Author Topic: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions  (Read 1268 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« on: April 01, 2013, 10:02:38 AM »
Being relatively new to this type of pizza, I will probably ask more than one question in this thread on the topic of the rules of VPN. The first is about cheese...

Does a VPN Margherita pizza have to use ONLY a fresh Mozzarella? The reason I ask is because I had been making them pretty standard (pinched off Fior di Latte moz, a sprinkle of grated aged Parmesan, Mediterranean sea salt, fresh basil and S.M. tomatoes) but my wife kept complaining that the cheese would always just slide off the pizza, and she couldn't really be bothered to eat it with a fork and knife so as to get the cheese, tomato and crust all in the same bite. So after looking at how dry mozzarella seems to adhere much better to the crust with some of my other pizzas, and some of that because it keeps a lot of elasticity(even after cooling a bit), I came up with an idea.

So a couple of days ago, I had a few people over for pizza and decided to try my idea. I basically spread my tomato as usual, but before adding the fresh mozzarella, I sprinkled just a tiny bit of dry mozzarella as a base for the fresh moz to sit on. The result was the same beautiful white shine of the melted fresh moz, but when eating a slice, the cheese tended to stay put on the slice without slipping off as easily as before.

So basically, would that be disqualified as a VPN Margherita?

More Q's to follow.  ;D


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 10623
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 10:24:42 AM »
Here is the law: http://www.fornobravo.com/vera_pizza_napoletana/VPN_spec.html

Be careful what you do. I hear the VPN police are really cracking down on law breakers lately, and the sentences are pretty stiff with large fines and long prison terms.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1586
  • Location: Boston
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 10:25:59 AM »
You can "dry" the cheese. Cut or tear pieces of cheese and put them on some paper towels for a few hours.

Offline jeff v

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1369
  • Location: Orland Park, IL
  • I'm Valentino not Varasano :)
    • Pizzeria Valentino
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 10:38:50 AM »
Here is the law: http://www.fornobravo.com/vera_pizza_napoletana/VPN_spec.html

Be careful what you do. I hear the VPN police are really cracking down on law breakers lately, and the sentences are pretty stiff with large fines and long prison terms.


 :-D I partly wish this were true. I went to a "VPN" place last week where I got dry mozzarella, truly tasteless tomatoes and no basil on my margherita. But hey they had Caputo and a WFO.

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 413
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago
    • Za Pi - Creating Neapolitan Style Pizza, One Dough at a Time
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 10:56:07 AM »
:-D I partly wish this were true. I went to a "VPN" place last week where I got dry mozzarella, truly tasteless tomatoes and no basil on my margherita. But hey they had Caputo and a WFO.

Oh no.. tell me it wasn't Parkers? 

@montoya - I had the same issue when I was using larger chunks of fresh mozz.  Break the chunks into much smaller pieces (around knuckle size) and then allow for the cheese to "rest" for at least 30 seconds when it comes out of the oven.  It should settle in nicely, and won't "slide" off the pizza.

Your other possible issue may be too much tomato sauce.  When I used to put a lot more sauce on my pies, the cheese would slide no matter how long I rested it.  At current, I use 2 oz of sauce on a 10 inch pie and spread it nice and thin to the edge.  Combined with small pieces of mozz and the rest time, my mozz doesn't slide anymore. 
Check out our new venture - Za Pi - www.za314.com

Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 11:51:57 AM »
:-D I partly wish this were true. I went to a "VPN" place last week where I got dry mozzarella, truly tasteless tomatoes and no basil on my margherita. But hey they had Caputo and a WFO.


Lol. I went to a VPN/STG place last week in Nagoya. Truly delicious pizza. The owner won the 2010 VPN championship in Napoli, and his winning pie with Moz di Bufa goes for only 850yen(US$9), which is absolutely, unbelievably cheap in Japan. You can get the Fior di Latte version for 550yen and the Marinara for 350yen as well. So far, this is the best VPN place I've seen in Japan. Here's my semi-quick video(and some news station was also there doing a piece on the place)...

Solo Pizza: Nagoya Japan


The website: http://www.solopizza.jp/food_drink.html


Offline La Sera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 135
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 09:21:29 AM »
Yes, he's pretty famous and you can find plenty of YouTube videos of him at work. I'll bet his place was packed?

I make a quasi-Napoli type (Caputo Pizzeria flour) for delivery in the Kanto area. Of course, I can't follow VPN rules...

Okusan has a point about the sliding mozzarella. One bite and it all slides off. I don't like that either.

I switched from a fresh mozzarella to a frozen Italian one I get from Metro Cash and Carry (http://www.metro-cc.jp/servlet/PB/menu/-1_l29/index.html). It melts well and my customers like the taste better than the fresh one I was using.

I trust you're familiar with Ambrosia for almost anything you need (http://www.eurotrading.asia/shop/), but there's the link just in case you're not.

I think I read that the delivery business in your town closed down? Was a national chain?

Cheers and have fun.

Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 07:04:12 AM »
Yes, he's pretty famous and you can find plenty of YouTube videos of him at work. I'll bet his place was packed?

I make a quasi-Napoli type (Caputo Pizzeria flour) for delivery in the Kanto area. Of course, I can't follow VPN rules...


You got a website? I'd love to see your work! BTW, what VPN rules are hard to follow? Is it the WFO part? That tends to throw a monkey wrench into the spokes of any aspirations of VPN. Anyway, Kanto is pretty far from where I live, but not as far as the rest of the people on these forums. If you have a chance to visit Ako-City in Hyogo, let me know and I'll fire up the oven and we'll make some pies!!!

Offline La Sera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 135
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 09:28:03 AM »
I don't use a WFO. I cook in a stone-bottom gas oven with upper and lower burners that I can only run at about 375C (700F). If I were a regular eat-in place I'd do things differently.

Also, I have to offer some heavy toppings, so my dough recipe is modified for that. While I prefer traditional light toppings like you're making (very well done, BTW!), I can only do it for personal consumption. I'm about an hour outside of Tokyo, so offering only true Neapolitan pizza would be like trying to sell Ferrari's and Lamborghini's to farmers.

Here's an example of what I do. Since you're in Japan you'll understand, but everyone else will laugh and think it's grotesque . . .  ;D It isn't great pizza , but it's passable.

1. Teriyaki Chicken, mozzarella, gouda, onions, mushrooms, corn, Japanese mayonnaise (which is not the same as mayonnaise in the west, so don't expect western mayonnaise taste as good when cooked), parsley and a secret seasoning.

2. Garlic shrimp over pesto base, mozzarella, onions, olives and eye-watering black pepper.

Offline dellavecchia

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 2627
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 12:45:30 PM »
Beautiful pies La Sera. You get such good leoparding with the gas oven. I think those topping combos sound delicious.

John


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 10623
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 01:23:15 PM »
 ^^^

The shrimp pie really sounds good!
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline La Sera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 135
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 05:23:54 PM »
Both of you have much better looking pizzas. Thank you for the kind words.
The color balance is a little off under the fluorescent lighting. They look a little better in person.

Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 06:51:38 PM »

Here's an example of what I do. Since you're in Japan you'll understand, but everyone else will laugh and think it's grotesque . . .  ;D It isn't great pizza , but it's passable.

1. Teriyaki Chicken, mozzarella, gouda, onions, mushrooms, corn, Japanese mayonnaise (which is not the same as mayonnaise in the west, so don't expect western mayonnaise taste as good when cooked), parsley and a secret seasoning.

2. Garlic shrimp over pesto base, mozzarella, onions, olives and eye-watering black pepper.

Yep. Mayo and corn are just as normal in Japan as pepperoni and mushrooms are in the States. Qewpie Mayo rocks too. I just warned one of my students, who's heading to the States to live for a couple of years, that there are three things she's not gonna like...bread, hair stylists and mayonnaise. lol.

And wow on those pies!! I used to order Dominoes and Pizza California and pay 3000 to 4000 yen for that crap. If I could have gotten some of your pies delivered, I never would have got off my behind and started pizza making! May I ask how much you charge and what is the most popular pizza amongst your customers? Can your customers also pick up pizzas at your shop?

Offline La Sera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 135
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 05:17:23 AM »
I opened because there was no decent pizza near me.   ;D

I live in a city of 65,000 people with only one pizza place - a Pizza La franchise. I wanted good pizza, so my wife and I opened a small place about 5 years ago. We had to close soon because she was diagnosed with cancer, and we spent a couple years getting that sorted. She's quite healthy now, so we opened a larger place last May.

We do delivery and take out. The takeout part has grown to almost half of our sales because I've emphasized it in pricing to overcome the powerful branding of Pizza La. I decided on a business model that might be called the "UniQlo" approach to battle the big chain - a limited simple menu, uncluttered operation and reasonable pricing. I had no desire to just mimic them with product or price. They sell a 25 cm thing for 2,400+.

I sell 27 cm pizza for 1,680 delivered, or 1,380 if you pick it up. The average order is for 2 or more pizzas, so people save 2,000 yen to pick it up. No one is more than 15 minutes away, so it's an incentive that has really taken off in my town.

I'm booked solid on weekends. We make pizzas continuously for hours for lunch and dinner again on Saturday.
I usually sell out on Sunday about 6:30. I have so many reservations for delivery and take out, I can't take any more orders.

Weekdays are slower, but weekends are a madhouse. But, the music is turned up and the staff is great.

The garlic shrimp is very popular, but our pepperoni, and sausage pizzas are both big sellers. Margherita is the top seller. Smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onions, olives on a tomato sauce base is a long time big seller. It's topped with parsley flakes and a wasabi/mayonnaise sauce. It will open your sinuses and make you drool at the same time. Hehe...


Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 07:06:01 AM »
That is absolutely awesome!! I could sit here and pick your brain all day but you'll probably get tired of me pretty quick.  :-D

Anyway, I live in a town of a little over 50,000 people, with two other towns of about 15,000 each that are pretty much connected to our town. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PIZZA PLACE (delivery, restaurant or pick-up) within 45km of here. The last place we had here, "Pizza California", closed down ten years ago. We do have Sakuragumi overlooking the ocean that is a VPN place but locals do not go there because they only serve course meals, and those start at 5,000yen. You also need a reservation because they're always packed with tourists and late 20's to early 30-ish daters, again from out of town, and you gotta reserve a few months in advance.

So my wife and I already run an Eikaiwa as a full time business, which we've had since 2002, but we are extremely, seriously entertaining the idea of selling pizzas out of our pretty good sized yard/garden. We get a lot of foot, bicycle and car traffic in front of our house, with my WFO standing out like a sore thumb, and there's an okonomyaki place right next to our house that does good business. Our idea is to start by selling about 100 pizzas on one Sunday afternoon per month, between 11:30am to whenever we sell out.

Some questions I have...

1. Do you pack your pies in pizza boxes for deliveries? Or do you use something else? If you use pizza boxes, where are you getting them from and what do they run per unit?
2. I, too, will be using a pretty well tested 61% hydration, Caputo 00 dough that I am very happy with for mass producing by hand. For a 27cm pie, that costs approximately 180yen in materials, not including my labor, and with firewood being free, except for the time and effort in gathering it, what price would you put on a standard Margherita? or an American topped pie with something like pepperoni?
3. Based on materials, that I mostly get from Costco, including gasoline to go and get it, an average pie is between 160yen to 200yen, depending on how it's topped. If you don't mind my asking, in your experience is that pretty cost-effective for being in Japan?

So far, my wife and I have gotten what we need from the Hokken-Jimusho(the office that grants permits, etc. for this type of thing). I have to submit photos and diagrams of the setup in my yard(canopies, countertops, etc.) to show that they conform to the regulations for "Yattai"(outdoor/street food vendor), and I have to take a day-class on food/kitchen sanitation for businesses. The cost is going to be about 20,000 yen for all of the fees, which isn't bad, so it's just a matter of scheduling it and getting started. Is there anything you might advise before we step out on this venture?

Sorry for picking your brain so much!!! It's just not often that you meet another Gaijin who lives in Japan with experience like you have!



Offline La Sera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 135
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 08:03:24 AM »
I don't mind helping you, but maybe we can move this to Skype? The list of things to consider is pretty long and it would be more efficient.
I'll send you a PM with my Skype name.  :)

Offline f.montoya

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 329
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Land of the Rising Sun
Re: Vera Pizza Napoletana Regulations Questions
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2013, 08:59:52 AM »
I don't mind helping you, but maybe we can move this to Skype? The list of things to consider is pretty long and it would be more efficient.
I'll send you a PM with my Skype name.  :)

Thanks! I Skyped you a contact request. :)