Author Topic: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles  (Read 4943 times)

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Offline gciriani

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Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« on: October 25, 2010, 11:38:10 AM »
What's the difference between New-Haven style and Neapolitan?

I understand there is a rigorous definition for Neapolitan, only rarely one can make it according to the canon. Therefore when I go to a pizzeria I tend to classify it as Neapolitan if it comes pretty close to it. I ate at Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT, a couple of times, and the pizza there tastes as Neapolitan to me. However, there is a community of people stating that New-Haven style is different form Neapoletan. Why would the founder of the pizzeria call it Napoletana, if it supposedly is a departure that makes it different from it? It seems to me that at most one could say that New-Haven style is a subgroup belonging to the Neapolitan one.


Offline Pigslips

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 12:50:12 PM »


They started in 1925 when naming something wasn't such a big deal?  ???

New Haven-style pizza, locally known as apizza, is a style of Neapolitan pizza common in and around New Haven, Connecticut. It originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana[1] and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably, Sally's Apizza, Bar Bru Room, Grand Apizza, and Modern Apizza. This geographically-limited pizza style has gained considerable culinary and historical importance.

“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good.”

Offline ponzu

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 01:08:59 PM »
My understanding of the differences are in general New Haven style has:

1. pervasive use of coal ovens intsead of wood.
2. Lower temperature, longer bake.
3. Larger format.
4. Crispier crust.

AZ

Offline gciriani

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 03:02:20 PM »
New Haven-style pizza, locally known as apizza ...
The local name Apizza would seem to confirm it belongs to the group of Neapolitan pizzas of which New-Haven type would then be a subgroup (same concept as saying that Golden Delicious are a subgroup of apples, but definitely still in the apple group). Apizza is the dialect word for pizza in the region around Naples. But anyway Pigslips, I'm interested in your own opinion rather than Wikipedia's definition. Don't you think that if it tastes like a Neapolitan it is a Neapolitan, and that that was the founder's intention?

Ponzu: wouldn't the differences be dictated by the limitations in what Frank Pepe had at his disposal when he started? The size I would tend to think is not part of the definition; lower temperature, and longer cook times are a direct consequence of coal use.

Offline ponzu

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 04:48:39 PM »


Ponzu: wouldn't the differences be dictated by the limitations in what Frank Pepe had at his disposal when he started? The size I would tend to think is not part of the definition; lower temperature, and longer cook times are a direct consequence of coal use.

I think that Frank Pepe's oven choice was undoubtedly dictated by what was available to him at the time, much as New York Pizzaoli of the same time's pizza was shaped by the local environment.

Isn't NY pizza distinct from neapolitan pizza in your opinion?

In my opinion a 16" pie baked at 650-700 in a coal oven for 3-4 minutes tastes very different from a 12" pie baked at for 50 seconds in a WFO.

If your question is "are NH pies related to neapolitan pies?"  I would say that that answer is an unequivical "yes."  but I don't think that they are at all the same.

As a disclosure, I have never been to Naples, though I have eaten NH pizza.

Why did you think the Pepes pizza were neapolitan?  Was the dough soft? Was there leoparding? Were the pizza's minimally dressed? What neapolitan pizze are you comparing Pepe's to? 

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 06:10:35 PM »
Let me start by saying I've never been to New Haven(CN, been to New Haven MI many times) and I've never been to Naples.  That said I've eaten at Tomatoes Apizza, a highly regarded pizzeria here in suburban Detroit.  They were trained in New Haven and cook a New Haven style pie in a huge custom coal fired oven.  The pizza they produce is IMHO nothing like the neapolitan pizza I have eaten in commercial pizzerias or in my own home out of my 900+F wood burning low dome pizza oven.  The New Haven style pie I've had is dry, fairly crisp, and has a nearly flat rim.  Neapolitan pizza is wet, floppy and has a much larger airier rim. 
-Jeff

Offline gciriani

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 06:48:34 PM »
Isn't NY pizza distinct from neapolitan pizza in your opinion?
In my opinion a 16" pie baked at 650-700 in a coal oven for 3-4 minutes tastes very different from a 12" pie baked at for 50 seconds in a WFO. Why did you think the Pepes pizza were neapolitan?
I fully agree with you that the two taste differently. However, if you make the crust thin enough, and keep the moisture down (i.e. use less tomato sauce), then it becomes almost as crispy. I have never been in Naples either, but I have eaten pizza in many places around Italy. If it says napoletana outside, then generally it tastes like a napoletana. The pizzaiolo makes the difference IMHO, and a good pizzaiolo even with a gas or electric oven is able to tweak thickness and moisture content, and give you a napoletana feeling under the palate.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 06:59:52 PM »
If it says napoletana outside, then generally it tastes like a napoletana.

There is a place near my house that's called Sweet Tomatoes Neapolitan pizza. They sell NY style pizza. Just because the store name has Neapolitan, Napoletana/o in it doesn't make it's Neapolitan. Another thing, just because it's made in a WFO doesn't mean it's neapolitan either.

Offline gciriani

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 07:44:33 PM »
Another thing, just because it's made in a WFO doesn't mean it's neapolitan either.
So what's the definition of Neapolitan and the definition of NY style pizzas in your opinion? Is there an agreement among cooks  :chef: or cookbooks on what determines the various styles?

buceriasdon

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 07:49:54 PM »
I have no idea as to it's accuracy but 8 to 10 minutes is a world apart from 90 seconds :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Pepe_Pizzeria_Napoletana


Offline scott r

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 05:04:16 AM »
I have been to naples italy and pepe's/sallys/modern.  To me, new haven style pizza is almost the complete opposite of neapolitan pizza.   I know this sounds crazy, but I think Dominos is actually closer to neapolitan pizza than new haven style pizza is.   What I mean by that is that domino's/papa johns style pizza are actually soft and light, cooked at fairly high temps (usually in the 4-5 minute range).   New haven pizza is cooked for 8 minutes!  yes, you heard that right.   The owner of the original location even states that publicly, and I have timed it myself.   neapolitan pizza is cooked at less than 2 minutes.   I don't care how fancy your toppings are..... what defines a pizza style more than anything is bake time because bake time has a profound effect on the crust texture and what kind of cheese you can use, not to mention the flavor profile of the cheese which dramatically changes based on how fast/slow it melts.         

New haven pizza can be burned by the standards of people in other parts of the US.   I have had people actually turn up there nose at it because it is blackened.  I admit that sometimes the pizza can be dry and my jaw will hurt after eating it.    Having said that, it is possible to get a moderately tender pizza from the new haven joints, but they definitely take it to the edge of over done some times.   The flavor is amazing though, as the sauce and cheese used there combined with the oil and the slow bake time is intoxicating.  It tends to create serious cravings for people who get accustomed to it.   New haven pizza uses dry "normal" pizza cheese, not fresh mozzarella, and that is another thing that definitely sets it very far away from neapolitan pizza. 

Neapolitan pizzas, although sometimes charred in appearance, are actually very soft light and tender.  The ultra high temperatures dont allow for time for the pizza to dry out, and the char is just a very thin outer shell.   I have a number of friends of that have visited, even a famous pizza maker we all know, and they have told me that 90% of what was found there had gone too far and was severely under baked and soupy to their american palate.   Italians hate "stress" caused by well done baking of their pizza ingredients and prefer to pull a pizza from the oven early rather than late.  Their pizza crust has the texture of a good freshly made american fried dough minus the crispiness caused by the fry oil.   There is absolutely no crispiness to a properly done neapolitan pizza, just a very fresh and alive flavor which I consider the opposite of the "baked so long the sauce and cheese turn into one orange blob that then re congeals when out of the oven" new haven flavor profile.  You can not hold up a slice and have the tip stand out straight, and because of this neapolitan pizza is not even cut into slices.   It is eaten with a knife and fork or folded into miniature "wallets"  so that they can be held in the air.   Neapolitan pizza could never make your jaw tired, or support a lot of toppings.   

they are very different, but being a true pizza freak I like a properly done version of neapolitan pizza just as much as I like a good new haven pizza. 

I consider new haven pizza to be a subgroup of new york syle pizza, not neapolitan.    It uses the same sauce/cheese/flour type, dough recipe...even toppings.    They are basically the same, but new haven pizzerias are left in the oven a few minutes longer and oil is put on top of the pizza before going into the oven.    
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 05:25:02 AM by scott r »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 07:26:07 AM »

they are very different, but being a true pizza freak I like a properly done version of neapolitan pizza just as much as I like a good new haven pizza. 


One of the best posts of the year! Great job, Scott.

Offline gciriani

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 07:59:39 AM »
I have been to naples italy and pepe's/sallys/modern.  ... what defines a pizza style more than anything is bake time because bake time has a profound effect on the crust texture and what kind of cheese you can use, not to mention the flavor profile of the cheese which dramatically changes   ... a famous pizza maker we all know, ... told me that 90% of what was found there had gone too far and was severely under baked and soupy to their american palate.
Thanks for the excellent complete reply. One thing I'm not sure I understand correctly: the famous pizza maker was referring his comment to New-Haven style or to Frank Pepe's own style? I personally thought it was good pizza, but over-rated (i.e. when people writing about it hype best pizza in the world).

Offline ponzu

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 11:52:34 AM »
ScottR,

Beautiful treatise on pizza.  Your post truly answers the posted question, and much more besides.

How long must Pizza Nation wait before you publish the definitive Pizza Bible? :D

So when you reverse engineer NH pizza using Nasa dough what are your ingredients, stone temps, bake times, etc?

I'm thinking 600 stone temp with gentle top heat for 7 minutes with dry mozz and oil?

AZ

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2011, 07:03:38 PM »
Yes, Scott R...that was a pretty right on description for NH Pizza.

Believe it or not, 90% of NH pizza is done in a deck oven, not a coal oven.  The biggies do, along with one that uses oil, but the majority, including top 10 places use a deck on crank, such as Zuppardi's.

Clam pizza and "plain" pizza are to types that are associated with NH style. 

And yep, the biggies do come close,  real close, to burning em.  But, its to be added that Pepe's has since branched off to more locations, and those other locations cook the pizzas, far, far less.

But one thing I always read explanations about that I don't agree on is this APIZZA thing.  This, originally came from how the italians said THE pizza...as in "Nicola....vo la pizza" which in dialect sounds like  "Neego, vo abeez?"  which means "Nick, you want some pizza?"  In other words APIZZA (ABEETZ) ISN'T a dialect for simply "Pizza", its dialect for "THE PIZZA".

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2011, 08:10:05 PM »
But one thing I always read explanations about that I don't agree on is this APIZZA thing.  This, originally came from how the italians said THE pizza...as in "Nicola....vo la pizza" which in dialect sounds like  "Neego, vo abeez?"  which means "Nick, you want some pizza?"  In other words APIZZA (ABEETZ) ISN'T a dialect for simply "Pizza", its dialect for "THE PIZZA".


Nick, I really like these pizza trivia tidbits!  Keep em' coming!  ;D

So is NH style pizza different from pizza from Totonno's, Patsy's, and the like?  Also when I hear about coal oven pizza, is it referencing NH style or NY Neapolitan?

Thanks,
Chau
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 10:29:42 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2011, 08:38:38 PM »
Ooufff....tough one.

Differences between the two, Chau.......let see.

Biggest one.....the use of fresh mozz.  Since we seem to be dividing NY style to elite and slice, I'll deal with elite.

NH NEVER uses fresh mooz, unless on a "specialty pie" such as their version of a Margherita.  Its usually low moisture, dry block mozzarella.  Pepe's uses their sliced.  Sauce first, cheese slices next.  I know totono's for example goes, fresh mozz first, sauce next.  Also, I think I gotta throw this out their.  Lots of times, "fresh mozz" isn't the homemade or bought mozzarella in whey.  LOTS of times its either SALTED MOZZARELLA CURD (like that from The Fresh Mozzarella Company in NJ) Or a product called OLD FASHIONED MOZZARELLA LOAF.  Both come in 5 lb loaves.  I like this better than the fresh mozz in whey simply because it melts better.  Unless you are using a 1000 degree wood burning oven, and getting the pies out in 2 minutes, fresh mozz in liquid seems to separate, get wimpy on a pie.  The salted curd or old fashioned loaf simply melts better, tastes just as good if not better, and is easier to portion.  The color, that stark white, is just the same.  You ever notice that low moisture full fat mooz melts kinda yellow?? Fresh mooz melts white, right?  Well this product melts white.  To me, its simply a better product for pie.  Now, eaten raw, in a salad....no comparison.  The mooz in whey is a million times better.

Second, the NH style stays in the oven longer, even a coal oven can be as much as 8 minutes. The result, you know WAAAAAY better than me, is a crispier product, that STAYS CRISPIER. Its still foldable, still with some chew, but the tips don't droop as much as NY.

Third.  Oregano seems to be a no no. Thats something I don't like OR understand...but thats the way it is......

Four. Youre not gonna find too much fresh basil crowning the NH pies, except, again, in specialty offerings.  Another aspect I don't like.  Pizza without fresh basil, TOMATO pizza especially, makes no sense.  

Five.  A true NH pizza is a lot. ALOT, darker.  Most would even say burnt, than a NY pie.

As far as coal is concerned, I think it is associated with BOTH.  But, the truth is, in NH style, 90% or more is made in a deck oven.  And I think the same is true for NY elite style.

But, I gotta tell you, Chau...your wood fired versions are very, very tempting to me.  Check out Toby's Pulic House Pizza.  I think those pies will look familiar to you.  But on a commercial level, wood ovens can be real pains.  Pains I may be willing to overlook, just haven't decided yet.  And Scot123, whom I respect a lot, seems to go with deck ovens, run at top temp.

I hope, for once, that I helped YOU, for a change.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 08:42:47 PM by gabaghool »

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2011, 08:40:51 PM »
PS...what scot says about the ultra high temps not drying out the pies is very, very, very true.  The coal ovens allow one to blister and darken the pies WITHOUT drying out the crust, and THAT is the biggest challenge to a NH style place that uses deck ovens.  I am CERTAIN that decks have to be run TO THE MAX in order to come close to the dark yet moist crust that the Wooster street legends have.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2011, 10:02:57 PM »
Very informative response Nick.  Thank you and that does help clear up a lot of questions for me about the NH style.  I had previously thought it was either the same or very similar to the old shool NY style coal pies (Eilte - I don't like this word) based on hearing them described as coal fired pies and not having had that pizza.  But now I understand that not only is NH style very different from NP, but it is also very different from NY coal style (Old school, Elite, Nea-Neapolitan, or as I like to say New-Politan).  It would seem that NH style is closer to a NY slice pie but still has it's differences, so a category unto itself.  Between the 2, it sounds like the Old school NY style is much closer to the NP than the NH style is.

I am interested in hearing more about salted mozz curd and old fashion mozzarella loaf, but I think you've started a thread on that topic, so I will find it and post my questions there as to not further derail this thread.  

Thanks for the info.
Chau

« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 08:19:56 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Differences Neapolitan and New-Haven styles
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2011, 12:15:43 AM »
Always, and I mean ALWAYS, a pleasure, Chau........


 

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