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With proclamation and hot slices, Lamont names New Haven 'pizza capital of America'

Colin Caplan, one of the producers for Pizza: a Love Story, a documentary about New Haven pizza, and the author of a book on the subject, speaks during a
Eddy Martinez
/
Connecticut Public
Colin Caplan, one of the producers for Pizza: a Love Story, a documentary about New Haven pizza, and the author of a book on the subject, speaks at Ernie's Pizzeria in New Haven during a National Pizza Day celebration, February 9, 2024.

Ernie’s Pizzeria in New Haven celebrated National Pizza Day Friday with lots of pizza, Foxon Park Soda and a proclamation declaring the city the pizza capital of America.

State and local officials, along with business owners packed the Westville neighborhood pizzeria where Gov. Ned Lamont read the proclamation.

“Heretofore we now declare New Haven, the pizza capital of America,” Lamont said.

Officials didn’t just pat themselves on the back; they also sampled the long-running pizzeria’s offerings.

Ernie’s Pizzeria owner Pat DeRiso has been in business since 1971. DeRiso carefully guided Lamont and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker while they made their own pies.

DeRiso said Lamont and Elicker did a good job for beginners.

“Not bad, hey they make pretty good pizzas for not ever doing it, and everybody ate it, so it seemed successful,” DeRiso said.

The proclamation comes as the city’s pizza scene has gained national recognition for its quality in recent years.

Event goers also had a good time, it was em-ceed by Colin Caplan, who co-produced Pizza: a Love Story, a documentary overview on New Haven style pizza, or apizza.

Caplan credited his family’s outings to the pizzeria during his childhood for inspiring a life long love for New Haven apizza.

“I would not be Colin the pizza guru without Ernie’s Pizzeria,” Caplan said.