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Not Your Regular Pizza......

Neapolitan-style pizza is a unique dish because it is a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed product in Europe. This designation allows the pie to receive inclusion as an item of intangible cultural heritage from UNESCO. There are numerous variations of the traditional recipe made in pizzerias around the world today. You will find none of them can replicate the exact flavors produced in Italy unless the time and expense are taken to import the needed ingredients.

WHAT IS NEAPOLITAN-STYLE PIZZA?

The Neapolitan-style pizza features a specific set of ingredients if it is an authentic recipe. It must use either Roma or San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, which typically grow in the plains surrounding Mount Vesuvius. The mozzarella for the dish comes from the milk of water buffalo that are semi-feral in Lazio and Campania. Then the dough is made from type 0 or 00 wheat flour, yeast from the region, salt, and water.

There are specific instructions for the thickness of the dough as well. It must be hand-formed, although a low-speed mixer is allowable when kneading it during the preparation phase. It must be no more than 3mm in thickness. After adding the ingredients, the pizza must bake for 90 seconds or less at a temperature of at least 900°F. Fresh herbs get added as a last-second ingredient to avoid tarnishing the flavors of the sauce. No chemicals should be in the water used to make the dough. This combination of ingredients, delicious toppings and baking techniques results in a pizza that is fragrant, elastic, and soft.

Neapolitan-style pizza comes from the Naples region of Italy. This location is also where the modern take on the pie, which is dough topped with cheese and tomatoes, originated over 300 years ago. Before the 18th century, flatbreads were part of the diet of Europeans, but it was never topped with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce, which is the defining characteristic of most pizza recipes today. Tomatoes didn’t make their way to Europe until the 16th century because they were initially grown in Peru. Explorers in South America brought back the ingredient more as a curiosity because many believed that they were poisonous. When peasants from Naples began to spread them on their flatbreads in the 1700s, the dish became immediately desired. There are now several variations of the Neapolitan-style pizza that have various levels of acceptance in the culinary world. The Margherita recipe is the most popular alternative since it follows all of the essential ingredient rules. A marinara pizza and regional variations that include slices of fresh tomato are sometimes included as well. You could also try Rpieno, which is a calzone made in the traditional Neapolitan techniques with salami, olive oil, and mozzarella.


When made correctly, it is almost impossible to eat this pizza with your hands. A fork and knife will help to navigate the crispy textures. The simplicity of the Neapolitan-style pizza is also a critical difference to consider when comparing it to other recipes. Only fresh, regionally-specific ingredients are used to create an authentic slice. Pizzerias can use standardized Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to make something that is a fair representation of this Naples invention, but it doesn’t quite provide the same flavor profile.

If you enjoy pizza with authentic ingredients and a simplistic approach, then you are going to appreciate the concepts offered by the Neapolitan-style. Although you won’t usually be eating this dish by the slice, the thin crust and smaller size make it a versatile recipe that offers satisfaction with every bite.


Buon Appetito !