Naugatuck Valley vs. New Haven: Who has the best pizza?


ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — As Connecticut lawmakers consider Bill 5656 to make pizza the official state food, two mayors in the Naugatuck Valley sent a letter to Hartford dishing out an important message.

“Members of the committee,” said Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti. “We are writing to you in support of House Bill 5656 in the designation of pizza as the state food of Connecticut.”

Related: Committee passes bill to designate pizza as CT State Food; moves to House

Their message cut deeper than that because they feel the idea for the bill was cooked up by New Haven lawmakers, whose city is famous for its slices.

“As you may know, Connecticut’s lower Naugatuck Valley is the undisputed pizza capital of our state despite the crusty claims by our larger New Haven County neighbor,” said Mayor Cassetti, reading the letter.  “It is well established that the cities of Ansonia and Derby specifically are home to the best pizza pies in the world no matter how you slice it.”

News 8 delivered a copy of the letter, letting New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker get a taste of it.

“Well, I think this will help get Ansonia and Derby pizza on the map a little bit more,” said Mayor Elicker. “To be honest, I’ve never needed to go to Ansonia or Derby to have pizza because the pizza’s so good in New Haven.”

Related: ‘Leave the pizza to us’: On National Pizza Day, here is why CT is the pizza capital

The owner of Rosa Mina Restaurant in Ansonia says Mayor Elicker is “misinformed” and doesn’t know what he’s missing.

“He can come down and try my pizza and then tell me if it’s as good or better than New Haven,” said Dino Manchisi.

Mayor Elicker says he and the mayors of Derby and Ansonia should come to the table and further discuss this, preferably in New Haven.

“I’d like to invite them to come and I’m happy to buy them a pie,” Mayor Elicker said.

But that leads us to ask the mayor, “Where in New Haven?” Mayor Elicker choosing to deliciously sidestep that.

“I will not delve into what New Haven pizza is my favorite,” he said. “I’m not gonna go down that road.”

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