being made with tomato product (sauce) and cheese product (cheese). They couldn't be called tomato or cheese because both were heavily extended with fiber materials to reduce the cost. Toppings were absolutely scarce too, people used to buy a pizza along with onion, peppers and sausage or pepperoni to build their own pizza on the store bought frozen pizza. This was referred to as "doctoring the pizza". I helped develop the first heavily topped frozen pizza that broke the mold and made way for the quality pendulum to swing the other way and open the door to high end pizzas much as we know today. The pizza industry is unlike other segments of the food industry in that the independents are the true leaders of innovation, and then the chains jump on the idea and lastly the wholesale manufacturers jump on it too making that type or style of pizza available to the masses.
How popular is pizza? Pizza became more popular in the U.S. than our sacred hamburger by the early 90's, it is so popular that it is jokingly referred to as the great American food and this might not be too far off the mark in that the most popular types of pizza sold in the U.S. today are the "loaded" pizzas, much unlike pizzas sold any other place. As pizza has continued to evolve and tastes continue to change there has been a steady move fresh, natural, organic and combined with the demand for thinner crusts thanks to the low carb craze of a few years ago we got a lot of thin crust pizzas with a lot of toppings, but now the new direction seems to be leading us to seek out something different in pizzas, we are seeing a growing trend towards basic or natural eating styles, people want to see their food made before them, they want it to be made in a rustic/old fashion way so pizza is now beginning to come full circle and returning to its roots where it is made in a coal or wood fired oven, fresh ingredients are used, flavor and aroma are becoming important quality attributes, and less topping ingredients are becoming the rule instead of the exception. This is just a very rough thumb nail sketch of how pizzas have evolved as a mainstream food in the United States.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #187 on: August 06, 2016, 07:34:00 AM »
I can add a little to this too, it was indeed the U.S. service men who were stationed in Italy and upon returning home were looking for a job but work was mighty scarce post WWII so many of them turned to doing something that they learned while in the service, my dad and 3 uncles opened a garage (that's a story in itself) while others did indeed remember that great Italian food "pizza" but rather than going looking for it they got busy and made it as a living. this is why a lot of the early pizzerias (since 1945) were run by vets. The problem was that no one knew where to put pizza on the daily menu, was it for lunch, or dinner? Neither, it was considered as a snack food for a good number of years with the majority of pizzas being sold after 7:00 p.m. and until the dough ran out or midnight, which ever came first. In the 60,s the big pizza chains started to come into their own and pizza began to settle in as dinner fare. Then the wholesale pizza manufacturers jumped into the pool and the marketing of frozen pizzas was a big thing. The time during the late 70's and early 80's was known as the time of the "pizza wars" with all of the large wholesale manufacturers trying to out compete the competition, it got so bad that pizzas had to be labeled as being made with tomato product (sauce) and cheese product (cheese). They couldn't be called tomato or cheese because both were heavily extended with fiber materials to reduce the cost. Toppings were absolutely scarce too, people used to buy a pizza along with onion, peppers and sausage or pepperoni to build their own pizza on the store bought frozen pizza. This was referred to as "doctoring the pizza". I helped develop the first heavily topped frozen pizza that broke the mold and made way for the quality pendulum to swing the other way and open the door to high end pizzas much as we know today. The pizza industry is unlike other segments of the food industry in that the independents are the true leaders of innovation, and then the chains jump on the idea and lastly the wholesale manufacturers jump on it too making that type or style of pizza available to the masses.
How popular is pizza? Pizza became more popular in the U.S. than our sacred hamburger by the early 90's, it is so popular that it is jokingly referred to as the great American food and this might not be too far off the mark in that the most popular types of pizza sold in the U.S. today are the "loaded" pizzas, much unlike pizzas sold any other place. As pizza has continued to evolve and tastes continue to change there has been a steady move fresh, natural, organic and combined with the demand for thinner crusts thanks to the low carb craze of a few years ago we got a lot of thin crust pizzas with a lot of toppings, but now the new direction seems to be leading us to seek out something different in pizzas, we are seeing a growing trend towards basic or natural eating styles, people want to see their food made before them, they want it to be made in a rustic/old fashion way so pizza is now beginning to come full circle and returning to its roots where it is made in a coal or wood fired oven, fresh ingredients are used, flavor and aroma are becoming important quality attributes, and less topping ingredients are becoming the rule instead of the exception. This is just a very rough thumb nail sketch of how pizzas have evolved as a mainstream food in the United States.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,

Thanks so much for your contributions to this thread!  Since your were in the pizza industry at AIB for so many years I bet you could tell quite a few stories about pizzas. 

I didn't know you helped to develop the first heavily topped pizzas.  Congratulations! :chef: :chef:

Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #188 on: August 06, 2016, 08:02:38 AM »
In this recent article it says that Joseph Bucci of Philadelphia received over 652 patents for making frozen pizza or tomato pie.  :o It also says that the Little Bo's Pizza was small enough for one person.

Joseph Bucci of Philadelphia received over 652 patents for making frozen pizza or tomato pie. One of the first small pizzas was the Little Bo’s Pizza. It was small enough for one person and made with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and spices, and buyers were advised to heat them up for eight minutes in the oven.

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/05/the-history-of-the-pizza.html 

If I could find more time I would try to search Joesph Bucci's patents to see what he did to make frozen pizzas.  Joseph must have known pretty much about making frozen pizzas.

Norma

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #189 on: August 15, 2016, 02:36:09 PM »
In this recent article it says that Joseph Bucci of Philadelphia received over 652 patents for making frozen pizza or tomato pie.  :o It also says that the Little Bo's Pizza was small enough for one person.

Joseph Bucci of Philadelphia received over 652 patents for making frozen pizza or tomato pie. One of the first small pizzas was the Little Bo’s Pizza. It was small enough for one person and made with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and spices, and buyers were advised to heat them up for eight minutes in the oven.

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/05/the-history-of-the-pizza.html 

If I could find more time I would try to search Joesph Bucci's patents to see what he did to make frozen pizzas.  Joseph must have known pretty much about making frozen pizzas.

Norma

I went to highschool with the grandson of the original owner of Tree Tavern Pizza Cafe located in Paterson NJ.  Though there are debates as to what was the first frozen pizza (Totino's claims to be first major producer of frozen pizza but they began in 1962, Celestano made a frozen pizza in 1957), many people in the Tri-State agree that it is the original Tree Tavern frozen pizza which was first sold in 1955 in supermarkets.  They still sell to this day under Provision Foods.  Their frozen crust is very different from every other frozen pizza on the market, it is NJ bar style pie.  It sells as a premium frozen pizza at $7-8/box.


http://www.northjersey.com/story-archives/owners-of-tree-tavern-pizza-remember-to-keep-it-real-1.1253180

http://www.treetavernpizza.com/history.html

« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 05:05:26 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline waltertore

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #190 on: August 15, 2016, 06:45:51 PM »
I went to highschool with the grandson of the original owner of Tree Tavern Pizza Cafe located in Paterson NJ.  Though there are debates as to what was the first frozen pizza (Totino's claims to be first major producer of frozen pizza but they began in 1962, Celestano made a frozen pizza in 1957), many people in the Tri-State agree that it is the original Tree Tavern frozen pizza which was first sold in 1955 in supermarkets.  They still sell to this day under Provision Foods.  Their frozen crust is very different from every other frozen pizza on the market, it is NJ bar style pie.  It sells as a premium frozen pizza at $7-8/box.


http://www.northjersey.com/story-archives/owners-of-tree-tavern-pizza-remember-to-keep-it-real-1.1253180

http://www.treetavernpizza.com/history.html

I remember the tree tavern frozen pizzas in the early 60's at the shop rite we shopped at.  Also remember the Celentano sicilian like frozen pies there as well.  Walter
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Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #191 on: August 15, 2016, 09:23:57 PM »
I remember the tree tavern frozen pizzas in the early 60's at the shop rite we shopped at.  Also remember the Celentano sicilian like frozen pies there as well.  Walter

hi waltertore, i posted this in another dough thread, but are you familiar with santillo's pizza in elizabeth, nj?

here is their menu.  http://www.santillopizza.com/

3 generations of pizzamakers, they have a 1940, 1948, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1967 pie true to their recipes of that time for those who are interested in evolution.

here are some videos:

the 1957:



the 1967 pops:



the harpo 1948 and 1957.


Offline waltertore

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #192 on: August 15, 2016, 10:39:48 PM »
hi waltertore, i posted this in another dough thread, but are you familiar with santillo's pizza in elizabeth, nj?

here is their menu.  http://www.santillopizza.com/

3 generations of pizzamakers, they have a 1940, 1948, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1967 pie true to their recipes of that time for those who are interested in evolution.

here are some videos:

the 1957:



the 1967 pops:



the harpo 1948 and 1957.




I wish I had checked them out.  I was at Kean College for a semester before giving up on NJ and wandering west.  Thanks for posting the videos.  Did you make the pies or are they from the shop?   Walter
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Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #193 on: August 15, 2016, 10:45:09 PM »

I wish I had checked them out.  I was at Kean College for a semester before giving up on NJ and wandering west.  Thanks for posting the videos.  Did you make the pies or are they from the shop?   Walter

me? no.  they're videos from santillo's on youtube.   i posted as an example of a pizzeria that has not been adulterated by media, al santillo jr. owns santillo's pizza and that's him in the videos.  i'm just an interested wannabe pizza historian.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 10:49:35 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #194 on: August 15, 2016, 10:47:08 PM »
in all honesty, i'm working on a book.  possibly a feature film.  c'mon do we need more comic book films?  let's make a fictional narrative based on real life pizza.   trying to be objective. 

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Re: Evolution of the NY Style Pizza (Split Topic)
« Reply #195 on: August 16, 2016, 12:14:59 AM »
in all honesty, i'm working on a book.  possibly a feature film.  c'mon do we need more comic book films?  let's make a fictional narrative based on real life pizza.   trying to be objective.

Harry:  I have wanted to have a documentary done on our fusion of pizza and people with disabilities.  It has been a 25 year dream that is continually unfolding in wonderful ways.  Walter
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