The New Yorker got a little meta on its blog last week, taken a look at its own historical coverage of pizza to see how the quintessential NYC foodstuff has evolved over the years. As Joshua Rothman writes, the nature of the coverage changed as pizza went from being a novelty to an essential part of New York street life.
Though pizza was available from around 1905 at Lombardi’s, there was no coverage on it until the 1950s. And when it first made its way into the pages of the New Yorker, the word pizza was italicized, demonstrating how it was still considered a foreign concept. As time went on though, the magazine bore witness to how “this exotic foreign food began to lose its foreignness and become, in various ways, American.”
In the 1960s, the introduction of frozen pizza made the dish even more common and accessible; around the same time, the magazine noted the importance of pizza to youth culture in the city, as pizzerias began to “replace candy stores as hangouts for “pre-beer” teen-agers. By the 1970s, the pizzeria were regular fixtures in the neighborhood and “had become part of the city’s identity” as a result.
[via The New Yorker]