Author Topic: Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens  (Read 1062 times)

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Offline shuboyje

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Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens
« on: October 29, 2011, 02:56:38 PM »
I've been thinking about this a bit lately, and after finding this most recent article thought I would open up a dialogue.

I know Marco, who I hugely respect, is a firm believer that a Neapolitan oven cannot be perfectly replicated without traditional Neapolitan materials.  I've also read similar comments from Steffano Ferrara, and I know he ships materials from Naples for all builds and in the article I am about to posts even jokes he would bring the water if he could.

All that taken into account there does seem to be some contradiction.  In the following translated article Ferrara says he no longer uses the traditional bricks and instead uses fire bricks with much better results:

http://www.dissapore.com/cucina/stefano-ferrara-si-fa-presto-a-dire-forno/

I've also read about a transition from an older style floor to a newer style harder fired floor.  Again probably very similar to modern materials used in other areas of the world.  In another article I read recently Gino Sorbillo stated that Ferrera will not let anyone see the process of putting sand and salt about the dome.  I agree with this statement because I've never found documentation of what goes under the floor or above the dome and vent.  The key here is sand and salt.  This is sounds like thermal mass not insulation and goes hand in hand with claims the ovens are extremely hot on the outside.

I think this rambling mess is basically getting to the point.  We all know these ovens produce great pizza, world class.  Do you feel the traditional materials are a benefit or a handicap?  I'd particularly love to hear Craig's take on his Acunto and Mathews take on his commercial oven.
-Jeff


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 04:44:47 PM »
I asked Marco in a pm about the floors and where I could buy some of the toffa(I forget the full name of the tile) tiles and I wanted to build my own WFO. I don't have the pm anymore but I think he said that there was only one company that made the floor tiles and that they were extremely hard to get even for the oven builders because the supplies were really low. Maybe that's why SF is switching to the different firebrick floors now because the supply is starting to run out.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 08:00:50 PM »
It's not the floors he switched, it's the brick used for the rest of the oven.  He specifically says in the interview it is because the traditional brick does a poor job of holding heat and the firebrick works much better.

I'll have to find the info about the floors, but I believe it was the same manufacturer now makes fired floors that were also said to be better and I made the assumption the material is similar to firebrick.
-Jeff

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 10:38:59 AM »
Tradition stifles innovation and pizza doesn't care what name is on the oven.  The important factors are all well known, repeatable and can be accomplished in a myriad of ways.  There is nothing unique about any materials from that area, or how they are used.  They make wonderful ovens, full of both tradition and technology, but they do not have a monopoly on excellent ovens.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Traditional Materials in Neapolitan Ovens
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 11:19:32 PM »
I'd particularly love to hear Craig's take on his Acunto and Mathews take on his commercial oven.

I love my oven. I've had offers for her which I turned down, and the price goes up with every bake. Notwithstanding, having so little experience with other WFO's it would be difficult for me to address your question, though it would be difficult for me to believe traditional materials are a handicap unless price is the main concern.

I believe the floor material you are looking for is Biscotto di Sorrento.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.