Pizza is the national food of Italy, but of the hundreds of types, there is not a single one that is called national Italian. The consensus is limited to one point of view: – Mine is the best of all.
When I asked Neapolitan chef Vincenzo di Antonio what he thought of pizza in Rome, he replied succinctly: “I’m lucky I don’t live in Rome.”
Support for local style is deeply rooted in history. Not a single species is the one you grew up with and are used to. Why are Americans looking for real pizza on the old continent? So Sicilian pizza in Palermo is more authentic than its Italian-American counterpart in Boston? Now we will determine why they are drawn to someone else’s.
Loyalty is commendable, but it is limiting. The first love for a particular pizza does not necessarily have to be the last. Love for a beautiful dish cannot be monogamous, because by concentrating on one type, you lose a huge range of tastes!
In Italy, where exceptionally delicious pizza is baked in many styles, polygamy is a must!
1. Pizza Napoletana
Naples shared its love of pizza and dry pasta with the world, but something got lost in translation. Instead of eating al dente pasta and soft pizza, foreigners who came from Naples learned to do the opposite. The Italians also developed the advantage of pizza – the crunch when biting. When Govani Santarpia first brought authentic Neapolitan pizza north to Tuscany, locals didn’t even leave a bottle of wine on their doorstep as a thank you. They watched in amazement as he cut the thin pizza, like a crispy loaf (like Biscotti).
Photo 1: Pizza Napoletana
The crust softness of a true Neapolitan pizza comes in part from cooking at 900℉ in a wood-fired oven. The air bubbles in the cake dough will swell, the inner part will dry out and harden. But the dough itself is built in such a way to be elastic, when adding valuable tomatoes and mozzarella from the Campania region, the base softens and permeates all the flavors. “You feel all the flavors in one bite!” – Santarpia says.
Later, in areas that are far from Naples (such as Florence) they began to bake a very similar to the classic Napoletana pizza. Her popularity went beyond the city and spread all over the world.
2. Pizza al Taglio
In the Roman style, al Taglio (“on the edge”) is baked in a mold and served sliced, hence the alternative names – teglia (“pizza in a pan”) and al trancio (“pizza by the slice”). In most stores in Italy, you order a piece of al Tagle pizza, tell the operator how many pieces to cut and pay by weight.
Pizza al Taglio is baked in an electric oven for 15 minutes, which gives a clear airy and golden crust (up to one inch thick). More cooking time isn’t always ideal for toppings. To avoid burning or unnecessary re-cooking of ingredients (the ingredients that are added to the middle are already ready for use). Why such precautions for humble street food? Pizza al Taglio is a platform for some of the most expensive cheeses, sausages, seafood, and the base of the pastry is listed among the best in Italy.
Photo 2: Pizza al Taglio
Not all pizzas are al Taglio Romano, and not all Romana are al Taglio. You may have heard this expression often. Romana is a real Roman pizza, but “al Taglio” is prepared in many regions of Italy where it adopts different regional characteristics. The round version of Romana pizza – Romana Tonda (see below) – has an extremely thin and clear crust, without corners.
The dough should not stick to the pan. Some bake directly on the stone surface of the oven (it is similar in description to Alla Pala (see below).
3. Pizza Siciliana
In the US, “Sicilian” pizza is sometimes associated with the pan-shaped “square” pizza invented by Sicilian immigrants and their descendants in Boston, Providence, or upstate New York and Detroit. These “New York Pizzas” were probably inspired by specific types of pizzas from Palermo or the so-called Saracusa. These two types of Sicilian pizza are usually sold in bakeries and are similar to Sicilian Focaccia. These square pizzas may also be the forerunners of al Taglio.
Photo 3: Sicilian pizza
However, when you order a pizza in most areas of Sicily you usually get a single pie or, like the Pizzolo, two pies stacked on top of each other. Siciliana is defined not so much by shape as by local ingredients: semolina and other homegrown grains in the dough; Goat cheese filling, Sicilian pecorino and milk cheeses from local cows – everything, plus buffalo mozzarella. More anchovies. Decoration with breadcrumbs is another fairly reliable indicator for determining real “Sicilians”.
4. Pizza for gourmets
“Gourmet” is a popular and widely used etiquette stamp, which is often applied to pizza as a standard of haute cuisine. The two gentlemen Simone Padoan from Verona and Renato Bosko-Sapore built the prestige of the dishes in the direction of Michelin stars to make them a dish from the chef. Have you heard of the term “food tweezers”? Pizzas are often cut into perfect little triangles to be used as models in the food press, or made for tourists who are too fussy to see a “gourmet” pizza.
Photo 4. Pizza for gourmets
Bosco does NOT use the word “gourmet”.
“- Pizza Contemporanea is the right term for me,” he says. ” – Pizza develops not only from the point of view of cooking, but also in the choice of raw materials or in the study of preparation of sauce.”
Behind the preparation of pizza are fanatical accents of whole grain flour, and ancient leavening strategies. The strategy for gourmet pizza baking is part of the global development and movement of the baking ship. The obsession runs deep into history. What distinguishes them from their American counterparts is their willingness to play with blurring the lines between beautiful pizza and artisanal bread with signature toppings: Bosco says that “both have the famous taste of pizza, but only the Italian one has the golden taste of delicacy.”
5. Pizza Romana Tonda
In 1492, Christopher Columbus convinced everyone that the world was round, not flat. Romana Tonda pizza fans see the world as round and flat. While the Neapolitan floppy pizza is overpriced, it feels like it’s on steroids rather than yeast.
Photo 5. Pizza Romana Tonda
Round pizza from Rome “Romana” has a crust that is exceptionally thin, ultra-clear and self-sufficient. If you cut a piece, the tip of the triangle will NEVER sag. It is also a futile effort to fold a slice in half.
6. Fritta pizza
Enough time has passed for Fritta to charm Italians outside of Naples, because it is prepared in a completely unconventional way (deep-fried, starchy and cheesy), and as a pizza it can seem strange. People in Scotland also love deep-fried pizzas. There are whole deep-fried bars there.
Photo 6. Pizza Fritta
This is if we do not delve into the question, and in fact the Fritta pizza has its fans. Greasy street food is all the rage, bread dough cooked in a large vat of hot butter has lost its uniqueness and become a widely popular Instagram star. The Neapolitan Fritta pizza is a miracle of culinary science: you throw a round layer or a crescent of dough into the fryer and watch it swell and change color. At the expense of air, the cocoon turns into a layer of golden goodness. After that, there is a dance of ingredients – gurkit, Provola (smoked cheese), tomato, salami poured with a drop of oil. You hardly need napkins. Almost.
7. Pizza Alla Pala / Pizza “Metro Station”
Alternative terms of oblong pizzas baked directly on the stone floor of the pizza oven are pleasantly impressive. Boards for standard pizzas will NOT fit. “Metro station” pizza is sized according to the number of people, the crust is rolled up to a meter in length, let’s assume that its name is “pizza per meter”. Alla Pala pizza can be cut into square pieces. Italian Pala is cut with the long handle of a shovel, a tool used to remove pizza from the oven.
Photo 7. Pizza Alla Pala
Texture and depth can vary, but in most cases these pizzas are crispy and at most half an inch thick.
The work of making pizza dough is already 150 years old: In the historical book of Naples – “Traditions and Customs of Naples”, calzone is indicated as one of the main styles of pizza. (This is the third option, right after the flat pizza combo, topped with grated cheese, neck fat, basil, and maybe mozzarella, prosciutto, or clams as well.) At best, calzone does not have a thick crust, which is a difficult barrier to market entry.
Photo 8. Pizza Calzone
9. Pizza Italiana
This is a sign of high style. It is also recognized as “Classica”, “Tradizionale” or, in a general sense, “Napoletana”. This is a pizza according to the Italian model of cooking, unlike the American small size (about 12 inches). Less filling.
The most popular types are known:
- Quattro Stagione,
They completely lack pepperoni, chicken, pineapple, which are so popular in America.
Photo 9. Pizza Margaret
Southern Italians despise the term Italian pizza, using it to refer to industrialized fast food or supermarket pizzas, even if some are handmade with fresh ingredients and baked in a wood-fired oven. One of the highest words of praise for any Italian pizza is digeribile – “more or less acceptable”. Bad dough often causes a feeling of bloating that lasts for several hours. In a good pizza, the dough has had enough time to rest from fermentation. It won’t sit overnight in your gut.
When people are in Italy, they usually don’t look for Italiana pizza. She finds you herself. With luck, it will be digeribile!