Scott, when i was there, I had their margarita that did have buffala on it and another that had multiple toppings and I forget what cheese, it was one of their specials. it was about a year ago when was there, and i remember fairly well what the pizza was like but not exactly. Ive been to Pepe's, reginas,modern a etc and like you are saying, I have yet to find a good real example of Neapolitan pizza. bertuccis sp? is a joke as far as that goes. being that I'm from southern NH , do you have any recommendations? I have not been to or heard any reviews on bricco in boston, have you been? At both bertuccis and pepes they do have cert. of approval from vpn? Whats up with that? Ive just been trying to tailor my sir galahad dough attempts to what I THINK? from reading about Neapolitan pizza should be like. I am very happy with the progress folks like yourself on this site have helped me make. Point me to Naples usa! I thought pepes had something to do with it. but I guess not that much. btw i get my caputo and sirgalahad at accardi in medford, they claim they dont sell to the public, but, if you tell them you are testing to open a pizza place......call first, and bring cash 50# of sir galahad was+/-15.00
The Picco cheese I was referring to is their defult cheese not the buffala that they charge extra for. The cheese is very unusual, and definitely worth checking out. I have never had anything like it on a pizza anywhere else, and I do like it a lot.
I know this seems strange, but I have found that Pepe's is the polar opposite of Neapolitan pizza in just about every way. First off, pepe's uses normal dry mozzarella cheese, and lots of it. In Naples they only use fresh or buffalo mozzarella. In Naples the crust is very soft, moist, and melts in your mouth. The pizzas are very lightly cooked so that they don't get hard or crispy. At Pepe's the crust is burned in comparison. It is very tough and dried out due to the long slow bake. Pepe's pizzas take 8 minutes or more in the oven, while pizzas in Naples only take one minute, so there is just less time for the crust to dry out. The fast beke times also allwow Neapolitan pies taste much fresher since the tomatos cheese and olive oil are just sort of warmed and don't really have time to cook.
What I have learned from experimenting with high temperature baking and various American and Neapolitan flours is that it is the cook time and technique, not the flour that makes the pizza so different. I know Jeff has been preaching this, and I totally agree that at high temps the pies are not that different with a quality American bread flour and caputo pizzeria flour. If you take the same dough made with Italian or American flour and bake it in a 1 minute oven and in an 8 minute oven the differences are HUGE. If you are searching for Neapolitan pizza you need to search for a better heat source, not necessairly a perticular flour.
Yes, I have been to Bricco and the pizza is good. Like you I buy some of my flour and tomatoes at Accardi, and last time I checked they told me bricco is the only place in Boston that uses the caputo flour. The problem with bricco, like most of the pizzerias trying to make neapolitan pizza here in the US is that they have 5 minute bake times because they don't have the proper oven. Bricco would be better off just using an American flour that is designed for slower cooking. I have not had good luck with caputo flour and anything longer than a 3 minute bake.
Unfortunately I have not found pizza here in the US that is as good as what I had in Naples. There are very very few places here that are even similar. Sadly that includes many places that even have wood burning ovens and call themselves Neapolitan. Surprisingly the worst culprit I have found is Antica pizzeria, the very place that trains chefs in the ways of the VPN. Thanks to the information provided by Marco on this forum the closest I have found to Neapolitan pizza in the US comes out of my own oven. I think that befriending someone like billsf/nm who has the knowledge, the passion, and a good wood burning oven is probably how you will find Pizza as good as Naples here in the US. The next closest I have had here is in New York City at Sezz Medi, Luzzo's, and Una Pizza Napoletanna, but they each have a different take on the Neapolitan theme and are not totally authentic. I have not been there yet, but I think Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh is probably the most authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in the US. Spacca Napoli in Chicago and Roberto's in Pittsburgh can't be that far off since they both have the proper oven and mixer. I have also heard good reports about Picco in Oakland CA.