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NEW YORK — The pizza arrived, steaming and delectable, a smoked-mozzarella-and-sausage pie presented to Mayor Bill de Blasio. The mayor, on a pilgrimage Friday to Goodfellas, the venerable Staten Island pizzeria, smiled, nodded at his slice, and then proceeded to do the unthinkable: eat it with a knife and fork.

“Disaster,” declared a writer at New York magazine, citing the longstanding city protocol of devouring pizza, no matter how greasy, with hands only.

One website called it de Blasio’s first mistake as mayor.

Confronted by reporters about his conspicuous use of utensils, de Blasio argued that he was simply being authentic to his Italian roots. “In my ancestral homeland, it’s more typical to eat with a fork and knife,” said de Blasio, whose mother was Italian.

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Pressed on why a mayor who prides himself on populism would opt for a such a technique, longtime friend Charles Greinsky shrugged.

“He’s from Boston,” Greinsky said of the mayor. “He doesn’t know any better.”

NEW YORK TIMES