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Neapolitan Pizza Guidelines [split from LA]

Porthos Apr 23, 2011 09:23 PM

(Note: This thread was split from the LA board at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5786... -- The Chowhound Team)

Real Mozzarella doesn't make great pizza. It doesn't merge with the crust; instead, it ends up in gloopy flat balls. That's why you don't see a whole lot of Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples

=======================================================

Just trying to inject a little fact into this horribly incorrect statement. Over the past few years, NYC and SF have undergone a neapolitan pizza renaissance. In NYC, Una Pizza Napoleatana started the craze and now you have the likes of Motorino and Keste amongst many others. Lombardi's, the oldest pizzeria in the US, has been using real mozzarella since the beginning of US pizza history. In SF, A16 kicked off the west coast Neapolitan pizza movement and was quickly joined by Pizzeria Delfina and now Una Pizza Napoleatana (having moved from NYC). LA, was slow on the uptake, but now Pizzeria Ortica, Pizza e Vino, and Antica Pizzeria are making neapolitan pies in socal.

Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona, what some consider the best pizza in the US of A, uses fresh mozzarella on their pies. Keste and Motorino; A16 and Delfina are all contenders for top pizza in their respective cities. I would venture to say that many people like neapolitan style pizza and fresh mozzarella on their pies.

The statements that "you don't see a whole lot of Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples" or that "real Mozzarella doesn't make great pizza" couldn't be further from reality and is just embarassingly wrong. It's just that LA is a bit slower in appreciating the neapolitan pie--often confusing the wet center for being "uncooked" or "raw". Just like you'll hear complaints that traditional edomae sushi isn't "juicy" enough because it doesn't have enough ponzu sauce a la Sasabune. Sad.

-----
Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Sasabune
12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

  1. a
    apple7blue Apr 24, 2011 10:28 AM

    The wet center is from the uneven distribution of the dough. They toss and spin it--so the dough density is on the edges. Stop talking smack on LA ("slow on the uptake" lol)--we hava had Neapolitan pizzerias for awhile--some opening and closing long ago. A truly talented pizzer maker can avoid the wet center. Because the thinness of the crust of this style of pizza--you should be judicious with ingredients. Also, Bollini's on Garfield--they roll their dough to even out the distribution. Their chef trained in Naples himself.

    Sushiegirl is entitled to her opinions--and I'd say most Americans agree with her idea of a great pizza. I disagree with her and agree with you--and I like buffalo milk Mozzarella balls as a topping, though I am not averse to traditional American shredded mozzarella also. I also like Neapolitan pizzas. Though I also like classic NY, Chicago fat style, etceteras.

    16 Replies
    1. re: apple7blue
      Porthos Apr 24, 2011 01:22 PM

      Apple7. Let's be clear. I am not criticizing Sushiegirl's opinion. An opinion would sound something like this: "I do not like fresh mozzarella on my pizza" or "I do not like neapolitan pizza". What she actually said was:

      1. Real mozzarella does not make great pizza
      2. You don't see a whole lot of Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples

      I gave examples of at least 10 pizzerias in 4 different cities in the US serving great neapolitan style pizza using real mozzarella, proving that what she said was incorrect when considering the facts.

      With regards to your statement "A truly talented pizzer maker can avoid the wet center." That is exactly what I mean by LA being slow on the uptake. The wet center is not reflective of the skill of a pizza maker. It's reflective of the style of pizza. That's the way it's supposed to be when correctly made. There's no need to "fix" it. It would be like complaining that the sushi at Mori or Urasawa doesn't have enough sriracha or mayo or ponzu sauce on it because that's what LA is used to. NYMag even wrote an article describing how to eat this strange, new yet old style pizza, wet center and all because that's the way neapolitan style pizza is supposed to be:

      http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeat...

      1. re: Porthos
        westsidegal Apr 25, 2011 10:15 PM

        Porthos:
        +1 on everything you said

        1. re: Porthos
          a
          apple7blue May 2, 2011 12:36 PM

          So you are saying that what she writes is not her opinion? I don't think you quite got the idea of posting. Considering the facts that in a country of 300 million with like over 70,000 pizzerias at official count, 10 or even 70 is not a whole lot--so you just proved her correct.

          I guess Naples is also slow on the uptake, because the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana would expect you not to make a soggy centered pizza. epop mentions Antica--and we now have two Antica named pizzerias in Los Angeles. I have never had a soggy centered pizza from both, and would not relish it. One of those pizzerias actually teaches American courses of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

          NY Mag is not my bible on food matters also.

          1. re: apple7blue
            Porthos May 2, 2011 03:34 PM

            Please provide evidence where the AVPN says an authentic Neapolitan style pizza does not have a wet center and states that real mozzarella should not be used.

            The examples I provided are considered the best in each city. Your 70k pizzerias you cite is mostly Papa Johns and Pizza Hut and has little bearing on what is considered quality pizza. Using that logic, we should crown McDonalds as the epitome of a good burger.

            NYMag is not a bible for pizza. It only highlights the common misconceptions and misperceptions surrounding Neapolitan style pizza.

            I am not saying Neapolitan style pizza is the king of all pizzas. I like the pizza at Mozza and it's clearly not Neapolitan pizza. I am highlighting that statements made by sushigirlie regarding real mozzarella and Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples is fiction not fact.

            1. re: Porthos
              b
              baloney May 3, 2011 08:04 AM

              Word, Porthos.

              BTW, I love how you're still taking the time to post in the LA boards while you are still in Paris! I'm doing the same, does that mean there's something wrong with us?

              1. re: baloney
                Porthos May 4, 2011 06:25 AM

                Jetlag. Waking up at 6am if I'm lucky.

                How's Paris treating you?

              2. re: Porthos
                a
                apple7blue May 5, 2011 04:42 AM

                Okay, I am going to take the time to fully respond to your post with reference to your previous posts in this bit of the thread. Please take the time to read and consider my posts before responding, because this is what I am doing. Thank you. For others, there are Los Angeles tidbits below, besides just what a Neapolitan pizza consists of.

                I will not provide evidence that "the AVPN says an authentic Neapolitan style pizza does not have a wet center and states that real mozzarella should not be used." I would quote my whole post to prove this, but anyone can read or re-read the post and see that I never wrote that Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana "states that real mozzarella should not be used". I do not know what your motivations for creating this red herring/straw man are, but also logically fallacious is that I should prove "the AVPN says an authentic Neapolitan style pizza does not have a wet center ".

                If as you say, "The wet center is [. . .] reflective of the style of pizza. That's the way it's supposed to be when correctly made.", then Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana would proclaim that. Surely, a quality so reflective and vital would be mentioned on the international website http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/ or the American website http://www.verapizzanapoletana.org/. Nor does the other major Neapolitan pizza organization, L'Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani http://www.pizzaiuolinapoletani.it mention a wet center. They would proclaim that “Our storied ‘pizze vera napoletana’ have the traditional wet soggy centers.” The fact is in this bit of the thread no one has decried or complimented the wet soggy centers of Neapolitan pizza except you—another red herring/straw man. In fact, sushigirlie decries “the crispy crust”—but she is not even describing Neapolitan pizza. She described Mozza and Gjelina pizza with this characteristic crust.

                On a Los Angeles board, you proclaim, “It's just that LA is a bit slower in appreciating the Neapolitan pie” and also that “LA being slow on the uptake”. I, as a Los Angelino and Southern Californian, take umbrage to that. Pizza vera napoletana or true (authentic) Neapolitan pizza does not have a wet soggy center. If you do not appreciate LA, then maybe Naples will convince you. Pizza Napoletana actually has legal status in the European Union. Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana made legal application and were successful in having Pizza Napoletana gain TSG (traditional specialities guaranteed) trademark status. You can read their application at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:040:0017:0025:EN:PDF and the actual regulation at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/L...

                For such a reflective characteristic, the wet center is not mentioned even once. The only objections to the regulation were from Germany and Poland over concerns of their wheat production being at disadvantage—not because a wet center wasn’t mentioned. The regulation does mention, “‘Pizza Napoletana’ TSG is a round product baked in the oven with a variable diameter not exceeding 35 cm and a raised rim and the central part is garnished. The central part is 0,4 cm thick, with a tolerance of ± 10 %, and the rim is 1-2 cm thick. The overall pizza must be tender, elastic and easily foldable into four.” I would just end up quoting much of the regulation to settle this—but to summarize a moist dough is not expected, the water from the tomatoes must cook off (albeit leaving the tomatoes remaining compact and solid), and a quote that settles this definitively: “All these specific characteristics create the phenomena of the air chamber and the appearance of the final product, the ‘Pizza Napoletana’, which is indeed soft and compact; has a raised rim, is raised in the centre, is particularly soft and easily foldable into four. It is important to stress that all other similar products obtained using preparation processes different to that described cannot obtain the same visual and organoleleptic characteristics as those of the ‘Pizza Napoletana’.”

                If the center was wet, how could it be “raised in the centre”? The sogginess would cause it to sag. If you folded such a pizza, and ate it from the rim—a hole would occur and the pizza contents would fall out. It is an insult to claim that Neapolitan pizza has a wet soggy center. Maybe you are still unconvinced; check out Why Italians Love to Talk About Food By Umberto Eco, his Russian born (20 years in Italy) translator Elena Kostioukovitch, Anne Milano Appel, and Carol Field. They distinctly describe the difference between “[w]hat an authentic Neapolitan… connoisseur calls pizza [as] a fine work of art” versus pizza “outside of the confines of Naples . . . bring[ing] to mind a soggy, wobbly dough, soaked in oil.”

                Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana was founded by Antonio Pace in 1984 to affirm the tradition. His family ran the pizzerias (one at the city center and one at the waterfront) Ciro’s. The Neapolitan pizza from Ciro is described in Savory Baking from the Mediterranean: Focaccias, Flatbreads, Rusks, Tarts, and Other Breads by Anissa Helou. She describes her experience of, “one of the best pizzas [she] has had ever had”. Anissa reports, “Another amazing thing about the pizza at Ciro’s was that not one bit of it went soggy before I finished it. . . . This is how any self-respecting Neapolitan eats his or her pizza.”

                Sushigirlie did criticize the mozzarella of Neapolitan pizza—she said it was not bad but not great either declaring her preference for the kind of “comforting cheese” on pies at Zelo’s, her choice for the best pizza in LA, and Tomato Pie’s, which she describes as delicious. This is clearly her opinion and preference. I am and was confused by what both of you refer to as real mozzarella. Cow milk low moisture mozzarella produced in California is also real mozzarella to me. The fact is real Neapolitan pizza could be missing any cheese at all—marinara pizza from Napoli has no cheese on it. The trademarked TSG of pizze vera napoletana by the EU as proposed by Napoli’s pizza organizations like VPN includes both cow milk mozzarella and buffalo milk mozzarella. Like jsaras described—mozzarella cooked properly tastes incredible; I agree it’s better than highly processed cheese. I love the Abbot Pizza mozzarella also—it isn’t the mozzarella balls you both seem to be describing.

                You began this by taking an isolated quote of sushigirlie. The fact is that I vehemently disagree with her opinion of pizza. I just think she is entitled to an opinion of what she things great pizza is. The first part of the quote is clearly her preference and opinion. You said you were “trying to inject a little fact into this horribly incorrect statement”. The second part of the quote was a statement of fact—and in actual fact she is correct. You don’t see many Neapolitan pizzerias outside of Naples. I don’t think she said many people don’t like fresh mozzarella on their pizza or Neapolitan style pizza. She said that most people prefer pizza that isn’t Neapolitan. Dollar for dollar, she is correct. People vote with their money. American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza by Peter Reinhart describes it best: “While the true Napoletana pizza is held to be the purest and highest expression, it is not the most popular style in the United States. The cognoscenti may support a great Napoletana-style pizzeria, as they do in Phoenix with Pizzeria Bianco, but mass-produced pizzas laden with cheese and other toppings remain ubiquitous because people buy them.”

                You tried to claim that what sushigirlie wrote was not her opinion because she didn’t use the 1st person narrative. You said she was factually incorrect because you mentioned 10 Neapolitan pizzerias, and I pointed out that most pizzas sold and pizzerias are not Neapolitan—proving her correct consider the facts. You tried to obfuscate this by claiming that I was somehow arguing for the logic that McDonald’s is the best. I clearly posted, “I think also sushiegirl [sic] is kinda right about taste preferences--from what I understood she said. Then again most pizzerias in this country are like Domino's and disgusting chains.”

                I am going to stop trying to explain what she said, but I clearly can differentiate between statements of facts and opinion. Clearly, by the size of this whole thread, not just this little bit—what is considered the best pizza is not a statement of fact, but one of opinion and preference. They aren’t really “my” 70k pizzerias. As a statement of fact, you are saying we should discount the x amount of pizzerias from deciding whether there are many Neapolitan pizzerias outside of Naples. (By the way, there are about 5000 pizzerias in Naples—using only this figure as a basis, there are very few Neapolitan pizzerias outside of Naples; putting aside just the x number of pizzerias in the US--let alone the world.) It is your own logic that the numbers of people who enjoy a pizza make it a quality pizza. “I would venture to say that many people like neapolitan style pizza and fresh mozzarella on their pies.”, was followed after you described the best and top contenders of pizzerias.

                Just to clarify, the 2010 Pizza Power Report by PMQ Pizza Magazine reports that “Independents own 58% of pizzerias and control 51.66% of the sales. . . . The top 50 pizza chains own 42% of pizzerias and control 48.34% of the sales. . . . The Big Four is still comprised of Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s and Little Caesars.” They make up just a little more than 27% of the pizzerias out there. I have a larger count of pizzerias (compared to 64,951 in the report “Combining the 64,042 from InfoUSA and the 65,859 from NPD Group, we get an average of 64,951 units.”) because I used 2008 forecasts (which had “a count of 68,992 at the end of 2008” and a prediction of growth not loss) and added chains like Il Fornaio, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, and other such restaurants that serve pizzas also. We are, supposedly, after all discussing facts. Clearly, these pizzerias are not mostly Pizza Hut and Papa John’s like you claim, though I would agree that the majority of them aren’t great. I never claimed that it had bearing on what is considered quality pizza. I clearly in fact disagreed with that rationale. If anyone made that sort of argument, I‘d say it was you and sushigirlie.

                Also, your narrative of Neapolitan pizza in the US, decrying LA, is riddled with factual errors that create a completely fictional history. Peppe Miele opened his Trattoria on 3rd Street in Los Angeles in 1986. You may note that is 2 years after VPN was founded. He served Neapolitan cuisine. Early on, he decided to add authentic Neapolitan pizza, a sign proclaimed “Vera Pizza Napoletana”, to his menu. The pizza was so successful that he opened Antica Pizzeria next door in 1992. In 1997, he opened a second (the current) Antica Pizzeria in Marina Del Rey. A16, which you say, “kicked off the west coast Neapolitan pizza movement”, began in February of 2004. You claim that Una Pizza Napoletana “started the craze” of “a neapolitan pizza renaissance” “[i]n NYC”. Una Pizza Napoletana began in NYC in October of 2004. Though in New Jersey, Tony Mangieri started his pizzeria in 1996--3 years after he opened his Neapolitan bakery, Sant Arsenio. I don’t know if he served pizza in his bakery, but I assume not from speaking with him.

                Regardless, Peppe Miele’s Antica Pizzeria with “Vera Pizza Napoletana” was opened a full four years before Una Pizza Napoletana opened its doors. Antica Pizzeria is the American center of VPN. While according to your precious NY Mag: “Mangieri, for his part, isn’t bothered by the charges that his is an inaccurate representation of the motherland. He’s over Naples, he says. “The best pizza I had there is as good as my pizza on a mediocre day. On a really good day, the pizza I make here blows away anything made in Naples.” He takes a pause. “And it breaks my heart.” ” Make of that, what you will.

                The fact is that Los Angeles is not some insultingly slow-on-the-uptake food scene where Neapolitan pizza is some late addition brought to us by some food elite from NY or San Francisco. Besides the authentic pizza at Antica Pizza and what we have now, places have come and gone here. You could have got Roman pizza from Alto Palato by the late Mauro V. Vincenti. In early Hollywood, an authentic Neapolitan restaurant where they served Neapolitan pizza was around—this was the heyday of Hollywood’s favoring of fried chicken, and the restaurant had to change to accommodate the tastes of its clientele. Guys like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin convinced a popular New York restaurateur to open a LA restaurant for his bi-coastal Hollywood clients. I cannot recall his name or find my book with his name. Anyway, they were fans of authentic Neapolitan pizza, and that restaurant served it. Most of this was before my time and only gleaned from reading; I like most LA Chowhounds pick up the scents of good food and am not slow on the uptake.

                I said that NY Mag is not a bible on food matters let alone pizza matters. In jest, I was saying that I don’t rely on NY Mag to “[highlight] the common misconceptions and misperceptions surrounding Neapolitan style pizza”. On what authority could it do that? On the article, you cite, they rely on Tony May for their information. Tony May may well be perfectly good NY restaurateur. I would prefer to rely on Peppe Miele, godfather of America’s VPN, in Los Angeles over him.

                I was going to suggest you take some classes at Antica Pizzeria about vere pizze Napoletana if you wanted evidence that Neapolitan pizza doesn’t have a soggy wet center. However, I read you were in Paris and given your disdain for us slow on the uptake Los Angelinos, take it from the horse’s mouth for less than 80 Euros roundtrip you can fly to Naples on Easyjet and go to Ciro yourself or take a course on making true Neapolitan pies.

                I am not even going to respond to what you describe as LA’s sushi tastes, because I personally am not a sushi connoisseur. I think it’s just another diss on LA, and irrelevant to what makes good pizza or what is the best pizza in LA.

                If you want to disagree with sushigirlie about her opinion of pizza, go ahead and do so—but don’t claim you are all about facts, especially when your facts are wrong. Most importantly, don’t claim that LA is slow on the uptake especially regarding the food scene or Neapolitan pizza—that “just couldn't be further from reality and is just [embarrassingly] wrong.”

                -----
                Vincenti Restaurant
                11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                Napoli
                1815 Hawthorne Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

                American Pie
                19216 Normandie Ave, Torrance, CA 90502

                Gjelina
                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                1. re: apple7blue
                  Porthos May 5, 2011 09:41 AM

                  Very informative post and excellent recap of pizza history. I mean that honestly. However my comment was "It's just that LA is a bit slower in appreciating the neapolitan pie--often confusing the wet center for being "uncooked' or 'raw'. I did not mean to imply who had the first Neapolitan style pizza. Meaning it has not been embraced by this city the way other cities have embraced the Neapolitan pie.

                  I apologize for the perceived strawman argument. Since you brought up AVPN I used it as a perfect moment to counter sushigirlie's comment that real mozzarella does not make good pizza.

                  Finally, I agree that real Neapolitan style pizza should not be soggy. I have been careful to use wet and not soggy. You will see many people here call the appropriately wet center "soggy" or " raw". That is what I mean my misperceptions of a Neapolitan style pizza. Again, great post, but the lack of a Neapolitan style pizza boom here in LA is proof of what I'm saying.

                  1. re: apple7blue
                    Mr Taster May 5, 2011 11:56 AM

                    Thank you for this, apple7blue. Excellent, thoughtful posts like this are the very reason why Chowhound stands out as being exceptional.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: apple7blue
                      Porthos May 5, 2011 01:57 PM

                      FYI. No neapolitan style pizza I've had has had a "raised center" be it in Naples, NYC, SF, or LA. It is physically impossible especially on a marghertia given the thin center and the tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella in and around the center. Since you cite Peppe Miele as your "bible" feel free to reference yelp photos. You will see a very nicely raised crust or "lip" but no such thing as a "raised" center. He probably means during the baking process...which means you can't really extrapolate what that means to the consistency of the crust when it is at your table. Feel free to dig up old A16 threads from SF. I had the same discussion with Robert Lauriston regarding a wet center. Except in that discussion I was defending your position. If memory serves me correctly, someone from Naples joined in the discussion supporting said wet and chewy center. What changed? More experience with Neapolitan pizza.

                      As for taking umbrage at my pizza comment. Each city has it's own strength. No one gets upset at crowning LA best for nearly every category of asian and mexican. The sushi scene easily outpaces SF but at the highest level is probably a notch below NYC. French and Italian go to NYC. SF does cal cuisine amazingly well and at a ridiculously affordable price point. It's what makes each city unique and it's why when you visit NYC you do Italian and French and not Asian or Mexican. You don't come to LA for pizza, you come here for ethnic food plus or minus sushi and ramen depending on if you're from SF or NYC.

                      As for your Sinatra reference you may be thinking about the owner of one of the Patsy's. Both the midtown and spanish harlem Patsy's claim to have special delivered Sinatra pizza via chartered plane.

                      1. re: apple7blue
                        Porthos Jul 29, 2011 08:54 PM

                        If the center was wet, how could it be “raised in the centre”? The sogginess would cause it to sag. If you folded such a pizza, and ate it from the rim—a hole would occur and the pizza contents would fall out. It is an insult to claim that Neapolitan pizza has a wet soggy center.
                        ========================================
                        See Tony Bourdain's recent episode in Naples. There is good 60 seconds of footage that shows very clearly what people are referring to when they say wet center. See footage from 00:25-1:20.

                        http://www.travelchannel.com/Video/re...

                2. re: apple7blue
                  Porthos May 5, 2011 08:58 PM

                  The wet center is from the uneven distribution of the dough.

                  Bollini's on Garfield--they roll their dough to even out the distribution. Their chef trained in Naples himself.
                  =================================
                  See your own excellent post regarding requirements for a Neapolitan pizza with the center being 0.4cm +/- 10% and edges being 1-2 cm. The uneven distribution being a hallmark of the pie. Even distribution achieved by rolling would therefor not be considered authentic. Napoli trained or not.

                  Lastly, let's assume for the sake of argument, Antica Pizzeria is the final word on Neapolitan pie. Now go on Yelp and you'll find more than one reference to a "soggy" crust. Is that not the misperception I am referring to? The most common complaint regarding Neapolitan pies is that it's soggy be it Antica or Ortica. So, the question is, is the crust really soggy or is it the appropriately thin wet center people are calling soggy because they don't know better?

                  1. re: Porthos
                    Mr Taster May 6, 2011 01:56 PM

                    See your own excellent post regarding requirements for a Neapolitan pizza with the center being 0.4cm +/- 10% and edges being 1-2 cm. The uneven distribution being a hallmark of the pie. Even distribution achieved by rolling would therefor not be considered authentic. Napoli trained or not.
                    -------------------------------

                    I don't read it that way at all.

                    +/- 10% doesn't mean that the thickness of the dough is allowed to swing as much as 20% on the same pie (not counting crust edge, of course). It means that the dough's thickness can be rolled out (uniformly) from 0.36 - 0.44 cm and still fall within the certification guidelines as set by the AVPN.

                    The intent of this is to ensure that a Chicago-y thick crusted pizza (or a saltine-thin pie) could never be called Neapolitan.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster
                      Porthos May 6, 2011 02:51 PM

                      It means that the dough's thickness can be rolled out (uniformly) from 0.36 - 0.44 cm and still fall within the certification guidelines
                      ==============================
                      This is the perfect example of how theory in a vaccum can cause confusion. Neapolitan pizza crust is formed by hand, not using a rolling pin (quick google search will confirm this many times over). Rolling a pie crust would just cause uniform distribution of dough which is not the goal. Again, the goal is to distribute the dough so it is thin in the middle and thicker around the edges (definition of uneven). The raised lip and thin center being hallmarks of the Neapolitan pie. In fact it is the hand formed crust with variable pockets that hold variable amounts of sauce here and there that make it so enjoyable.

                      1. re: Porthos
                        Mr Taster May 6, 2011 04:33 PM

                        OK, I don't know what I was thinking. Of course pizza dough isn't rolled out.

                        But the artistry behind a great dough recipe is not just the flavor, but the elasticity of the dough. And the artistry of the pizzaiolo is his ability to use that elasticity to stretch out a beautifully even, thin crust.

                        That doesn't mean the pizza is made with exact, uniform precision (there are Italians, not Germans after all!). It also doesn't mean that the pizza is clumsily or hastily assembled, so that one bites into unevenly distributed chunks of dough as your 20% swing would indicate.

                        There's an artistry to making sure that the uneven dough is even enough, and the rustic, uneven appearance is lovingly cultivated.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster
                          Porthos May 6, 2011 10:32 PM

                          so that one bites into unevenly distributed chunks of dough as your 20% swing would indicate.
                          ===================
                          It's not mine 20%. You made that jump somehow after I quoted apple7blue's specs regarding crust thickness. I've always said thin in the middle thick on the edges. Center is wet but not soggy. But people tend to mistake appropriately wet center for soggy. Fresh mozzarella makes for a delicious pizza. Neapolitan pie is found outside of Naples...much more in NYC and SF than in LA.

                          That pretty much sums it all. Now let's go eat some pies at Antica Pizzeria, Ortica, and Pizza e Vino shall we?

                3. e
                  epop Apr 25, 2011 04:50 PM

                  I think Antica has been here longer than the others have been in SF but I've never had pizza as great as Delfina. Their margherita was totally disappointing, however.
                  I'd love to see many more such places in town.

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