Book explores New Haven’s pizza roots


Coming December 1st to a bookstore near you, the first true history of pizza in America, which, of course, is rooted in New Haven.

The book is called, aptly enough, Pizza in New Haven, and is by Colin Caplan who was born and raised on pizza in the Elm City.

This is a deep dive into how pizza came to be and is chock full of archival photos.

It took seven years for Caplan to write the book.

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“This is actually about pizza in America, and pizza becoming an American food. So, in that sense, if we understand that this is an American story, it’s kind of like our American story and New Haven should be very proud of its pizza story because we created such an amazing American pizza,” he said.

“These are all people that we should know if we don’t know. You have Frank Pepe, you’ve got Sally, you’ve got Tony Composano, you’ve got Frank Zampiello. These are all intrinsic parts as to why New Haven is truly one of the pizza centers of America,” he added.

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“This is a wonderful photo, this is from the collection of Tony Grago who is at New Haven PD and this photo shows a New Haven that’s gone. It was from 1940. You can see a pizzeria on the right, Abate on the left. That’s Compossano’s on the left and it was called Kiki’s and Club 99 on the right. It was a pizzeria that was a dance club and both are historic, both have significance, both are in the book and that street was working class. It was Italian, it was Irish, it was French, it was Jewish, it was black and everybody lived there and experienced Abate together,” he explained.

For more information on the book, click here.

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