I am not sure who reported on that, but both do not use Lievito Madre or as we call it "Crisceto". Both do indeed use very long fermentation, at room temperature, with a very hydrated dough.
Dear Marco, first allow me to welcome you back to this forum! Since I joined this forum on 5/4/2011, I have often heard about your reverence and extensive knowldege in respect to the Neapolitan pizza and its antiquity. I hope you are here to stay, as your presence here can be of benefaction to those of us who aspire to pursue and absorb the ancient art. As the traditional cuisine of every ethnicity is inextricably intertwined with the culture that cultivated it, I often feel what we are missing in this forum is a cultural perspective
on the art—a perspective that would also import the art's values and significations.
In regard to your above-referenced concern, I know of certain web sites and blogs which have disclosed, either erroneously or factually, that Anitca Pizzeria Da Michele employs "lievito madre" or "crisceto" (two terms that I also treat as identical, although some do not). In his interview of Sep. 18, 2003 with "I Viaggi di Repubblica", Mr. Francesco Condurro of Da Michele claimed:
Noi facciamo ancora la pizza con il cosiddetto "crìscito", vale a dire con la pasta fatta il giorno precedente alla cottura, che lievita naturalmente.
We still do pizza with the so-called "criscito", i.e., with the pasta the day before cooking, that leavens naturally.
Furthermore, in 2010, journalist Monica Piscitelli also interviewed Mr. Condurro on behalf of "Luciano Pignataro Wine Blog" (http://www.lucianopignataro.it/
). Per the article she published on Nov. 10, 2010 on the blog:
A raccontarmi la storia della pizzeria "Da Michele", è il dottore Francesco Condurro. . . . Eppure la pizza, fatta con il lievito madre, è sempre filologicamente la stessa di sempre, piaccia o non piaccia: di monacale semplicità.
The Blog's own English translation:
Francesco Condurro, who is a "professional accountant-pizza maker", told me the story of the pizzeria "Da Michele". . . . They [pizzas] are made with mother yeast and the taste is still the one of the past.
(About Monica Piscitelli: http://campaniachevai.blogspot.com/p/monica-piscitelli_04.html)
Of course, as a cautionary measure, one should ask: How is the the concept "lievito madre" or "crisceto" construed by Mr. Condurro? And, what is the application of it: the "old dough" or "mother dough" procedure, or else? At last, the descriptive accuracy of the journals themselves can be questioned. By the way, have you viewed the popular Da Michele video on Youtube (
In the video, Mr. Condurro makes certain references in regard to use of lievito madre and lievito di birra.
In regard to your assertions (i.e., ". . . both do not use Lievito Madre or as we call it 'Crisceto'. Both do indeed use very long fermentation, at room temperature, with a very hydrated dough."), could you please elaborate on them. What fermentative agent or agents do they employ for the sake of long fermentation, and how do they apply it or them to enoculate their doughs? I thank you in advance.
I was supposed to be in Naples right now; however, I could not make it since I could not find my passport. (My wife, along with her friend, left without me! Of course, they are more interested in Salvatore Ferragamo or Manolo Blahnik than pizzas of Naples.) I would have enjoyed meeting you there. Again, welcome back, and have a great day!