Author Topic: Pizza Napoletana in NYC  (Read 9898 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2006, 06:03:07 PM »
I'm far from inclined to perform surgery on the gear box of my Santos mixer. I have seen no reason yet to slow it down; I like the action on both pizza and bread doughs - as marco says, it is a big improvement over the kitchen aid - someting about the laminating action of layer on top of layer.

Perhaps as my pizza skills improve I will discover that the fork speed is holding me back, but I'm probably very far from that point.

Bill/SFNM


Offline thehorse

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2006, 01:38:34 AM »
Hi guys, relatively new here, been reading/learning for a few months. Thanks mostly to the guys who recently posted on this thread, my pizza has gone from cracker style to a KASL/Caputo hybrid, sourdo Italian yeast, fermented 3-6 days, then baked at 700-800F in my modified home oven.
   I currently live in downtown NYC 15+ years, and have been eating the elite NY/Neo pizza here for years(not so much lately for obvious reasons). I agree with most sentiments on various issues regarding pizza in general and the pizza here. For me the ideal, is the perfect balance of crunch and chew, no knife and fork please.
  If there is a pizza jam in NYC, and I can be of any assistance, I would love to meet the guys I learned so much from.

  See you in NYC,
  Mike
 
  PS- I think the owner of DiFara opened a place on Houston St. called DiMarco, its down the street from me, and around the corner from Joe's Dairy, maker of excellent fresh mozzarella.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2006, 08:37:00 AM »
thehorse,

I understand that it is Dom's children who run DeMarco's. DeMarco's has been up and running for some time now but the reviews don't seem to parallel those for DiFara's. I don't know if it is true or not, but I read somewhere that Dom never goes to DeMarco's.

Peter

Offline ebpizza

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2006, 09:42:48 AM »
Another example that shows that the Italian immigrants where primarily bakers:

"Three Santarpio brothers came from Naples and began with a bread bakery. "

http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2006/12/06/putting_toppings_at_bottom_adds_to_flavor_of_santarpios/

Putting toppings at bottom adds to flavor of Santarpio's
By Jonathan Levitt, Globe Correspondent  |  December 6, 2006

Santarpio's customers settle into the blue vinyl booths and feast on barbecue and pizza -- thin and crisp and served on battered metal trays -- every day, from noon to midnight. You can hear hoarse laughter from the regulars at the bar, some couples hum to Jimmy Roselli records on the jukebox, and neighborhood cops come in through the back door to pick up a few pies to go. The lights are dim, the ceilings low, and the walls covered with autographed photographs and classic fight posters.

The East Boston pizza house opened for business in 1903. Three Santarpio brothers came from Naples and began with a bread bakery. "They cooked for princes in Italy and had about a dozen kids each," says Lennie Timpone, 61, whose mother was a Santarpio, and who has worked here all his life.

These days fourth - generation sisters Carla Santarpio, 40, and Joia Santarpio, 33, and their 41-year old brother, Frank, run the place. Their dad, Frank Santarpio, and their older brother, Joseph Santarpio, retired two years ago and the younger siblings took over. "Joia is my godchild," says Timpone. "Now she's my boss."

The menu is simple: pizza, bread, and barbecue. Most days the sisters work the pizza oven, wait tables, and take phone orders. Frank goes back and forth between the bar and the oven, and Timpone bartends and sees to the back room butcher shop. He brews big pots of Maxwell House, rests his wristwatch and glasses on the meat grinder, switches on his little radio ("This time of year it's just Christmas songs," he says), and then spends hours breaking down pork butts and lamb forequarters for the barbecue skewers.

Every morning for 30 years, baker Glenn Carlton has baked the bread and mixed the pizza dough. The sisters come in around 9 and take over. "The dough is easy, it's just flour, water, yeast, and salt," says Carla. On a typical day they make up to 300 pies. For every pizza they pull a floppy ball of dough out of the proofer, press it down flat on the counter and stretch it hand over hand over hand until it's thin and round.

"Throwing the dough up in the air would just be all for show," says Carla.

They lay the discs of stretched dough, two at a time, on a wooden peel dusted with coarse cornmeal. They sprinkle on the toppings first, then the cheese (3 types of mozzarella mixed together) and finally the sauce.

"Most places do the exact opposite, but we think the toppings cook better on the bottom," says Carla. The sauce is just crushed tomatoes -- "They're the good ones, the same tomatoes that we put in the gravy at our Sunday night dinners at home," says Carla -- and dried herbs reduced together for a few hours over a low flame. Timpone says that people are always asking him for the sauce's secret ingredient. "When I tell them how simple it is , they think I'm lying," he says.

To finish, the pies get a drizzle of olive oil from an old Smirnoff Vodka bottle, then about 10 minutes in the 550-degree oven. Santarpio's had a brick pizza oven but got rid of it about 50 years ago. They're now on their second gas- powered Reed revolving tray oven from Kansas City. It has five shelves and can hold 40 pizzas at a time. "It's as hot as we need it to be, and I cook pizza just the way I like them -- nice and crunchy," says Joia.

During the day, the women take turns working the pizza station, then hand it over to various long time bakers. Whenever he has a chance, Timpone likes to get in front of the oven. "You never forget how to do it," he says. "I've been doing this since I was a little boy."

The neighborhood has changed a lot over the past few decades. "I remember when the whole area here used to be all coldwater flats and all the old ladies would get big blocks of ice delivered in sawdust," says Timpone. "Now the neighborhood people are gone, those days are gone. We're still crazy busy on the weekends and holidays but during the week it's quieter than it was in the old days."

Joia studied fashion design at Mount Ida College and Carla has a business degree from Suffolk University. Neither sister intended to work at Santarpio's full time. "My father never wanted this for us," says Joia. "It started as a summer job and something to do on the weekends, but that was 15 years ago. I'd be a fool to leave though. I make my own hours and I see my family every day. We're all like family here. If someone has a baby it's a big deal. If some one gets sick it's a big deal. I know most people don't have that at work. This place feels like home to us. It's what we know."

Santarpio's, 113 Chelsea St., East Boston, 617-567-9871,




Offline Arthur

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2006, 09:48:07 AM »
Just found this on the web (not my pictures):

http://www.savagesound.com/gallery70.htm

« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 02:11:06 PM by Arthur »

Offline Arthur

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2006, 09:55:04 AM »
And some more quotes on the history of pizza...

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#pizza

It was the Greeks!   Actually I'm sure pizza came from a derivative of matzoh but no one has proved that yet  ::)


Wait... had to modify this post:  http://www.verapizzanapoletana.org/vpn/history_pizza.html  (first paragraph)    I knew it!

With my Jewish and Italian heritage, that explains why my pizza midi-chlorian count is so high  ;D
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 10:06:38 AM by Arthur »

Offline canadave

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2006, 10:16:35 AM »
thehorse,

I understand that it is Dom's children who run DeMarco's. DeMarco's has been up and running for some time now but the reviews don't seem to parallel those for DiFara's. I don't know if it is true or not, but I read somewhere that Dom never goes to DeMarco's.

Peter

For what it's worth, I recently went back to my old neighbourhood in New York (and DeMarcos is a block away from where I lived).  I decided to stop in at DeMarcos to try it out, since I've never been to DiFaras and had heard so much about it.

I ate there twice, on different days.  I would rate the pizza both times as merely "okay."  It was way too goopy with the cheese (the pizzas were baked so hot that the cheese was thisclose to being a runny liquid), the sauce was good but not great, and the crust was rather bland and ordinary.  Add to that the fact that the pizza slices were way more expensive than comparable nearby pizzerias, and I have to confess I was underwhelmed.

Not saying DeMarcos was horrible or anything like that,  but it certainly wasn't anything special.  If I lived there still, I'd go to Ben's (my favourite pizzeria, just three blocks north of DeMarcos on MacDougal Street) or Joe's (my second favourite pizzeria, just two blocks northwest of DeMarcos...the outlet that's still open, not Giuseppe Vitale's famous "main" one that closed on Bleecker and Carmine) before I'd go to DeMarcos again.  In fact, I'd go to Pizza Box (my third favourite pizzeria, around the corner on Bleecker) before I'd go to DeMarcos.

--Dave
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 10:20:45 AM by canadave »

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2006, 12:24:08 PM »
And some more quotes on the history of pizza...

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpies.html#pizza

It was the Greeks!   Actually I'm sure pizza came from a derivative of matzoh but no one has proved that yet  ::)


Wait... had to modify this post:  http://www.verapizzanapoletana.org/vpn/history_pizza.html  (first paragraph)    I knew it!

With my Jewish and Italian heritage, that explains why my pizza midi-chlorian count is so high  ;D

Well if we talk about flat bread and leavened dough, then it all started 6000 years ago in Egypt.

But if we talk about a flat disk of dough topped with other ingredient (not even tomatoes), cooked on the floor of a domed wood burning oven in a very quick time, whilst the flame was burning in the same oven, Then IT WAS DEFINITELY NEAPOLITAN, no doubt about it.


Do not forget that earlier versions of flat bread were cooked in a different way.

Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2006, 12:58:23 PM »
Hi All,

I do have to step in here and make a comment regarding Santarpio's. I spent a number of years hanging out there before I wrote the Pizza Book, learning Joe Timpone's techniques for some of the greatest pizza around and talking to the family. The sisters even came to eat my pizza in NYC (I had a pizza on the menu called Santarpio's Best named for their place and an homage to Joe Timpone). Joe was the pizzaiolo at Santarpio's for 30-40 years until he passed away about 9-10 years ago (I'm not exactly sure what year he passed away). Any way, since it seems that some of the classic old time pizza families are trying to rewrite history to their commercial benefit, I will insert my original historical research which took place 30 years ago before being "first" or being the original became such a muddled affair. Santarpio's started out as a bakery, not as a pizzeria. It was converted to a pizzeria back in the 30's.

They may have made "fogatz" or sheetpan focaccia type pizza which was sold by the piece. In which case they would still not be the first as there were a number of Italian bakeries in NYC already producing that kind of "pizza" during the latter part of the 19th century. I mention this fact in the Pizza Book; bakery pizza predates pizzeria pizza in America.

I haven't been back to Santarpio's for a number of years, but it used to be one of my all time favorite pizzas and places to eat. I even feature "Italian BBQ" at my place very much like what I originally enjoyed at Santarpio's. They were my inspiration for adding that to my menu.

When I first started making pizza, Santarpio's was my main influence, but then I began to learn more about NYC pizza from Pete Castellotti at John's and finally my most influential mentors: Gerry Lombardi and Jerry Pero of Totonno's. This was back in the late s 70's. I became a follower of Joe Timpone around 1972, in fact, his pizza is what started my whole fanscination with the art of the pizzaiolo--right down to learning how to fold the paper hat he famously wore on his head from a brown paper bag. (Joe's trademark was the brown paper baker's hat he fashioned from a bag each day).


Evelyne


Offline SLICEofSLOMON

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2006, 01:05:41 PM »
Hi again,

I think I was a bit harsh on the Santarpio piece since the family has always been very up front about the bakery aspect of their operation. More than likely, the 1903 date was a mistake on the part of the writer. The bakery may have started then, but the pizzeria didn't come about until the 1930's.

Offline abatardi

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2006, 02:40:34 AM »

But if we talk about a flat disk of dough topped with other ingredient (not even tomatoes), cooked on the floor of a domed wood burning oven in a very quick time, whilst the flame was burning in the same oven, Then IT WAS DEFINITELY NEAPOLITAN, no doubt about it.


Marco just wondering what your source of information is for this comment and the one about (paraphrasing) "no true pizzaiolo ever coming from naples to NYC"... These are both events that happened a hundred years ago or more but you state them as fact.  If there's an accurate written history of all this somewhere that you could point me to I'd love to check it out.  Thanks in advance.

- aba

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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2006, 08:22:09 AM »
Marco just wondering what your source of information is for this comment and the one about (paraphrasing) "no true pizzaiolo ever coming from naples to NYC"... These are both events that happened a hundred years ago or more but you state them as fact.  If there's an accurate written history of all this somewhere that you could point me to I'd love to check it out.  Thanks in advance.

- aba



Abatardi,

I have been studying the subject Pizza Napoletana to most depth anyone possibly could, with books from 1600s all the way down to 2004. I cannot go in too much details on this forum and if you want to keep your reservation and believe to the fantasy that circulate on the English press, I respect your decision. What I can tell you is the following:

Regarding your first question, start with reading "6000 years of bread" by Jacob (something), which is a good summary in English. Flat breads were cooked on a heated stone, on  a side wall of an oven, or un-topped in some ovens and had all different shapes and sizes... Instead evidence of white pizza can be seen in Pompei (with a different form), up to exactly what they look like now AT LEAST 300 YEARS AGO in Naples.

about the second question,True Neapolitan Pizzeria were only present in an Area that goes (for whoever knows Naples) from where it is now the National Museum (Pompeii artifacts) to the Old "Piazza Mercato". Only 12 families were operating pizzerias up to around 1940, they were all related and owned an estimated 80-100 pizzerias all together. None of them ever emigrated... and if you study from any source were the people that actually emigrated come from and what they were doing back there you can easily find this out. Match that to the way they made pizza in the States... 1+1=2. As far as I am concern, it should be the way around, I mean they should prove that they ever worked in Naples in a  Pizzeria. I did mention few points in another post, but the discussion then moved away....

All the bibliography, and exact references and data will be soon or later published, I can assure you about that.

I can also add that a well respected member of this forum, in private has demonstrated that he is at least directed to the relevant good information sources. He has at least identified 1 or 2 relevant writers and he is trying a way to go around the Language barrier. I can assure you as well that apart of "6000 years of bread" (which doesn't anyway cover Pizza in great details) there is not a complete reference on the subject in English (at least not yet)..

Have a good day

Offline abatardi

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2006, 04:33:15 PM »
Well that answers my question that it was at least a possibility.  80-100 pizzerias.. how many people might've worked there over the years, not one emigrated?  He may not be what you call a "true pizzaiolo" but come on... 1+1 does not always equal 2.  You have to at least concede that the "way they made pizza" here was due almost entirely due to the fact that they were in a completely different country..  none of the same ingredients, supplies, etc.  They wouldn't have even been able to get wood reliably for an oven in NYC, hence the use of coal.  Of course the way they made pizza was different.

Anyway, you answered my question and I'll try to find a copy of that book.  Thanks.

- aba



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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2006, 05:07:41 PM »
Abatardi,

80-100 pizzeria at around 1940... not in 1895 or before

People working there were mostly family members or close apprentices. People making the dough were (and still are) ONLY the master pizzamaker. They would not have had the need for emigrate. There are a lot of evidences, in this case 1+1=2. There is a picture on the net, of all the staff outside a notorious pizzeria in 1860-80... All the people in the white coat (Pizzaioli) were all mature and/or old.  The only 2 kids were in plain cloths, as I have already explained in the post to Evelyn....

As I said a respected historian and pizza expert has reached the same conclusion through his study (not related to mine and I only met him lately, way after I concluded my research), virtually no pizzeria was opened abroad by true pizzamkers and this still happens today, in US as well as everywhere else (in UK is full of examples).

Again, I am not going to argue with you. I quite confident about my statements and is not about challenging 1+1=2... You will see when the proper material will be published...

Good evening

Again those emigrants were most probably farmers and home bakers...

Offline abatardi

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2006, 05:40:20 PM »
Again, I am not going to argue with you. I quite confident about my statements and is not about challenging 1+1=2... You will see when the proper material will be published...

Well, been waiting on that for about a year... :-P  Do you have a date?

- aba
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2006, 05:50:56 PM »
No date, it could be tomorrow or 2 years....

Offline PIGMON

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2006, 10:45:29 AM »
Spacca Napoli is an interesting case in point. They do have a proper Neapolitan oven which bakes a pie in 40 or so seconds. But things rapidly deviate from what I have come to understand as authentic from there. They have a diving arm mixer which is second best apparently. They have imported an Italian pizzaiola vs a Neapolitan one. Consequently they are not using some of the authentic ancient dough methods I have read about here from pizzanapoletana (which have subsequently been largely deleted for some reason). They do not use wild yeast consequently their crust is devoid of any substantial flavor. Their bufala soaks the middle of their unsliced Margherita. Adding all that up, they still produce a pie which kills UPN but not one which I would say is truly authentic. But since I have never eaten an authentic pie, all my points are opinions at best.

Being a pizza neophyte and a relative newcomer here, I'm not sure I have all my facts down straight. But if you are talking about Spacca Napoli in Chicago versus Una Pizza Nepoletana in New York, I don't think I could disagree more. Jonathon Goldsmith, the owner of Spacca Napoli will flat out tell you that he is at the start of a long path to discovering how to make his ideal Neapolitan pizza. He is an enthusiastic newcomer with amazing drive and a passion to make the most authentic and best pies possible. However, his pizza is a far cry from the ones I've had at UPN, strictly on taste alone and NOT on anything dealing with the pizza's authenticity. Spacca's ingredients, IMO, are a long way from what Mangieri is serving up at UPN, regardless of where they come from. If authenticity is the main criteria here, then disregard anything I've written. My main point is that, regardless of how it's made, UPN makes significantly better bread (crust) than Spacca Napoli.
Some have suggested above that UPN has recently been going downhill and since I haven't eaten there since last May, I can't comment on that. But it would have had to really tank to have gotten to Spacca Napoli's very respectable level, just based on the flavor of the crust alone.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2006, 11:10:10 AM by PIGMON »


Offline pftaylor

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2006, 10:00:22 AM »
PIGMON,
Thanks for sharing your opinion.

My opinion about why Spacca Napoli is demonstrably superior than UPN is based solely upon my very recent eating experiences at both establishments. I think the real difference may be that Jonathan is trying to improve his product every single day and Anthony is just showing up these days keeping everything status quo. Perhaps UPN was pumping out better pies last year. I can't comment on a comparison for last year, as I could never catch UPN when it was open.

This year however, in my opinion, it is not even close. Not only has Spacca Napoli caught and surpassed UPN but so has Sumeri at Settebello Pizzeria and Charlie at Naples 45 has as well.

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Offline bakerbill

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2006, 07:09:58 PM »
I would be interested a NYC get together.

bakerbill

Offline scpizza

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2006, 06:05:55 PM »
I vote for a 2007 Home Pizza Making Pizzaiolo Conference in New York - (Don't worry Marco, 2008 will be in Italy).  Pick a weekend and we can all meet at Luzzo's/UPN/etc. and discuss.  Maybe even rent out a kitchen for a day. 

This strikes me as a brilliant idea.  We do need a kitchen with pizza oven for the day.  Luzzo's is closed on Mondays.  UPN closed Monday and Tuesday.  UPN has the better oven IMO.  If we can get 10 people to attend and each pitch in $50 we can hopefully rent the place for the day along with a sack of Caputo.

I'm thinking each person could lecture and demonstrate his dough making procedure in 15 minutes and bring some already made dough to lecture and demonstrate their pizza making procedure in 15 minutes.  Total time with breaks about 6 hours, tasting pizza all the way.






Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2006, 08:27:27 AM »
Quote
This strikes me as a brilliant idea.  We do need a kitchen with pizza oven for the day.  Luzzo's is closed on Mondays.  UPN closed Monday and Tuesday.  UPN has the better oven IMO.  If we can get 10 people to attend and each pitch in $50 we can hopefully rent the place for the day along with a sack of Caputo.

I'm thinking each person could lecture and demonstrate his dough making procedure in 15 minutes and bring some already made dough to lecture and demonstrate their pizza making procedure in 15 minutes.  Total time with breaks about 6 hours, tasting pizza all the way.

If you can pull this off, I'm in.

---Guy
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2006, 10:48:32 AM »
I like to watch.... And eat. Keep me posted on this I'm in as well.

Offline mivler

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Re: Pizza Napoletana in NYC
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2007, 07:41:28 AM »
I'm interested in watching and eating too.


 

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