Although this wood fired pizza blog is new, my love,passion and obsession for authentic pizza began when I was about 8 years old. I was introduced to old world style pizza via my Sicilian grandma in her little house in the North-side of Pittsburgh. She taught me how to make pizza from scratch, we used fresh ingredients like olive oil, oregano and plum tomatoes all baked on a thin fresh dough with a high grade imported cheese…… ahhhh and I have been on a quest to make and eat the perfect authentic pizza.
Any Man or woman who goes on a quest revolving around pizza will eventually find themselves researching Verace Pizza Napoletana, or original Neapolitan Pizza. This research has lead me to a great website and foundation http://www.pizzanapoletana.org. VPN Association was founded in 1984, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Handicrats & Industry.
Old Neapolitan pizza masters, given the spreading of fast-food chains and the large use -sometimes inappropriate- of the denomination “Original Neapolitan Pizza” ,decided to found an association based on a protocol in order to protect and increase the value of the pizzas produced and processed according to the old Neapolitan traditions and customs. A few basic points about Verace Pizza Napoletana.
“The Pizza Napoletana is a “round product baked in the brick oven with a variable diameter not exceeding 35 cm and a raised rim and the central part is garnished.”
“The central part is 0,4 cm thick, with a tolerance of ± 10 %, and the rim is 1-2 cm thick. The overall pizza must be tender, elastic and easily fold-able into four.”
It is distinguished by “a raised rim, a golden color characteristic of products baked in the brick pizza oven, and a tenderness to touch and to taste; by a garnished center dominated by the red of the tomatoes, perfectly mixed with oil and, depending on the ingredients used, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic; by the white of the mozzarella slabs which are laid either closer together or further apart, and the green of the basil leaves, which are lighter or darker depending on the baking.”
The pizzaiolo, or pizza maker, is equally important, and the pizza dough must be hand-stretched in quick, even movements to maintain its shape, with an absolute ban on rolling pins or machinery. Cooking must take place in a wood-fired oven. Now, there are plenty of websites with additional information, and if you have the love and passion for authentic pizza like I do then, go on a journey or a quest and enjoy the ride.