Neapolitan pizza originated in Italy and is prepared with only simple and fresh ingredients. Neapolitan is a unique style that is very different than the average American-style pizza. Continue reading to learn more about the history of Neapolitan pizza and how it’s made!
As mentioned above, Neapolitan pizza is only made with simple, fresh ingredients, including basic dough, raw tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and olive oil. Other toppings that we find in America are not allowed on this style. Another defining characteristic is that the pizza typically has more sauce than cheese, which makes it difficult to serve by the slice. Instead, Neapolitan pizzas are often smaller and closer to a personal-sized pizza. Also, the pizza is cooked at an extremely high temperature, usually 800 to 900 degrees F, for under 90 seconds.
The version of pizza that we know today was invented in Naples. Before the 1700s, they did eat flatbreads, but since they were never topped with tomatoes, they didn’t have the defining characteristics of a pizza. Tomatoes were brought to Europe in the 16th century, but the Europeans believed they were poisonous until the late 18th century. It was then that they began to top flatbreads with tomatoes in Naples, and the dish became extremely popular.
Raffaele Esposito, a baker at a Naples pizzeria, is credited with creating Margherita pizza, made with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Today, this is now known as the classic Neapolitan pizza!
There are certain requirements that a pizza must have to be considered an authentic Neapolitan pizza. In fact, The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, founded in 1984 in Naples, certifies pizzerias that use the proper artisan traditions of authentic Neapolitan pizza. The first requirement is the crust; it must be made with highly refined Italian type 0 or 00 wheat flour, Neapolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast, water, and salt. It also must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer but must be formed by hand without a rolling pin.
Next, the dough must be topped with raw, pureed San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. For mozzarella cheese, there are only two options- fior di latte made from cow’s milk, or mozzarella di Bufala, made from water buffalo milk. The Neapolitan pizza must then be topped with all-natural and fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Lastly, the pizza must only be baked for 60-90 seconds at a minimum of 800 degrees F stone oven with a wood fire.
Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli
Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!
Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!