Author Topic: Naples trip report  (Read 4824 times)

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Offline scpizza

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2007, 04:05:38 AM »
Pizzeria Di Matteo Report:

Short on time this morning I tried a lesser known pizzeria.  Got it to go and ate it back in my room.  To sum it up - street pizza.

The Finished Pizza
- Thin, large, low cornicione.  But crust was, well cheap.  Don't know how to describe that better.  The flour could not have been Caputo, the crumb and consistency was wrong.  No flavor to speak of.  A bit soggy, probably from the journey in the pizza box.  Burning on the bottom.
- The toppings were fair, but they made the too much cheese, regular mozzarella mistake.
- The sauce was quite tangy and flavorful, they did a good job with that.

The Making
- Same low flat doughball I observed in most other places.  Pizzaiolo appeared inexperienced.  His stretching technique was an almost comical version of the professional versions I've described before.  In slow motion he would slap the right side with his palm down flat, then flip the other end to completely cover his forearm.  Then flap it back again.

The Baking
- Over 2 minutes!  I can only attribute this to it being 9am and the oven not yet achieving normal baking temperature.  Plus they were making the little to-go pizzas for everyone else which likely don't need the full force of the oven to cook.

Overall a very decent street pizza, but otherwise not distinguished.

Total cost for the Di Matteo (to-go) street pizza experience €3.

Current pizza ranking:
     Da Michelle
     Pizzeria Salvo
     Pizzeria Gorizia
     Pizzeria Porta'Alba
     Pizzeria Di Matteo
     Pizzeria Brandi
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 06:32:26 PM by scpizza »


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2007, 04:48:31 AM »
Pizzeria Salvo Report:

This one took me half the day to make it to.  After multiple hours waiting in stations and a train ride to nowhere, I learned the following things about taking the train to San Giorgio a Cremano where Pizzeria Salvo is located:
     1.  There is no map of the trains.
     2.  The specified train to San Giorgio a Cremano on the posted timetable does not exist.
     3.  The train with the digital sign in the destination window that reads "San Giorgio a Cremano" does not go to San Giorgio a Cremano.
     4.  The train to Sorrento goes to San Giorgio a Cremano.

I also had occasion to get introduced to a group of frowning Naples Police who, in the midst of my unplanned travels discovered my train ticket had expired.

I decided this would be an excellent time to utilize my latent English skills.  I yanked out my maps began waving them around and pointing at things while rambling expressively in English telling the entire story of my day.  This very effectively communicated my situation to them as they at first looked bewildered, then smiled understandingly and practiced their own English by holding up my ticket, saying "No good," and waving me on.   I responded "Grazie" and they smiled and nodded.

Minutes later I ran into them again (I had purchased a fresh ticket this time) and they were extraordinarily helpful in conveying to me I needed to get on the Sorrento train which is more than the ticketmaster had been able to share with me.  Nice guys those police actually.


The Finished Pizza
- A large pizza but also with a large cornicione, I expected the worst but was pleasantly surprised.  Pleasantly thin center and most important great crust flavor, even after cooled.  I'm learning that flavor is the hard part, that's what to look for.
- Very open crumb, more so than any other pizza I've had here.  Crust was a bit chewy, but not so much to be bothersome.
- Imperfect bake with small amount of burning on the bottom.
- Great topping savor.  I credit the oil, which tasted warm, soft, and fulfilling.
- Too much cheese and not bufala, but still good.
- Overall probably a tie with Gorizia.

The Making
- Here it gets a bit interesting.  Ingredients in order added were: sauce, basil, Grana Padano sprinkle, cheese, oil.
- For the first time, the Neapolitan dough shaping technique really become more clear to me as I watched this pizzaiolo do it.  The upper left hand is doing circles simultaneously with the lower right hand, each working on opposite sides of the skin and reaching opposite extremes simultaneously.  By shifting the weight of the skin from one hand to the other, the off-hand's circular motion is able to move forward around the edge of the pizza and catch it so as to bring it back with it and rotate it as it stretches it opposite the other hand.  Most excellent.

The Baking
- Unfloured stainless steel peel used for loading.  No overhang, in fact dressed pizza is drug onto then carefully placed within bounds of peel.  Loading action is a "clean and jerk."  Peel shoved into the oven, placed on edge, then quickly yanked out from under the pizza.
- A much smaller iron disc on a pole is used for manipulating the pizza in the oven.  A good portion of the baking time the pizzaiolo is holding the pizza up off the floor.  He would also take it out, rotate it, and push it back in instead of just rotating it while inside the oven.
- Once again, total bake time about 50 seconds or less.

The Dough Making
- To my delight I got a glimpse of the dough making and made several interesting observations.
- They have a diving arms mixer!  It's a happy looking beast alright with an incredible elliptical motion from the diving arms and rotating bowl.  This may contribute no small amount to the open crumb and good gluten development I observed.
- They definitely use Caputo 00 Pizzeria in quantity given the empty bag evidence.  They also had a bag of Caputo Orange 00 Super Giallo.  I couldn't tell if that was being incorporated in some measure, but I imagine it was.
- First water was poured into the bowl, then something was put into the bottom and hand squished.
- Then the flour was unceremoniously dumped in and the mixer turned on.  None of this add-the-flour-slowly stuff.  Over the next 20 minutes, several large scoops of flour were also added.  Occasionally the dough was tested by feel.
- A ball of old dough was taken, and 6 or 7 chunks turn off and thrown in.
- The mixer was halted and dough rested in the mixer for about 20 minutes before I left.  Not sure what happened after that.

Total cost for the Salvo diving arms pizza experience was €7.

Current pizza ranking:
     Da Michelle
     Pizzeria Salvo
     Pizzeria Gorizia
     Pizzeria Porta'Alba
     Pizzeria Brandi


I am glad you made it to this place (out of town). It is my favourite together with Da Michele (must visit each time I am in Naples).

Few additional comments:

They use an alluminium peel to load the pizza due the confined space (a wood peel would need a larger operation spage as it need to rest on the edge of the work bench-The alum peel can go on the bench)

They have bought out the location where there was an existing pizzeria. The current mixer came with it. The owner/pizzamaker (the young bodybuilder type behind the counter) very much prefer another type of mixer which he also own. However as it is a 1950's model, won't pass the current health standards (it has a black cast iron bowl and no safety cover). I can confirm that his pizza coming out from the previous mixer was even a 25% better (at his old location).

And finally, remember that each bag of flour requires a slightly different approach... Ciro is a young master that know very much how to approach each batch of dough...


Ciao and enjoy your stay.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2007, 04:51:02 AM »
Di Matteo Uses a mix of Caputo Rosso and Manitoba.

Very inconsistent pizzeria that some time do deliver high quality pizza.

It is quite famous in Naples actually as Bill Clinton did indeed stop there to eat a take out pizza...

CIao

Offline scpizza

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2007, 06:28:01 PM »
Di Matteo Uses a mix of Caputo Rosso and Manitoba.

Very inconsistent pizzeria that some time do deliver high quality pizza.

It is quite famous in Naples actually as Bill Clinton did indeed stop there to eat a take out pizza...

Then Bill should stop by my place and I'll make him a pizza that will stomp on Di Matteo.

Sad to say no more Naples reports forthcoming, I had to move on.  But fond memories of trying pizza at the source and hope to return to hit the rest of the places I missed and take another taste of Da Michelle.

Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2007, 04:23:27 PM »
Did you have to specify that the pizza be made according to DOC, per Reinhart's book?  As in, they have DOC pizzas and pizzas for tourists?
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2007, 07:56:32 PM »
Did you have to specify that the pizza be made according to DOC, per Reinhart's book?  As in, they have DOC pizzas and pizzas for tourists?

It is not about DOC (improperly used anyway-Should be STG) or Tourist.
In Naples most make Margherita with the high quality Fior Di Latte  d'Agerola, so to make the DOC pizza they have to use Mozzarella di Bufala. Most Pizzeria have two separate entries for Margherita and Margherita DOC.

Ciao

Offline scpizza

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2007, 04:00:45 AM »
Did you have to specify that the pizza be made according to DOC, per Reinhart's book?  As in, they have DOC pizzas and pizzas for tourists?

Pizza Napoletana is right, there was no mention of DOC (or STG) anywhere and menus were an afterthought.  The only thing I tried to do was specify Bufala.

Oftentimes even with my request, they just smiled, nodded, and used what to my taste was a high quality Mozzarella - likely Fior Di Latte.  Everyone seemed to be getting that in any case so in a sense it was the most authentic selection.

Personally I prefer the distinctive flavor and texture (more lactic, more runny) of Bufala so that's what I use on my pizzas at home.  Cost is likely an issue too.  A number of these places heap on the cheese so they would go broke if it were Bufala.

The Da Michelle pizza is the best of them all, the cheapest of them all, had the least cheese of them all (mercifully), and it looked and tasted darn like Bufala to me.  They did have a 50 euro cent higher double cheese option which I saw people ordering.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2007, 06:31:01 AM »
Da Michele USES 100% Fior di Latte d'Agerola made with the milk of the Agerolese Breed of Cow (no Bufale).

In Fact I know the producer who is one of the top one. If I had to meet one of you in Naples in the near future I will make sure to let you taste this special fior di latte raw, to appreciate the difference.

Fior Di latte in Naples is 100% better then anything available in North Italy (industrilal products) and for export.

Ciao

Offline scpizza

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Re: Naples trip report
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2007, 11:29:26 AM »
Da Michele USES 100% Fior di Latte d'Agerola made with the milk of the Agerolese Breed of Cow (no Bufale).

In Fact I know the producer who is one of the top one. If I had to meet one of you in Naples in the near future I will make sure to let you taste this special fior di latte raw, to appreciate the difference.

Fooled me.  The Da Michelle cheese tasted excellent - better than elsewhere.  Very soft and creamy.

Thanks for the offer to taste, would be a real privilege to do that if we are both ever in Naples at the same time.

P.S.  Had pizza in Milan today.  No comparison to Pizza Napoletana.