Author Topic: Have we created "imperial" Neapolitan pizza here in the U.S.?  (Read 191 times)

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Offline dbarneschi

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Most of us who post regularly in the PM "Neapolitan Style" forum seem to have an idea of what makes the "perfect" Neapolitan style pizza. This includes things like an extremely tender crust made with 00 flour, leopard spotting all along the cornice, etc. However, if you look at Kenji's post from last year titled "The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples," you'll see that most of the pizzas look quite different from our ideal: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2013/01/serious-eats-guide-to-eating-pizza-in-naples-napoli-italy-neapolitan-pizza.html Is what most of us here are seeking to make/eat really a variation of a DiMichelle pie? They seem to be one of the few to have intense leopard spotting on their pies.

Also, for those of you who have eaten pizza in Naples and the U.S., do you think that the pies that we are now seeing in the states deserve their own categorization? Looking at the pizzas in Naples (with the exception of DaMichelle perhaps) versus those from Motorino, Paulie Gee's, UPN, Craig's garage, etc. is like looking at two totally different beasts. With the intense leopard spotting all over the cornices, super puffy crusts, thorough and even distribution of cheese, etc., have we "imperialized" the Neapolitan pie?

As a craft beer enthusiast, I can attest to the fact that American breweries have taken the India pale ale into an entirely different stratosphere from when it was originally created by the British to satisfy their soldiers serving in India in the 19th century. Have Neapolitan pizzerias in the states created an (almost) entirely new product as well?
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:46:46 AM by dbarneschi »


Offline norma427

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Re: Have we created "imperial" Neapolitan pizza here in the U.S.?
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 08:54:01 AM »
I kind of wondered the same thing when I started this thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26843.msg271547#msg271547 

Norma
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Offline dbarneschi

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Re: Have we created "imperial" Neapolitan pizza here in the U.S.?
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 09:54:34 AM »
I kind of wondered the same thing when I started this thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26843.msg271547#msg271547 

Norma

Point taken Norma. Love the photos on your post. It's amazing to see just how different NP can be!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Have we created "imperial" Neapolitan pizza here in the U.S.?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 10:41:11 AM »
have we "imperialized" the Neapolitan pie?

Have Neapolitan pizzerias in the states created an (almost) entirely new product as well?

I don't think either of these is a fair assessment. In the pictures you posted, to say nothing for Norma's, I see a great deal of variation. It's not like pizza looks one consistent way in Naples and different but consistent way here. Nor is the look of the pizza here unprecedented in Naples. For whatever reason, Americans have gravitated more towards the da Michele look. Maybe because it is more visually stunning and different from other styles common in the US? Maybe people saw Julia Roberts eating the da Michele pie in Eat, Pray, Love and so that's what they expect from NP? In any case, I think the sub-style that is predominant in the US is largely driven by a desire to deliver on the customer's expectations more than an attempt on the part of the pizzaiolo to create a new product.

Notwithstanding, like in Naples, pizzaiolo have a signature look to their pies here as well. Mathieu's pies don't look like Paulie's pies don't look like Anthony's pies, don't look like my pies, etc. (I'm honored to be included in that group, BTW). The center of the bell curve may be tighter, but the overall range is about the same. All NP here is not leopard spotted. Luzzo's (albeit coal) looks somewhat like the Trianon pie in the slice article. Plenty of places put out pies that look like the Port'Alba pie in the same article though I suspect the Port'Alba pie is a lot better than the blond pies served here.

It's an interesting question, but IMO, the difference is largely driven by a tighter expectation for NP here than in Naples.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Have we created "imperial" Neapolitan pizza here in the U.S.?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 10:55:49 PM »

It's an interesting question, but IMO, the difference is largely driven by a tighter expectation for NP here than in Naples.

This seems right to me.

  I'm part owner of a Jamaican Cafe and we have customers come in all the time that honeymooned in Jamaica and have a certain expectation of what Jerk chicken should taste like.  In the US a lot of folks have a strict standard for how it should be prepared and taste.  In Jamaica the ingredients and methods vary greatly with less emphasis on a standard. 

Offline dbarneschi

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This seems right to me.

  I'm part owner of a Jamaican Cafe and we have customers come in all the time that honeymooned in Jamaica and have a certain expectation of what Jerk chicken should taste like.  In the US a lot of folks have a strict standard for how it should be prepared and taste.  In Jamaica the ingredients and methods vary greatly with less emphasis on a standard.
I agree with your statement as well Craig. Hopefully one day I can do more "research" on this in Naples.

Offline Chicago Bob

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I don't think either of these is a fair assessment. In the pictures you posted, to say nothing for Norma's, I see a great deal of variation. It's not like pizza looks one consistent way in Naples and different but consistent way here. Nor is the look of the pizza here unprecedented in Naples. For whatever reason, Americans have gravitated more towards the da Michele look. Maybe because it is more visually stunning and different from other styles common in the US? Maybe people saw Julia Roberts eating the da Michele pie in Eat, Pray, Love and so that's what they expect from NP? In any case, I think the sub-style that is predominant in the US is largely driven by a desire to deliver on the customer's expectations more than an attempt on the part of the pizzaiolo to create a new product.

Notwithstanding, like in Naples, pizzaiolo have a signature look to their pies here as well. Mathieu's pies don't look like Paulie's pies don't look like Anthony's pies, don't look like my pies, etc. (I'm honored to be included in that group, BTW). The center of the bell curve may be tighter, but the overall range is about the same. All NP here is not leopard spotted. Luzzo's (albeit coal) looks somewhat like the Trianon pie in the slice article. Plenty of places put out pies that look like the Port'Alba pie in the same article though I suspect the Port'Alba pie is a lot better than the blond pies served here.

It's an interesting question, but IMO, the difference is largely driven by a tighter expectation for NP here than in Naples.
I`ve been eating pies there regularly for past 25 yrs. and this is what I think...

most all are mom an pop joints and those people are cheap and like to keep it simple... and I`m happy with those pies...at least they are fresh and taste good at a 9pm get together. 
Believe me...they do not put any where near the time and effort in their quick pies  that the patient pro`s here on the forum put into their works.

The pics one finds on the internet are, of course, one`s from the more popular places and with due cause they , of course make the prettier pies.
You go back and look at all the pies on Norma`s thread...and tell me that any one pie does not have a quality that she purported to be absent in the us vs Italy pizzas.....take another look man.....you`ll see....those are the internet pies and not representative, imo, of the vast differences one can find in little villages everywhere there....now those pizzas look waay different from ya`lls....but they are good eats too never the less.  :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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