Author Topic: What are Neapolitan pizzas really supposed to look like when made in a WFO  (Read 5023 times)

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Offline norma427

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I hope this thread doesn't get heated, but I have been curious for awhile what pizzas baked in a WFO really should look like.  I know I have seen many great Neapolitan pizzas posted here on the forum by many members, but when looking at friends facebook pages that are from Italy some of their pizzas don't look like what Neapolitan pizzas look like here on the forum.   

What made me wonder more was my one friend the pasta lady at market has gone to different parts of Italy and showed me photos of pizzas that were made in WFO's and they sure didn't look like what is posted here on the forum.  Steve's sister also has visited Italy many times and has shown him photos of pizzas baked in WFO's in Italy and Steve said those pizzas didn't look like what is posted here either.

Is it just special pizzerias in Italy and other places that make Neapolitan pizzas like are posted here on the forum?  I also would like to know what members that have really visited Italy thought about what those pizzas should look like.

This are just some photos copied from my facebook friends in Italy.  There are a lot more photos, but these are just some of them.  I am not saying what is right or wrong in what Neapolitan pizzas should look like.  I just wonder what other members might think.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline norma427

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Offline communist

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Norma, what an amazing album of Neapolitan pizza from Italy!  The variety is stunning.  One thing I am sure they share in common is great taste.  Thanks for the post!   Mark

Offline Pete-zza

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Norma,

That is indeed a very nice collection of photos.

There are members who are far more knowledgeable about the Neapolitan style pizza than I, but I think that there are several possible explanations for the many variations that you have observed between pizzas made in Italy versus on this forum.

First, as Marco told us a few years ago, at Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10621.msg94714.html#msg94714, there were at that time more then 500 pizzeria in Naples City Centre, another 1000 in the immediate province and several more thousands around Campania. With numbers that large, you are going to see a very wide diversity in the ways that the finished pizzas will look. Of the many thousands of Italian pizzerias in Italy, the last time I checked, there were 162 members certified in Italy by the AVPN. I am willing to bet that there are wide variations in the pizzas made by these pizzerias also even when they are supposed to be working off of the same songsheet. I am sure that the same thing happens in the U.S. where chain pizzerias work with essentially identical doughs yet end up with different results. Marco also told us that not all members of the AVPN follow the methods advocated by the AVPN. So, that can affect how the final pizzas look.

Second, with thousands of pizzerias in Italy, they are bound to be using different flours, cheeses, sauces and toppings and different ovens. And different dough preparation and dough management protocols. These factors will all have an influence on the final pizzas and how they look.

Third, the pizzas you showed were made by commercial pizzerias. A few of our members, and most notably Craig with his Acunto oven, have made Neapolitan style pizzas that are perhaps the equal of those made professionally in Naples, but most of our members do not have and use in their homes (or garages) imported Italian ovens dedicated to the Neapolitan style of pizza. Also, our members are largely home pizza makers, not commercial operators turning out hundreds of pizzas a day. With high volumes, there is bound to be variations in the way that the pizzas look not only in the course of a single day but from one day to the next and over the course of a season. As you know, the doughs used in Naples to make Neapolitan pizzas are adjusted seasonally to compensate for the effects of different ambient temperatures throughout the course of the year. These changes are quite likely to lead to even more variations in the finished product.

Fourth, most Neapolitan pizza operators make and use same day doughs for the most part. And they are used throughout the day although it appears that they will occasionally hold dough for later use. Also, with very few exceptions, they are not using natural leavening systems and protracted fermentation times that can exceed a day or more. Many of our members use natural leavening agents and long ambient or controlled fermentations, but no cold storage. These differences will show up in how the finished pizzas look.

No doubt there are other explanations as to why there are so many variations in the Neapolitan style, but these are the ones that immediately came to mind.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Norma,

That is indeed a very nice collection of photos.

There are members who are far more knowledgeable about the Neapolitan style pizza than I, but I think that there are several possible explanations for the many variations that you have observed between pizzas made in Italy versus on this forum.

First, as Marco told us a few years ago, at Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10621.msg94714.html#msg94714, there were at that time more then 500 pizzeria in Naples City Centre, another 1000 in the immediate province and several more thousands around Campania. With numbers that large, you are going to see a very wide diversity in the ways that the finished pizzas will look. Of the many thousands of Italian pizzerias in Italy, the last time I checked, there were 162 members certified in Italy by the AVPN. I am willing to bet that there are wide variations in the pizzas made by these pizzerias also even when they are supposed to be working off of the same songsheet. I am sure that the same thing happens in the U.S. where chain pizzerias work with essentially identical doughs yet end up with different results. Marco also told us that not all members of the AVPN follow the methods advocated by the AVPN. So, that can affect how the final pizzas look.

Second, with thousands of pizzerias in Italy, they are bound to be using different flours, cheeses, sauces and toppings and different ovens. And different dough preparation and dough management protocols. These factors will all have an influence on the final pizzas and how they look.

Third, the pizzas you showed were made by commercial pizzerias. A few of our members, and most notably Craig with his Acunto oven, have made Neapolitan style pizzas that are perhaps the equal of those made professionally in Naples, but most of our members do not have and use in their homes (or garages) imported Italian ovens dedicated to the Neapolitan style of pizza. Also, our members are largely home pizza makers, not commercial operators turning out hundreds of pizzas a day. With high volumes, there is bound to be variations in the way that the pizzas look not only in the course of a single day but from one day to the next and over the course of a season. As you know, the doughs used in Naples to make Neapolitan pizzas are adjusted seasonally to compensate for the effects of different ambient temperatures throughout the course of the year. These changes are quite likely to lead to even more variations in the finished product.

Fourth, most Neapolitan pizza operators make and use same day doughs for the most part. And they are used throughout the day although it appears that they will occasionally hold dough for later use. Also, with very few exceptions, they are not using natural leavening systems and protracted fermentation times that can exceed a day or more. Many of our members use natural leavening agents and long ambient or controlled fermentations, but no cold storage. These differences will show up in how the finished pizzas look.

No doubt there are other explanations as to why there are so many variations in the Neapolitan style, but these are the ones that immediately came to mind.

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for explaining more about Neapolitan pizzas in Italy.  You are probably right that the same thing happens in Italy even if they are working off of the same songsheet, just like like in the US where chain pizzerias work with essentailly identical doughs yet end up with different results.  I did not recall that Marco told the forum that not all members of the AVPN follow the methods advocated by the AVPN, but I can understand how that can affect how the final pizzas look.   

I didn't also think about using different flours, cheeses, sauces, ovens and different toppings in how that can change how the final pizzas look. 

Yes, the photos were of pizzas made by commercial pizzerias.  I know Craig can get different results when using his Acunto oven because I had the pleasure of tasting them.  I understand when turning out hundreds of pizza a day there can be differences in them. 

I can see if Neapolitan pizza makers are using same day doughs for the most part, there would be variations in the course of a day how they look. 

I think the members on this forum produce really good looking Neapolitan pizzas. They do a fantastic job with Neapolitan pizzas in my opinion.   

As I see more photos posted on facebook I will try to update this thread with photos.  I think these are a few more photos I saw today.   

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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What are Neapolitan pizzas really supposed to look like when made in a WFO

I thought we forever settled this question on the evening of June 29, 2013.  :-D
Pizza is not bread.

Offline norma427

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I thought we forever settled this question on the evening of June 29, 2013.  :-D

Lol, Craig your Neapolitan pizzas were the best I ever tasted, but I am always curious.  :-D  Almost everyday I see more photos on facebook of Neapolitan pizzas in Italy and find then interesting.  I know I won't be able to produce pizzas like you did in your Acunto no matter what I do.

Norma
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Offline dhorst

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I thought we forever settled this question on the evening of June 29, 2013.  :-D
Well, I thought we did, but further investigation may be needed at a 2014 Summit, if you don't mind. ;D

Offline juniorballoon

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Certainly not an NP afficianado, but I think many of these pies look like pies I've seen here. Perhaps not all of these Italian pizze are NP's. There was great variety to the pizza I had when in Italy, though I don't think any of them were cooked in a WFO, nor were they NP's.

EDIT: I take it back the pizza in Rome was from a WFO, but I was not into making pizza at that time and don't remember exactly how it looked, only that it was tasty.


More EDIT: They were at least NP knockoffs. Sorry, no pics of the pizza. It was at this place and I see there are two WFO's. We were typical Americans in that we were ready to eat long before most Italians. :)

1 cent.

jb
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 11:19:14 AM by juniorballoon »

Offline norma427

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Certainly not an NP afficianado, but I think many of these pies look like pies I've seen here. Perhaps not all of these Italian pizze are NP's. There was great variety to the pizza I had when in Italy, though I don't think any of them were cooked in a WFO, nor were they NP's.

EDIT: I take it back the pizza in Rome was from a WFO, but I was not into making pizza at that time and don't remember exactly how it looked, only that it was tasty.


More EDIT: They were at least NP knockoffs. Sorry, no pics of the pizza. It was at this place and I see there are two WFO's. We were typical Americans in that we were ready to eat long before most Italians. :)

1 cent.

jb

Jb,

Thanks for telling me that the pizzas you had in Italy were a great variety of different pizzas.

Norma
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Offline thezaman

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 norma after spending a few days at don antonio's in nyc  last week . i was told that the style of Neapolitan i make is American style. most of this is because of the way i stretch my dough.  the cooking method that they use produces a pizza that is not overly charred. all of the pies are pulled from the oven and turned in the mouth or shelf so as not to over bake them. they were shocked when i told them i cooked multiple pizzas and after pulling one out i replaced it with another. they do three to four at a time then do the next three to four pies.i have never been scolded som much as i was during my visit with roberto and hid dynamo of a daughter georgia!!

Offline scott123

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i have never been scolded som much as i was during my visit with roberto and hid dynamo of a daughter georgia!!

Larry, are you sure that every scolding was warranted?  I have tremendous respect for Roberto, but he doesn't have a monopoly on pizza knowledge.  I have no doubt that you know one or two things that he doesn't. And, I'm sorry, but until I hear better feedback than Artie's last scathing review of Keste, Giorgia shouldn't be scolding anybody  ;D
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 02:18:56 PM by scott123 »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Norma, it really depends on if a person is Italian or not.  If you are then , it doesn't matter what the pizza looks like, it's just automatically better.   ::)

Offline thezaman

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 no, trust me she is the real deal. their method which is based on don antonio starita's is not the same as the way a lot of pizza makers do it. i know roberto consults for some high powered american pizzerias in re training their employees to follow his method,tuta bella being one of them.  when i was their he had three guys from another american neapolitan pizzeria that work on his method until 3 am stretching dough.
  as for the pizza artie commented on it wasn't one of keste's best pies.  i think he was expecting a pizza a lot different than what he does and it is not. the differences are subtle, this can be a little disappointing. also artie is probably as hard to please as you are, very outspoken when it comes to something he loves ,and he loves neapolitan pizza.

Offline scott123

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All right, Larry, if you vouch for Giorgia, that's good enough for me  ;D

I'm curious, have you been back to Keste since your visit with Artie? If so, did they redeem themselves?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 02:24:39 PM by scott123 »


 

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