Pizza is a beloved dish worldwide, but Neapolitan pizza is a special kind of pizza with a rich history and tradition behind it. Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy, and has been enjoyed for centuries. It is now a staple for most pizza restaurants.
The art of Neapolitan pizza making has been recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2017. But what exactly makes Neapolitan pizza unique, and how can you enjoy it like a pro? Let us find out.
What Is Neapolitan Pizza?
It is a style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy, in the 18th century. It is made with simple, high-quality ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil and is known for its thin, crispy crust and slightly chewy texture.
The crust is made with a specific type of flour called "00" flour, which is finely ground and low in protein, resulting in a more delicate and tender crust. The pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature, typically around 900°F, for only 60-90 seconds, resulting in a charred and bubbly crust.
Neapolitan Pizza is also known for its strict guidelines and regulations. To be considered authentic Neapolitan pizza, pizza restaurants must use specific ingredients and techniques and cook the tasty treat in a wood-fired oven that has been certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the art of Neapolitan pizza making.
How to Eat Neapolitan Pizza like a Pro
Now that you know what Neapolitan pizza is, let us talk about how to eat it like a pro. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your Neapolitan pizza to the fullest:
1. Use a Knife and Fork
Eating pizza with a knife and fork is typical in Italy rather than using your hands. It is especially true for Neapolitan pizza, which can be pretty messy and difficult to eat with your hands. Using a knife and fork will allow you to fully enjoy the flavours and textures of the pizza without getting your hands covered in sauce and cheese.
2. Eat It Hot and Fresh
Neapolitan pizza is best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven. The high temperature of the wood-fired oven results in a pizza that cooks very quickly, so eating it right away before it cools down and loses its crispiness is essential. If you are ordering a Neapolitan pizza at a restaurant, be sure to ask the server when the pizza will be ready so that you can eat it as soon as it arrives.
3. Do Not Overload It with Toppings
If you are making the pizza yourself, remember that Neapolitan pizza is all about simplicity and quality ingredients. It is best to leave your pizza with enough toppings, as this can detract from the crust, sauce, and cheese flavours. Stick to classic toppings like fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and high-quality mozzarella cheese.
4. Savour the Flavours
Neapolitan pizza is a true culinary masterpiece, with each ingredient carefully selected and prepared to create a perfect balance of flavours. Take your time to savour each bite, and appreciate the subtle nuances of the sauce, cheese, and crust. You may pair your pizza with a glass of Italian wine or beer to enhance the flavours further.
Neapolitan pizza is a true culinary treasure with a rich history and tradition. Whether in Naples or enjoying a slice at your local pizza restaurant, you can appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of making this delicious pizza. By following these tips, you can enjoy your Neapolitan pizza like a pro and fully appreciate this iconic dish's unique flavours and textures.
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