Author Topic: Napoletana "Style"  (Read 1929 times)

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Offline Gianni5

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Napoletana "Style"
« on: August 17, 2013, 05:39:57 PM »
So I know this topic has been discussed many times on this forum but, I am in the process of adding a Napoletana/ New York hybrid pizza to my NY style pizzeria, and I have a few questions.  I started with the Idea that I was going to do VPN pizza but because of space restrictions a WFO was out of the question.  I ended up with a Marsal Wave oven that produces about a 2:30-3:00 minute pie.  I am know starting to work on the menu and marketing of these new pizza's and I'm wondering what the NP purist would think.  First off, I am struggling with what to call them.  I have considered "Artisan Thin Crust", "Neo NY Style", Neo Napoletana" and "Napoletana Style".  I then started thinking that, as a customer, it's kind of weird to have to ask for the "artisan thin crust margherita" or "Neo Napoletana" for example.  The only thing that makes sense to me is "Napoletana Style" but I don't want to come off as unauthentic.  Here's a pic of my latest test run so you can see what I'm working with.  Any comments are greatly appreciated.


Offline Needssalt

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 06:25:28 PM »
Forgive me, I'm new here, maybe you've posted on this before, but currently, you're marketing/baking like a traditional "NY style"?  Larger pies? Clearly different right?  I struggle with this label too, as it it the style of pizza I enjoy most often, but I don't have a pizzeria/customers so I call it whatever I want.    The Pie looks great, everyone gets you here online, but the avg customers,........  I don't know where you're located, or who your clientele is, but would they understand what you're trying to do?  I ask, because in my parts most would not.  I think that Neapolitan description is thrown around pretty loosely these days, and I can understand you want to respect the label and not sound inauthentic.  I'm just typing and thinking,... sorry for all the questions, but are you take out, or eat in?  Would customers be able to read a menu description or see a sample next to a NY Style?  Like you mentioned, it's a different style of NY style, a hybrid.  What about "NY Napoletana style"?  What is this style called in NY?  Again, sorry, I'm having a couple beers and thinking while my oven is heating up, but it's a question I want to help answer  - Johnny

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 06:51:20 PM »
There are tons of pizzerias in the US selling pizzas just like that and calling them Neapolitan.  The fact that you are here, have asked the questions and put in the time that you have tells me you are better then that, and if I was in your shoes I would not want to be lumped in with them. 

I would go with something simple like "Artisan Style" and focus the marketing on fresh local ingredients.  I really think that is the next big thing in pizza, and I know I'm not alone.  If you did that I think you would be ahead of the curve instead of chasing a trend.
-Jeff

Offline JD

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 08:04:30 PM »
I like artisan style too. I think your average customer would be familiar with the word artisan, even if they have no idea what that really means, and be very happy with the pizza you shared a picture of.

Otherwise on this forum I've seen the term "Nearly-politan" used a few times. I'm not sure your average customer would know what that even implies though.


Not sure who the originator of Nearly-politan is, but a few searches gave me these threads:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24836.msg250815.html#msg250815
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18944.msg184954.html#msg184954
Josh

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 09:32:59 PM »
Thanks for the replies,
To answer some of your questions, our regular pizzas are 12, 14, and 16 inch NY style pizzas. We've been in business since 1971 in Pleasant hill CA which is about 40 miles east of San Francisco.  There's no NP pizza or anything like it our area. You'd have to go to Berkeley or Oakland which is a 20, 30 minute drive.  I could call it Napoletana and get away with it with 95% of our customers but I don't want to do that.  I'm definitely going to be pushing the local, natural, high quality ingredient angle so "artisan" could work for me.  In a perfect world I would go with Artisan for sure but that oven wasn't cheap and I am hoping to attract a new demographic with this new style pizza and increase sales as well. 

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 10:00:54 PM »
JD the term Nearlypolitan was coined by member Infoodel/FoolishPoolish (Toby).  It represents a NP pizza that is made in the home oven.  The term is meant to be somewhat humorous because it sounds like the term "Neapolitan".   He avoided using the term NP as to not ruffle the feathers of purist and elitist members at the time whose opinion was that true blue NP could only be baked in a wfo.   This was during a time when we didn't have any members baking NP pizza in anything but wfos.  I think Jeff Varasano was baking pies at 800f in his hacked home oven but I am not sure that his pies were categorized as NP, but rather Elite NY style.

A Nearlypolitan pizza would be different from a Neo-Neapolitan or what I call a hybrid style pie that has characteristics of both NP and NY.

Here is the original Nearlypolitan thread. 
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.msg87446.html#msg87446
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 11:13:51 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Needssalt

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 10:40:16 PM »
Sounds like you know your customers, and visa versa (1971 !)  Given the Pizza you posted and described, I'd guess the demographic your targeting is, for lack of a better term, a foodie-type person. A customer who would appreciate the high quality and local proximity of ingredients and process.  I think "Artisan" would resonate.  The definition gets stretched,.... it's kind of a vague term for crafted or handmade.  I wish it could be a bit more specific to the pizza though.   I know people who wouldn't buy it because it was "artisan".    It's pizza, and your current style is "NY", and you're in CA,..... do customers identify you as "Italian"?  Sounds like a weird question when I read it, but for example, we have pizza "places" here like Mark's and Pudgie's, and we have Pizzerias like Nino's, and Fiamma .   If an Italian pizzeria offered an Artisan pizza,,........ok, I'm sure it would be good.  If Pudgie's offered one, I wouldn't take it seriously.   Depending on how you're identified, it might help steer this.  I'm not against "Artisan" at all if it fits, I just get the feeling you want something more specific.   Like Shuboyje mentioned,I think it's great you care about this.   
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 10:42:14 PM by Needssalt »

Offline parallei

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 10:42:33 PM »

A Nearlypolitan pizza would be different from a Neo-Neapolitan or what I call a hybrid style pieNeo-Neapolitan or what I call a hybrid style pie that has characteristics of both NP and NY.

The old "hybrid" is probably still my favorite.  I think of a 00/HG blend with a starter (but any yeast will do) and about 2min or so @ 750F.  A big open crumb too. 8)

I forgot to mention that that is a mighty fine looking pie Gianni5.  I'd sure like to find a place in Denver that provided a product like that.

I think "Napoletana Style" would be sort of misleading. Since you want to describe your pies to prospective customers, I kind of like the "Artisan Thin Crust" you mentioned.  It describes what you are trying to do.  "premium ingredients" and all that too....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 12:01:10 AM by parallei »

Offline corkd

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 11:26:06 PM »
Gianni5, first of all-- your pie looks great! I sympathize with the challenge of trying to name it-- I think that "artisan" was a good choice once upon a time, but has become overused to the point of being a "cleeshay"..
It seems like my local supermarket is overflowing with "artisan" offerings.
On the other hand, to people whose pizza world is rather small (most people),  it could resonate. I like the idea of giving a nod to Naples, without calling it "Neapolitan", whatever form that takes... Neo? Napo? I bet if you keep riffing, you'll come up with a good hook...
I agree with others, it's obvious that you care & are putting thought into this.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 01:56:13 AM »
Thanks for the compliments.
Needssalt,
We are thought of as Italian but we do toe the line a bit.  We are very much a family place and we're not considered upscale Italian but we are known for quality.  We use grande mozz., Stanislaus tomatoes, grana parm etc.  Although these brand names don't mean much to our average customer, they know there's a difference between our pizza and the average pizza places around us. 
I think I'm leaning away from "Artisan" now.  As some of you stated that term has been abused and become somewhat generic in recent years.  I'll keep playing with the name and try to get a nod to "napoletana style" as corkd said.  I'm still not sure how these pizzas will be received but I know I only have one chance to get it right so thanks for your opinions.


Online mkevenson

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 11:17:47 AM »
Just call it "Dang Good Pizza"  8)
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 01:18:57 PM »
Gianni,

I agree with the others that I wouldn't call your new offering a Neapolitan or Neapolitan style pizza. And I also agree that the term "artisan" that once meant something has been overused and even abused.

Why not name the pizza something like Gianni's Special and then describe what it is? For example, it might be described as a unique pizza in that it is a cross between a Neapolitan style and a NY style, and emphasize the deference to using high quality local ingredients. Once customers like the Gianni's Special, what it represents in the way of styles should fall by the wayside. Of course, under the generic Gianni's Special heading, you would use other names describing various versions of the generic pizza.

One of our members, Peter Taylor, experienced the same problem with naming his specialty pizza after he left the forum and opened his pizzeria. His pizza combined Neapolitan and NY style features and techniques, along with a piece of him, and using a natural leavening agent. He used to complain that his pizza was neither Neapolitan nor NY and that the forum's pizza classifications did not fit his pizza. You can see how he now describes what he does and look at his pizza menus at his website at http://www.wood-firedpizza.com/about.html. At one time, I believe his pizzas were larger than they now. That was out of deference to the larger NY size. Apparently he decided to fine tune his product to the local market, and he now has three pizza sizes, with the largest size being 14".

There is also a thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8895.0.html that discusses the above matter and other facets of Pete's business. You can also hear Pete speak on the subject at Reply 44 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8895.msg91021.html#msg91021.

Peter

Offline jjdec05

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 01:57:40 PM »
I agree with petezaa. Don't align your product with over abused epithets that most likely will be overlooked or misunderstood. For the majority of consumers, "pizza napoletana" means nothing. I was suggest that you come up with a name that provides the pizza differentiation from your other pies and then provide a description of why the pie is special and what you have done with it( small menu addition or some kind of table center pamphlet perhaps?).

What I have always greatly respected about Bianco is his disdain for labels.He takes inspiration and creates an original product. From what I've read, you have done very similarly.

That being said, the pizza looks better than most of the "Neapolitan" style pies I have gotten in local restaurants.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 02:18:08 PM »
You may want to consider "Elite NY."  I defer to the more knowledgeable, but my understanding it is along the lines of NY pizza at a higher temperature with no sugar or oil.

In any event, what is the name of your place?  I am in Oakland and may stop by sometime.

- Mitch

Offline derricktung

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 02:39:54 PM »
We call ours "Neo-Neapolitan", which really doesn't register or mean much with 90%+ of our customers.  But it does make me feel better to explain that it's similar to what you'd find in Naples, but slightly firmer as we found most our customers don't like such a floppy pizza.

Doesn't Paulie Gee just call it "pizza"?  I like the idea of "Elite NY" style. 

Check out our new venture - Za Pi - www.za314.com

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 03:19:13 PM »
I too do not like the term, "artisan", it is meaningless and so overused it has almost become derogatory.  You are making New York Elite with a 2-3 minute bake, but I wouldn't call it anything in regards to style, it stands on it's own merits.

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 04:48:34 PM »
When I open a pizzeria one day, I will call mine the Chau Special.   :-D  Do you all think that will fly?   ;D

I thought Californians were all about the "artisan" thing.   ???

Offline parallei

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 04:51:45 PM »
I too do not like the term, "artisan", it is meaningless and so overused it has almost become derogatory.  You are making New York Elite with a 2-3 minute bake, but I wouldn't call it anything in regards to style, it stands on it's own merits.

I think artisan may seem overused and/or meaningless to the group here, and "foodies" in general, who are truly interested in these sort of things.  To the general public, I'm not so sure.   To the general public it probably just means "better somehow".  I understand that this "better somehow" doesn't always hold true.

Maybe 1 in XX,000 would now what an NY Elite Pizza is, so I agree that seems like not a good idea.

As you suggested, maybe just "Pizza" IS best (or seems to be best to all us pizza nerds), but it would be nice to be a able to differentiate oneself to the general public.

Where is this joint?  I want to go eat one of his pies!   

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 09:08:38 PM »
If I was opening a new place I wouldn't worry about naming it at all. I agree if its good it doesn't need a label. The problem is we've been serving the same pizza for 40 plus years so I need to differentiate these new pizzas somehow.  I already am planning on giving it its own page on our menu with a few sentences describing what the pizza is and what makes it special. My sister is a graphic designer and she does our menus so I'll have her work on it and post a rough draft. 
Thanks again for your insights.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Napoletana "Style"
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 03:12:38 PM »
I havan't had much time to make pizzas lately but I thought I'd share a pic of my most recent bake.  I wanted to push the oven as hard as I could to see what the fastest bake time this oven can achieve is.  I got the floor to 785 and the pizza in this pic took 2:05 to cook.  I had to screen it about 45 seconds in otherwise the bottom would have burnt.