Author Topic: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?  (Read 3830 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2013, 09:51:43 PM »
Is there such a flour available? 

The new GM Neapolitan flour?
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Offline parallei

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2013, 09:55:14 PM »
The question I’m posing is, does Neapolitan pizza really need to be made with “00” flour to be correctly called “Neapolitan?”

Thoughts?

I don't think "00" is necessary if you get the same quality finished product (tenderness and the like).  I think the short bake times and high heat are important, and maybe the look one obtains with a non-malted flour.  Specifying the exact fermentation process, finished temperatures of the dough, tomato and oil seems a bit silly to me.

I've always enjoyed the irony of a group from Naples arguing for well regulated pizza industry.............
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 12:03:25 AM by parallei »

Offline Peasant

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2013, 10:18:13 PM »

I agree that consumers and critics alike know little, if anything about Neapolitan pizza. I also agree that much of the confusion and misinformation stems from pizzerias selling pies that are not Neapolitan (for any number of reasons) while calling them Neapolitan. To make matters worse, reviews of various “Neapolitan” pies – professional, Yelp!, or otherwise – often criticize generally authentic Neapolitan pies for their traditional Neapolitan features – such as a soft, wet center or sparse toppings – while often holding up pathetic examples, that in no way represent NP, as good or even worse, authentic.


Just wanted to highlight that quote.  The fire inside me rages when I see examples of that ignorance.

This is why VPN exists right (other than to make money)?  By establishing a definition, educated consumers can be informed of what a true Neapolitan pizza is supposed to be, even if they don't have access to one.  I'll echo what others have already said, the definition established is flawed with too much specificity.  I'd agree that the type of flour shouldn't be limited to 00.  But we need a definition so that eventually pie hunters can find standards to measure the fakers against.

:p

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2013, 10:21:11 PM »
Here are a few more questions for the people who think you must use "00" flour to call the pizza Neapolitan:

- Unlike the VPN spec, nowhere in the Pizza Napoletana TSG/STG spec does it specify "00" flour per-se. It gives acceptable ranges for the major rheological characteristics, but does not use the term "00". Does this, in and of itself put an end to the debate?

- What do you do when the published VPN and TSG spec differ? Is the pizza halfnapolitan if it doesn't specifically fit both? A strict reading of the two specs indicates that there could be flour that is acceptable under each that are not under the other. Also, there is no provision for the use of natural yeast in the TSG spec.

- Both the VPN spec and the STG spec are specific with respect to the hydration of the dough. 56-59% and 56% respectively. If you make a 64% hydrated dough, can you call it Neapolitan?

- Both specs are specific and in agreement about the amount of yeast and fermentation time - a maximum of 8 hours. If the dough ferments for more than 8 hours, can the pizza be called  Neapolitan? If you answer yes to this or the previous question, how do you justify deviating from the spec here but not with respect to the flour?

TSG spec: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:034:0007:0016:EN:PDF
VPN spec: http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/public/pdf/disciplinare%202008%20UK.pdf


 
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2013, 11:03:30 PM »
Somebody has to speak up when the foremost pizza blog post's a pizza with 100% whole wheat flour and refers to it as "Excellent Neapolitan" and Goes on about how this street has been waiting for a a good Neapolitan pizza.  It's not going to be popular at a place like slice, but that doesn't bother me one bit.  My initial post may have been a little too black and white, but I stand by the basic idea of it that any logical person will find in the grey area.  It comes down to this:  Can you make a Neapolitan pizza without 00 flour?  Absolutely.  Can you make it with house milled fresh 100% whole wheat?  Not a chance.  Not only does that flour have all it's bran, it more then likely has all it's germ.  It truly could not be an further away from 00 on the spectrum.
-Jeff

Offline oknewell

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2013, 11:22:47 PM »
I think the first step in answering the question is in defining what a Neapolitan pizza is.  Both specs that are posted, attempt to do just that.  They give an idea of what a Neapolitan pizza should look like, how it's made, and express a subset of the collective opinions of concerned pizza makers at the times they were  written.  Like it or not, the Neapolitan pizza surely has changed since the first chef produced one.  Both standards chose a point in time they believe is the most authentic and traditional.  Does that make them the best? Why can't I hand mix my dough and make a Neapolitan pizza?  Surely the folks of yore didn't use mixers.  So if you're legalistic about the 00 flour the answer is maybe.  If you believe that making a Neapolitan pizza is a philosophy, my answer is of course you can.

Offline iRobertO

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2013, 02:10:13 AM »
So Craig I know this is off topic from the spirit of the discussion, but after all your pizza cooking and eating, do you think you could make a Napoletana pizza that is equal to your 00 based pizzas? And, if you had to eat yours blindfolded, could you tell the difference?

I'm on the side that if you don't use 00 flour it isn't pizza napoletana (of course I'm the type that refuses to say the word Neapolit*n).. If you deviate on too many things you get pizza hut, where do you draw the line?

This whole conversation makes me think of that documentary about counterfeiting where they counterfeit eggs.. Just because some people believe they are doesn't mean they actually are.

iRobertO

Offline rrweather

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2013, 05:46:45 AM »
While new to the pizza making process, I find this discussion intriguing. I think I draw the line at the point you are selling pizzas labeled Neopolitan. Once you are selling a pie that you claim to be specifically Neopolitan, you should meet the required standards. Using the car analogy, I can call my Nissan whatever I want. I can't sell it has a Toyota. If the type of flour is not specified, I don't know how you could violate any rules. Once you start breaking away from tradition without breaking a rule,  you will be judged. I'm sure attorneys could argue for days over this point.

I'm not sure it's the same example, but certain countries have lax rules when it comes to wine labeling. As a result, a cabernet from one country can be a very different blend of grapes from another cabernet and still be labeled and sold as a cabernet. Not sure it's right or wrong. Ultimately it's up to the person consuming something to decide if they enjoy it. If a person is hung up on tradition, he or she can choose to only buy and consume the more traditional product.

Luckily for me, I just like good pizza and wine, regardless of how it's labeled!

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2013, 06:25:48 AM »
North America has one of the best wheat in the World, part of the composition o Caputo flour is done with this kind of wheat, its just a matter of using the right way of milling to get the flour to behave the same way an Italian product does. I live in Brazil, so i have no access to GM Neapolitan flour, so its very hard to discuss (in my opinion) if the flour is fitted to get the same results.

About the VPN Disciplinary, its a guide line to where to start, they always say, minimum of 8 hours and maximum of 3g of CY per Liter of water. Sure the pizza could have higher Hydration, but it cant become a Ciabatta dough (very soft and extremely wet), as i said before, its always a guide line, because at the end Pizza Napoletana is a artisan product, and each person touches the dough different, even if you get the same dough and give it to 2 or 3 pizzaiolos they will come out of the oven different.
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Offline scott123

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2013, 07:49:41 AM »
When I make a Margherita, I'm trying to make the best Neapolitan pie I can make; I'm not trying to be "Neapolitan inspired" or "Neapolitan-style" or anything except Neapolitan. I'm not trying to flatter through imitation. I'm trying to respect by constantly trying to achieve perfection. When I put pepperoni on it, then It's probably appropriate to call it "Neapolitan-style" or the like.  ;D

Please don't equate the word 'style' with 'inspired by' or 'influenced by'.  It can have that meaning outside of pizza, but, for pizza, traditionally, style has been used (and only used) to avoid geographical confusion- if say, someone is making NY pizza in Boise, rather than call it 'NY pizza,' they'd call it 'NY style'.  It's the exact same pizza as NY, though (or should be).  Once you start playing the 'style means a looser definition for pizza' game,  you're ignoring a common language and wreaking havoc on goals for authenticity for a pizza style outside of it's birthplace.

NY pizza = NY style pizza
Neapolitan pizza = Neapolitan style pizza

If I could go back 100 years and substitute a different word, I would, but, for pizza, this is it.

Edit: Think about it. Keste is NY pizza.  It is, literally, pizza made in NY. It is only by using the term 'style' where the genre of pizza becomes clear.  Keste is Neapolitan style pizza made in NY.  Keste is not 'Neapolitan inspired' pizza. It's a horrible word and the dual meaning can be confusing, but, it's what's been used for decades and there's no changing it now.  The only way to avoid the confusion is to understand it's common definition.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 08:02:32 AM by scott123 »


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Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2013, 10:20:15 AM »
I thought about this a bit more and the question reminds me, to some extent, the history of the super tuscans.

From wikipedia:
"Super Tuscans are an unofficial category of Tuscan wines, not recognized within the Italian wine classification system. The origin of Super Tuscans is rooted in the restrictive DOC practices of the Chianti zone prior to the 1990s. During this time Chianti could be composed of no more than 70% Sangiovese and had to include at least 10% of one of the local white wine grapes. Producers who deviated from these regulations could not use the Chianti name on their wine labels and would be classified as vino da tavola - Italy's lowest wine designation. By the 1970s, the consumer market for Chianti wines was suffering and the wines were widely perceived to be lacking quality. Many Tuscan wine producers thought they could produce a better quality wine if they were not hindered by the DOC regulations.[6]

To me what Craig advocates sounds like creating a Super Neapolitan pizza, a pizza that goes beyond the (official and unofficial) standards of pizza napoletana, to create what some people may judge as being a better product.

I argue that this may be possible, perhaps using non 00 flour, other changes, and knowing Craig's skills and perfectionism.
I also think that most people would see certain variations as deviating from the tradition, thus not lending well to the traditional denomination of pizza napoletana.

But, resuming the super tuscan analogy, it does not mean that a super Neapolitan cannot be created...

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2013, 10:31:34 AM »
I thought about this a bit more and the question reminds me, to some extent, the history of the super tuscans.

While this may also be an interesting discussion, as I've stated several times now, this has absolutely nothing to do with my original question.

This is not about improving Neapolitan pizza or changing its character in any way. This is about making the best Neapolitan pizza you can with what you have available while specifically maintaining the traditional sensory qualities of Neapolitan pizza. It's also not about what I can do - it's about what any specific pizzamaker/pizzeria can do in their own, unique situation.

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Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2013, 10:35:02 AM »
Craigs I view the discussion as fluid. If anything I (and others) say is tagged as not being within the boundary of your question, your question would be better served with a poll with a Y/N answer.
I will refrain from posting further observation on this topic since that are systematically construed as being off topic.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2013, 10:35:07 AM »
About the VPN Disciplinary, its a guide line to where to start, they always say, minimum of 8 hours and maximum of 3g of CY per Liter of water. Sure the pizza could have higher Hydration, but it cant become a Ciabatta dough (very soft and extremely wet), as i said before, its always a guide line, because at the end Pizza Napoletana is a artisan product, and each person touches the dough different, even if you get the same dough and give it to 2 or 3 pizzaiolos they will come out of the oven different.

Wouldn't it then be hypocritical for them to apply a different standard to the flour? Either that, or I'm missing the part of the standard which identifies which specifications are starting points and which are strict.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2013, 10:38:02 AM »
Craigs I view the discussion as fluid. If anything I (and others) say is tagged as not being within the boundary of your question, your question would be better served with a poll with a Y/N answer.
I will refrain from posting further observation that are systematically construed as being off topic.

That's fine, but it's confusing as in the context of the original question, "better" means one pie I make is better than another, but both are intended to be in the spirit of traditional Neapolitan pizza. In the context I perceive your comments, "better" would mean a new product that is better than the traditional Neapolitan pizza. That is a very different thing.
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Offline italdream

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2013, 11:07:36 AM »
That's fine, but it's confusing as in the context of the original question, "better" means one pie I make is better than another, but both are intended to be in the spirit of traditional Neapolitan pizza. In the context I perceive your comments, "better" would mean a new product that is better than the traditional Neapolitan pizza. That is a very different thing.

I see but then why do not need to even ask the question? Use whatever ingredients make your pizza better, and call it as you want, Neapolitan or not. I do not see a problem. Why would you care if others will view it as Neapolitan. It won't offend me (or any other Neapolitan on the planet), if you make a pizza at home with other ingredients and call it Neapolitan.

Also the question is terribly asked and open to myriads of interpretations.

You ask "does Neapolitan pizza really need to be made with “00” flour to be correctly called “Neapolitan?"

Define Called by whom: by me, by you, by the people on the forum, by people in Naples, by the DOP EC officials.
Define correctly.
And of course define better.

If you pose a question like that you are opening the topic to discussion. But every other answer you get is off topic...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 11:09:15 AM by italdream »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2013, 11:26:19 AM »
I see but then why do not need to even ask the question? Use whatever ingredients make your pizza better, and call it as you want, Neapolitan or not. I do not see a problem. Why would you care if others will view it as Neapolitan. It won't offend me (or any other Neapolitan on the planet), if you make a pizza at home with other ingredients and call it Neapolitan.

I’m asking this in the larger context – I agree, who cares what is done at home. That’s not what interests me. If I own a restaurant someday, I fully intend to call my pizza Neapolitan. However, even that is not why I asked the question. I asked because it is something I’ve thought about from time to time, and the Reinhart quote was so black-and-white, it struck me as wrong.

Quote
Also the question is terribly asked and open to myriads of interpretations.

If it is, that’s just me doing a poor job of asking it. It should be very cut and dried.

Quote
You ask "does Neapolitan pizza really need to be made with “00” flour to be correctly called “Neapolitan?"

Define Called by whom: by me, by you, by the people on the forum, by people in Naples, by the DOP EC officials.
Define correctly.

By the person selling it. Clearly there is no law that prevents someone from calling their pizza “Neapolitan” here in the US. I’m simply pondering if one can do so without feeling like they’re being disingenuous or deceitful.

Quote
And of course define better.

As I’m using it, “better” 100% in the eye of the owner. The owner should have a vision of the perfect Neapolitan pizza and should strive to realize it. He should not be held back by the lack of two zeros on a bag of flour. If your vision of perfect NP is different than mine, perhaps you don’t eat at my restaurant. If enough people agree with my vision, I’ll be successful. Speaking only for myself, I would not open a pizzeria if I didn’t think my vision was the one the consumers would agree with. How could I have passion if I felt forced to make a pizza that was not what I thought was perfect? I would be miserable every day.

Quote
If you pose a question like that you are opening the topic to discussion. But every other answer you get is off topic...

I’m all for discussion on or off the topic, but when you respond to the question with an off-topic answer as if it’s on topic – particularly when that off-topic answer completely changes the scope of the question –  it’s not helpful is it?
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Offline scott123

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2013, 11:28:02 AM »
Craig, may I ask why this topic is so important to you?  You've always struck me as being pretty apolitical in regards to classification. Or is classification more of a personal thing- how other people classify their pizza is their business, but it's important to you that your pizza be as authentic as possible.  Is that it?

I make no VPN/STG/authentic/true/'Neapolitan pizza'/'Neapolitan style pizza' distinction, btw. Everything is Neapolitan style to me. While there are outliers, Neapolitan pizza is one of the easiest to define foods on the planet.  The specifications weren't pulled from thin air.  They reflect the style of pizza from most pizzerias in Naples.  They reflect the style of pizza of every conscientious member of this forum- as well as the style of pizza of the most famous domestic Neapolitan pizzerias. It's all the same pizza.

I do not take all of the guidelines literally, though.  I judge each criteria strictly by it's impact on the end product. I am entirely results based.  I freak out about 4 minute NP bake times, not because the rules state 60-90 seconds, but, because a 4 minute bake changes the nature of the pizza dramatically and it becomes something else.  While I didn't notice it right away, Jeff's issues with whole wheat not being anything like NP are completely founded.

Da Michele uses seed oil on their pies.  Does it change the nature of the pizza? Does it make it any less Neapolitan?  Hell, no.  Toby's Nearlypolitan, baked in an electric oven, was/is as authentic as you can possibly get. Heat does not discriminate. Your Italian Centos don't change the nature one iota.  The GM Neapolitan flour?  Again, the same thing. I would like to see a few more heavy hitters taking it for a trial run, but, as long as the results are identical with the GM, the pizza made from it will be:

Authentic
True
STG
VPN
Neapolitan
Neapolitan Style

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Can a pizza be Neapolitan without "00" Flour?
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2013, 11:30:17 AM »
Craigs I view the discussion as fluid. If anything I (and others) say is tagged as not being within the boundary of your question, your question would be better served with a poll with a Y/N answer.

This is not about consensus. A poll wouldn't add anything. I'm not particularly interested in if people think yes or no but rather why they think yes or no.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.