Connecticut is at the center of a heated national debate - and, it's all concerning pizza.
Two New Haven lawmakers have proposed designating pizza as the official state food. Proposed House Bill 5656 would amend an existing state statute to "recognize the contribution of pizza to the state's cuisine and economy."
Some may say it's a bold move for a state that borders New York. In fact, it's been the topic of conversation of some national morning shows. However, while Connecticut may not be the first place you think of when it comes to pizza, if you really think about it the proposal just may not seem that far-fetched. After all, it is home to two of the most famous pizzerias in the country.
Locally known as apizza, New Haven-style pizza is heralded by national critics and even has its own Wikipedia entry. This thin-crust, coal-fired Neapolitan pizza was made famous by Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. The iconic chain beloved in Connecticut for nearly 100 years is famous across the country and now has locations throughout the state and in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.
Frank Pepe's originated the New Haven-style pizza in 1925 and later Sally's Apizza and Modern Apizza would also become known for this kind of pizza.
Frank Pepe isn't the only famous pizzeria in Connecticut. Just up I-95 is Mystic Pizza. Founded in 1973, the pizzeria became a tourist destination following the release of the movie Mystic Pizza in1988, which starred a young Julia Roberts.
The film's screenwriter, Amy Jones, was summering in the area when she became enamored with the restaurant and chose it as the setting for her story about three waitresses. After the movie came out, the restaurant said it could barely keep up with demand and eventually opened a second location. The restaurant maintains it's the pizza that made the movie famous.
For Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Broker Andrea Kazantzis, pizza is a big part of her own identity.
She grew up in Brooklyn where her dad owned Johnny's Pizza. Still in business today, Johnny's is known for its delicious Greek-inspired pizza.
Whatever lawmakers decide, the debate has shown that pizza is one thing people take very seriously!