Author Topic: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?  (Read 4723 times)

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Offline shuboyje

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Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« on: August 30, 2012, 09:35:24 PM »
Today Forno Bravo announced their lightest most portable oven to date.  In that respect I think they went right to the heart of what so many consumers are looking for, so thumbs up on that.  We all know a small oven will lead to compromises, but instead of being honest about that it seems Forno Bravo has instead rewritten tradition.  Here is a link to the oven description and a few excerpts I will highlight:

http://www.fornobravo.com/residential_pizza_oven/strada.html

"featuring a 24 cooking floor with room enough for a live fire and an 11 traditional Pizza Napoletana"

Where exactly is an 11" pizza tradition?  12" is the normal quoted standard size, and many seem to run a bit larger then this if anything. 

"a well-proportioned 16 x 9 1/2 oven opening"

Well proportioned compared to what?  A fireplace?  This a a 24" oven with a 12" dome height.  Both the door width and height are excessive. 

"The outer shell of the oven stays cool, while the oven chamber easily maintains 750F plus, to bake authentic Italian pizza in two minutes."

750F and two minutes?  Really?  This falls completely outside of the VPN standards, let alone the higher standards most commercial pizzerias and home enthusiasts place upon themselves.

I love that Forno Bravo is being honest about this oven with their consumers, but I don't like the way they have interpreted tradition.  Does the person who prepared this information not know the facts, or are they trying to mislead their clientele?
-Jeff


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 09:53:49 PM »
Jeff, I don't follow FB much.  I've read some comments about the owner, but that is neither here nor there.  This is an example of why people like yourself, Marco, Scott123, Peter and others are important to this forum.  This is yet another example of a bastardization of what they know.  Doesn't the site have a link directly to the VPN specifications?  They are whoreing themselves out to any Tom, Dick or Sally that wants to buy an oven.  I consider FB a building site.  Like I said, I don't go there mutch, but when I have, I see very few pictures of any finished product that look much like what they should unless Tom posted some.

FB's whoreing/bastardization of Neopolitan pizza is just the latest slap in the face to people that know the facts or care to research them.  I am so glad that you pointed this out.  Many won't care, many won't know the difference, but I'm glad that you give a rats arse, and the many others that do.

Thanks.
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Offline scott123

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 02:33:36 AM »
Jeff, while there are some incredibly talented members here who produce stellar results despite their FB ovens, when FB came out with the fake, lipstick-on-a-pig Neapolitan mosaic tile oven, that was the nail in the coffin for any respect that I had for them in relation to Neapolitan cultural awareness.

I'm not saying that they'll never get it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 08:49:01 AM »
"whoreing/bastardisation" ??? Being a bit harsh, aren't you chaps?
They've built an oven that is rather small, but no smaller than lots of other refractory ovens available, at least here in OZ, and they've made some compromises to get the thing that small. Lets face it, any oven small enough to rate as a portable oven you can lift out of the trunk to use is not going to be real close to traditional, in any respect.
I'm sure it will do a fine job for the people it is designed for, even if an 11 inch margerita isn't quite as traditional as a 12 inch.

I didn't consider the claims too excessive as far as advertising hyperbole goes.
For instance I would agree that the 16 by 9 1/2 door is well proportioned, because that is what I have, and I wouldn't like it to be any smaller. It'd be a little different with a rectangular opening, but with an arch any smaller you have to be rather dextrous to feed in a roast or a large pizza.

Regarding the height ratio, its my opinion that with that small an oven it's probably pointless trying to get the magic 0.63. And I've always wondered why people are happy for a rectangular opening to be the full 0.63 ratio, across the full width, but get excited when an arch is a touch over. If you measure the dome height at a point in line with the corner of a rectangular opening, its a lot less than in the middle, and thus the ratio in the corners is way higher than 0.63.
As for the temperature required to get a 2 minute pizza, that would surely depend on the heat transfer characteristics of the refractory? Absolute temperatures that are required for a brick oven are probably different for a refractory oven.
I bet if they say it can do a pizza in 2 minutes, it can, and seriously do you really care that its not 60-90 seconds?

In any case, I'm keeping an open mind. FB have done a lot for promoting real pizza, and they have to balance the traditions with the commercial realities. I say good on 'em. If it wasn't for FBs promotion of traditional pizza, my insulated brick pompeii that really can whack out a fast pizza would have been an uninsulated barrel vault. I'm glad I found the site before I started.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:02:50 AM by wotavidone »

Offline scott123

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 09:26:08 AM »
I bet if they say it can do a pizza in 2 minutes, it can, and seriously do you really care that its not 60-90 seconds?

I think this is one of those areas, where, on the FB forum, quite a few people wouldn't care, but on this forum, I believe most members would care. Everyone, for the most part, looks at Craig's pizzas and understands that his magic doesn't happen in 2 minutes.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:27:56 AM by scott123 »

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 10:00:12 AM »
Are you sure? I've just had a count up and there are categories for 8 named styles of pizza on this forum plus a couple of cartegories for "other pizzas", and only one of those categories is for Neapolitan.
I've been looking at this forum for a while, and I built my brick oven with guidance from the FB website, and I personally think that the reverse of what you assert is true - I reckon more would care on the FB website. It seems to me its membership is definitely skewed towards wood oven ownership, whereas one of the standout things I've noticed on this forum is the number of people who seem to be happy cooking without any sort of WFO at all. Granted the people on this site who do own a wood oven might care, but it looks to me like the wood oven owners aren't exactly a majority. Perhaps we need a survey.

However...........whatever, I digress.
I still reckon the criticism is a bit harsh. I advocate keeping an open mind, sooner or later someone will buy one and report back on how well it performs.

Offline italdream

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 10:35:47 AM »
I think that for most styles of pizzas, a WFO is not as critical a component. I can do a decent NY-style looking pizza in my residential oven at 550F and cooks in 8 minutes.
But boy, if I put the money to buy a WFO I'd better be looking at a pizza that is a lot closer to a Neapolitan.
On this forum, many oven manufacturers have been criticized, including those who are considered the better ones.

Also, I suspect that you will find a lot less biased opinions about brands, on a pizza forum such as this one that is not sponsored by a specific manufacturer.

I think that FB has great marketing, a broad product line and probably is slightly more successful than it should be based on its product quality alone. There is nothing wrong with that. This is nothing out of the ordinary and is just part of doing business. For example, this small oven is well priced and may be a great alternative to a 2stone. To see whether it is capable of doing Neapolitan pizzas, we should probably wait until some member buys it.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 11:14:20 AM by italdream »

Offline italdream

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 11:27:29 AM »
And with respect to the claim of 11" traditional Pizza Napoletana, it is kind of a LET THE BUYER BEWARE thing. If you fall for the Neapolitan style claim, you should know that pizza napoletana is usually a bit bigger. Personally, I hate small Neapolitan pizzas and I think that size is kind of the essence for this style.

However, the official disciplinare only states that the diameter cannot be more than 35 cm. (13.8"), it doesn't say anything against smaller diameter.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 11:43:40 AM »
Lost in the puffery of the manufacturer and the cries of foul from the purists is the poor consumer just looking to make better pizza. Armed with disposable income but lacking a good understanding of the demands and limitations of different ovens for different styles, they can easily make expensive mistakes, especially given the broad range of WFO models available.

I think all sites should be welcoming of newbies who don't realize how much they need to learn to make informed selection of a WFO. At least that is my reaction to this thread so far.

 

Offline Don K

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 12:08:06 PM »
"The outer shell of the oven stays cool, while the oven chamber easily maintains 750F plus, to bake authentic Italian pizza in two minutes."

750F and two minutes?  Really?  This falls completely outside of the VPN standards, let alone the higher standards most commercial pizzerias and home enthusiasts place upon themselves.
Maybe that's why they said "authentic Italian pizza" instead of "authentic Neapolitan pizza" and hoped that you didn't notice. "Authentic Italian pizza" is a fairly ambiguous statement.
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 12:20:24 PM »
Just to clarify again, I don't have an issue with the oven or what forno bravo claims it will do.  I have an issue with them calling these thing traditional and authentic, when in fact they aren't.

They tell you this oven won't cook a full sized pizza and they tell you it can't produce a true sub 90 second Neapolitan pie.  That's great, and is going to be the case with most wood fired ovens that small.  Just admit there are trade offs due to its size and be done with it, don't have your marketing department change history.

I start threads like these for the guy who hasn't done 1000's of hours of research.  Nothing worse then that first post by a new member who already has an oven and it doesn't work.
-Jeff

Offline italdream

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 01:02:17 PM »
Maybe that's why they said "authentic Italian pizza" instead of "authentic Neapolitan pizza" and hoped that you didn't notice. "Authentic Italian pizza" is a fairly ambiguous statement.

The oven is called  Strada Series Wood Ovens Vera Pizza Napoletana "To Go"

If anything they want the customer to believe that is is suitable for Neapolitan pizza. Yet marketing also wants people to believe that Ronzoni is as Italian as De Cecco, and it is not.

I think that the only way to know for sure is to have a guinea pig to go ahead, buy it, and tell us. Any volunteer?  :)

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 05:12:09 PM »

I think that FB has great marketing, a broad product line and probably is slightly more successful than it should be based on its product quality alone. There is nothing wrong with that. This is nothing out of the ordinary and is just part of doing business. For example, this small oven is well priced and may be a great alternative to a 2stone.

How much is it? To be frank (although my name is actually Mick :P) the reason I built a brick oven myself, is because I simply didn't want to spend the bucks most ready made ovens cost. I'm glad I did though - a 24 inch oven would be difficult I think - to be honest I reckon the skill required goes up as the oven size goes down.
And, I haven't acually seen too many ready made ovens that actually measure up as traditional pompeii styles. Here in OZ just about all ready mades I have seen are refractory, not too many brick ones around, thin floors, and dimensions not quite "traditional".
No one has yet mentioned the thing that would most concern me about this particular oven. The chimney is in the main chamber, i.e. the height of the door hardly matters as the exit for the combustion gases is at the same height as the dome.  The front of the ovenchamber is "square", too.

BTW I don't usually bother with 90 second pizza, even though my oven is well capable of it. My whole family prefers crisper crusts and more toppings, and I don't even bother to broach the subject with guests anymore. VPN is reserved for when I can lay my hands on the ingredients, for example the flour is seldom stocked in my hometown and is very expensive when it is. Then its one for me, and back to the big topping load for everyone else.

I did take a sort of margerita to work, which automatically disqualifies it as a VPN because you should eat it within 6 minutes of cooking, and managed to impress a guy whose ideas of pizza are, shall we say, basic.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 05:49:23 PM by wotavidone »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 06:51:29 PM »
Wheres OZ ???

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 07:02:22 PM »
Wheres OZ ???

David,

That's a colloquial name for Australia.

Peter

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2012, 03:46:02 AM »
David,

That's a colloquial name for Australia.

Peter
Sorry lads ;D
I've updated my profile to show my location now. BTW South Australia is a state, not just a region. It's where you will find the Barossa Valley, and Greenock Creek, where Craig's primo cabernet sauvignon wine came from.
I shall be riding my XT500 Yamaha past that winery in a month or so, on my way to the annual TT/XT 500 muster. I think I will call in and grab a couple bottles.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 03:51:55 AM by wotavidone »

Offline Bigfoot21075

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Re: Forno Bravo misinterpreting tradition?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »
I am probably a lost cause to most of the hard core traditional members here because of my oven choice. However, I think anything that draws more people to our hobby the better!