November 8th 2019
Bringing a Taste of Italy to the Tampa Bay Area
Naples is known for its beautiful architecture and art. Yet, there is one thing about Naples that people never forget, and that is what it feels like to eat a real pizza for the very first time.
People are often surprised to discover that the pizza is nothing like what they usually get at home. In Italy, pizza is held to high standards for perfection, requiring chefs to stick to traditional techniques that have been passed down for many years.
With true Neapolitan pizza, you will not find a soggy crust, with rubbery cheese, sitting in a cardboard box. Instead, you’ll enjoy a crisp and chewy crust, with perfectly melted cheese, that changes everything you thought you knew about how good pizza can be.
The Fascinating Origin of Naples Pizza
To understand why people have an epiphany after trying a Neapolitan style pie, it helps to learn about how Naples became the birthplace of pizza.
People had been eating flatbread for many years in the 16th century. However, no one added toppings to it until tomatoes were introduced by explorers from Peru. At first, people avoided eating tomatoes, because they thought that they were poisonous. Then, later in the 18th century,a group of poor peasants began to use them as a topping on their flatbread .
Eventually, this dish began to catch on, and pizza slowly evolved into the traditional Neapolitan style that we enjoy today.
How to Identify Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
So how serious is Naples about their pizza? Neapolitans are so proud of their pizza style that there is an actual governing body called the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana in charge of quality assurance.
The VPN has defined a set of standards that pizza chefs must meet, such as only baking the pies in a wood-fired oven. When the proper quality ingredients are used, and the pie is baked to perfection, it is then declared to be a “verace pizza napaoletana" or real Neapolitan pizza.
While the VPN is reinforcing the importance of tradition, you don’t have to be an expert to recognize the real thing here at home. An authentic Neapolitan pizza has a distinctive look and taste that stands out from all the other styles.
Crisp and Chewy Crust
You should always start by checking out the crust. A true Neapolitan pizza crust is made using a highly refined type 00 flour. It is then formed into its shape by hand, which is why you’ll never see an authentic Neapolitan pizza that is perfectly round.
San Marzano Tomatoes & Homemade Mozzarella
For the traditional style, the sauce usually outweighs the cheese. This makes the pie heavier in the middle, which is why they are smaller than other styles of pizza. It also makes them perfect for folding up and eating as you walk.
The classic style of Neapolitan pizza is topped with a sauce made from real San Marzano tomatoes and fresh homemade mozzarella cheese. You can also find variations, such as the addition of basil to enhance the flavor.
We might not be able to take you to Naples, but we do take pride in being able to bring the flavors of authentic Neapolitan pizza straight to our community.