If you’re a fan of pizza, you’ve probably heard of neapolitan pizza But what is the history of this popular dish, and what makes it unique? Read on to learn more.
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What is Neapolitan pizza?
Neapolitan Pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It is made with simple ingredients including: wheat flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil. The dough is then formed by hand and cooked for 60-90 seconds in a wood-fired oven. This style of pizza is known for its thin crust and soft, fluffy center.
A brief history of pizza
Pizza has its roots in ancient times, and the first recorded reference to it dates back to a Latin text from the 10th century. This early form of pizza was more like a flatbread, and it was topped with things like herbs, cheese, and garlic. It wasn’t until the 16th century that tomato sauce was added to the mix, and this is where pizza as we know it today started to take shape.
Pizza made its way to America with Italian immigrants in the late 19th century, and it quickly became a popular dish in large cities like New York and Chicago. But it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that pizza really took off in America. This is thanks in large part to Gennaro Lombardi, who is credited with opening the first commercial pizzeria in America in 1905.
Lombardi’s pizzeria was located in New York City, and it used a coal-fired oven to make its pizzas. This type of oven is key to making authentic Neapolitan pizza Coal-fired ovens reach very high temperatures, and they cook pizzas very quickly — usually in around two minutes. This quick cooking time is key to creating the signature thin crust that is characteristic of Neapolitan pizza.
Nowadays, there are many different types of pizza available all over the world. But if you want to experience true Neapolitan pizza, you need to go to Italy — specifically, Naples. This is where this iconic dish originated, and it’s still made using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. If you’re looking for an authentic Neapolitan pizza experience, be sure to visit one of the many pizzerias in Naples that are certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN).
The three traditional pizza styles of Naples
In 1830, the first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, opened in Naples. This is where modern pizza was born. Pizzas back then were cooked in wood-fired ovens and were much thinner than today’s pizzas. Fast forward to 1889, and Raffaele Esposito created the first pizza Margherita in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy. This pizza was garnished with tomatoes (representing the color of the Italian flag), mozzarella (representing the white color of the flag) and basil (representing the green color of the flag). Since then, three traditional pizza styles have emerged from Naples: pizza Margherita, pizza Marinara and pizza Quartier Generale.
Pizza Margherita is still made today with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Pizza Marinara is similar to Margherita but does not include mozzarella cheese Instead, it is garnished with garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. Pizza Quartier Generale is also similar to Margherita but includes anchovies instead of basil.
All three pizzas are cooked in wood-fired ovens that reach temperatures between 430-480 degrees Celsius (800-900 degrees Fahrenheit). The high temperatures cook the pizzas very quickly – usually within 60-90 seconds. This results in a pizza that has a soft, fluffy crust with slightly charred edges.
What makes Neapolitan pizza authentic?
The first pizzeria was opened in Naples in 1738 and since then, pizza has become one of the most popular dishes in the world. But what makes Neapolitan pizza authentic? Let’s take a look.
The pizza dough
Neapolitan pizza has a very thin crust that is soft and pliable. It is cooked in a wood-fired oven that has reached a temperature between 430-480C° (800-900F°). The pizza is cooked for 60-90 seconds. This allows the dough to cook evenly all the way through so that it is soft and tender, yet still crispy. The pizza should not be burned or overly crispy.
There are only a few ingredients that are used in authentic Neapolitan pizza. The dough is made with flour, water, salt and yeast. The sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil. And the cheese is mozzarella. That’s it! No pepperoni, no sausage, no veggies – just the basics. This may seem like a very simple pizza, but when these ingredients are combined with the wood-fired oven and the expert skills of the pizzaiolo, they produce a pizza that is truly unique and absolutely delicious.
The cooking method
The cooking method is what really sets Neapolitan pizza apart from all the other types of pizzas out there. A true Neapolitan pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven that has been preheated for at least an hour at a temperature between 430-480C° (800-900F°). The pizza should only be inserted for 60-90 seconds, just long enough for the dough to cook and the cheese to start bubbling.
This unique cooking method creates a pizza with a soft and fluffy crust that has char marks from the wood fire, and a slightly smoky flavor.
Where can you find authentic Neapolitan pizza?
The history of pizza can be traced back to the 10th century in Italy. However, it was not until the late 18th century that pizza as we know it today, with a tomato-based sauce and toppings, was created in Naples. Since then, pizza has become one of the most popular dishes in the world. But what makes authentic Neapolitan pizza so special?
pizzerias in Naples
There are a few hundred pizzerias in Naples, and only a few dozen are certified by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association (AVPN). To be AVPN-certified, a pizzeria has to follow certain guidelines for their ingredients and cooking method. For example, the pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven that’s dome-shaped and made of brick, and the diameter of the pizza can’t exceed 35 cm (about 13.8 inches). The pizza should also be cooked for 60–90 seconds at a temperature between 430–480 °C (about 800–900 °F).
The most popular type of pizza in Naples is the Margherita, which is made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. The AVPN has even trademarked the name “Margherita Pizza” to protect its authenticity. Other popular types of Neapolitan pizza include the Marinara (made with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil) and the Margherita Extra (made with tomatoes, mozzarella di bufalaCampana DOP cheese, basil, and extra virgin olive oil).
pizzerias outside of Naples
Even though pizzerias outside of Naples cannot be officially classified as “authentic” by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, that does not mean that they do not make eat pizza In fact, there are many pizzerias all over the world that use the same techniques and ingredients as pizzerias in Naples. The only difference is that these pizzerias are not regulated by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.
That being said, there are still some things that you can look for in a pizzeria to see if they are making authentic Neapolitan pizza. First of all, the pizza should be cooked in a wood-fired oven. This is a key element in creating authentic Neapolitan pizza. The pizza should also have a thin crust that is soft and slightly charred around the edges. The toppings should be fresh and simple, and the pizza should only be cooked for 60-90 seconds.
If you find a pizzeria that meets all of these criteria, then you can be sure that you are getting authentic Neapolitan pizza.
making Neapolitan pizza at home
Historically, Neapolitan pizza was made with simple and inexpensive ingredients: soft wheat flour, fresh yeast, san marzano tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. This combination of ingredients produces a light and airy pizza dough that is cooked for a short time at a high temperature.
Today, you can find authentic Neapolitan pizza all over the world. There are even specific guidelines that pizza makers must follow in order to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN). Making Neapolitan pizza at home is also possible with the right ingredients and cooking techniques.