What is the difference between New York Style and Napoli style then?
Well as we all know by not the new EU and the nation of Italy have recently defined Pizza Napoletana for us so that part is easy. Here is a link to a web site produced by © The Italian Trade Commission 33 E 67th Street, New York, NY 10021http://www.italianmade.com/
Pizza Napoli: for that definition click or paste http://www.italianmade.com/recipes/recipe417.cfm
Napoli style Pizza Dough Recipe
9 oz. white flour
2 oz. brewers or compressed yeast
1 pinch salt
water, as needed
Click or paste http://www.italianmade.com/recipes/recipe112.cfm
For more info.
This is the basis that the high temp flash cooking pizza places that seem to dominate this board are based on.
Places that sprung from the work of the originals like Patsy Lancieri. the man credited with opening the first pizzeria in America, Lombardi's, in 1905.
Now back to the anthropology aspect. In 1905 fire wood in New York City would have been a very impractical fuel to fire an oven electricity was still a newfangled thing and gas was used primarily for lighting
This is the basis that the high temp flash cooking pizza places that seem to dominate this board are based on brought by the Italian immigration into New York.
Places that sprung from the work of the original Gennaro Lombardi. Credited with opening the first pizzeria in America, Lombardi's, in 1905 and teaching the first generation of American pizza makers as an inadvertent act during the course of doing business and training select employees. I wonder if Gennaro Lombardi ever made pizza in Italy or recreated his techniques and recipes from memories and intuition or what. I know he was a grocery first and pizza added as a sideline to help make ends meet. Anybody know if he had any prior culinary experience from home?
Cool links for reference.http://lombardisoriginalpizza.com/pages/2/index.htmhttp://pizzatoday.com/features_articles.shtml?article=ODkyc3VwZXI4ODlzZWNyZXQ4OTY=http://www.grimaldis.com/greatpizza.htm
Now back to the anthropology aspect. In 1905 fire wood in New York City would have been a very impractical fuel to fire an oven electricity was still a newfangled thing and gas was used primarily for lighting. Most of the infrastructure that was needed to deliver industrial utilities hardly existed yet.http://www.ieee-virtual-museum.org/collection/event.php?id=3456876&lid=1
Remember to that pizza was an unproved product that had an appeal to a small local population of immigrant workers who had little to spend and needed a good value for there hard earned dollar. I'll bet the use of coal to fire the the ovens were more the result of finance needs then culinary discretion.
The cost of acquiring an older out going technology with an plentiful cheap fuel supply coal. At that time coal could be gathered along the train track due to spillage if you knew where to look. Enough to fire a pizza oven? I do not know but my family tells stories of gathered coal from the rail lines in burlap bags.
As opposed to very expensive firewood or the new unproved and more expensive electric that was just coming on line at the time. Commercial gas was also more available now but was still less trusted. As a business man who has stared many new places this is a no brainer. Use coal or forget it. You'll never make a buck. Remember kids these are people trying to feed their kids and make a better life. No trying to make some esoteric culinary point about a subtle difference in what is right or not coal, wood, gas, electric or trying to hold to any particular culinary heritage. Question is what sells? How much did it cost to make? and how much did it bring in, was and still is the bottom line on the day to day level of basic decision making.
Now I know from experience that coal burns hotter, longer, and more consistently then wood.
Therefore the original coal oven built in 1905 was hotter then the traditional wood ovens of Napoli. If the coal fire was tended and banked to burn slower and cooler to achieve the wood like temp you would have a sooting problem in an oven that does not use a firebox separated from the cooking chamber and burns on the deck. Sooting is an issue (less with wood and more with coal) with this type of oven and high heat is the solution.
So there we have it Lombardi's opened in little Italy as a grocery store in 1897 and added pizza to help make ends meet.
Eight years latter it grew legs and was established as the first pizzeria in America in 1905 with New York's issuance of the mercantile license. Napoli comes to New York running a little hotter oven then normal and little Italy is very happy.
Please note that according to the world authority on Pizza Napoletana an oven temp of 650 degrees in needed and a cooking time of several minuets is called for. http://www.italianmade.com/recipes/recipe417.cfm
Now lets jump ahead to see what the results of Gennaro Lombardi's introduction of Pizza Napoletana to America at large was.
So as coal is becomes fading technology Pizza is fast growing in popularity. Faster then one can find those who know how to pile brick to make a coal oven. So up steps American Ingenuity giving birth to a new and different form of pizza production extracted from the founding work of the old coal class oven and methods given to us by Master Gennaro Lombardi.
These techniques do not require the intense heat of a coal driven oven that was unaquireable therefor bringing pizza to far more people. The modifications are really only the addition of two ingredient. Oil and Sugar. Oil to help cook the flour in the lower temp baking process. An easily attainable 550 degrees. The sugar was not to sweeten the dough but to help feed the yeast and get it off to a good start.
These pizzas will cook in 7 or 8 minuets for a 16 inch pie as opposed to 4 minutes in a 650 to 700 degree wood oven or 1 to two minutes an 800 to 1000 degree coal fire oven.
The longer cooking time now allows for toppings to be added to a pizza as it now has time to cook the toppings with the pizza. In the coal oven shops toppings are scant and few. As the format was not intended for and does not lend its self well to the use of toppings. Some pepperoni came along with sausage, onion, peppers, olives or mushrooms. Usually server one topping or the other seldom ordered in combination with each other. The phenomenon of pizzas with lots of toppings extra cheese and all the other common features we know today grew as the pizza move out of its own neighborhood and got main streamed into the American market.
Interesting also it the hand spinning of the dough in not Italian. Until recently most makers in Italy used a rolling pin or would "pull" the dough from a ball. That is not an Italian thing at all but is again a New York thing born of the need for fast production. American Ingenuity. I was once solicited to go to Italy and teach some dough spinning there.
As the tourist were disappointed to find that no one threw the pizza dough like in the movies and on TV.
These are American movies an TV shows showing New York Style Pizza Making.
Disappointed tourist are nobody’s friends so they have recently come to adopted using these methods of dough stretching.
Interested in how to get a smoke flavor in a pizza from a home oven? Let me know. Gotta go and open the shop now.
Sorry for the lag in replying to your post.