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The Protocols of Pizza

From the Bronx to Brooklyn, there’s really only one way to eat a slice

Author Chris Wright Illustration Luci Gutiérrez


This month, Harlem hosts its first ever EatUp! Festival (May 14–17), a four-day event showcasing the neighborhood’s diverse array of eateries. Farther downtown, the 9th Avenue International Food Festival (May 16–17) enters its 42nd year, inviting hungry throngs to sample the multiculti cuisine of Midtown. For a real taste of New York City, however, you’ll need to try a $2.50 slice, eaten on the go, preferably from a pizzeria with the name “Ray” on the marquee. Here, how to do it like a local.

1 The Fold
Prop the pizza on the upturned fingertips of both hands, at chin height, perpendicular to the body. Gently squeeze the outer edges of the crust until they meet in the middle. Crease the slice longways and direct the sharp end toward the mouth.

2 The Bend
As the pizza approaches, lean forward at an angle of approximately 35 degrees, enabling the mozzarella grease to drip harmlessly onto the ground, thereby avoiding irremovable stains on the shirt or pants. Insert slice into mouth.

3 The Nip
Still leaning, bite down and pull away, creating a string of cheese between mouth and pizza. Do NOT attempt to stretch the string to its breaking point. Instead, nibble to the edge of the slice and nip with the incisors. Swallow and repeat.

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