CHIAVARI, Italy – Ahhh, Naples, the Mecca of Pizzalandia. It’s a place where they take their food very seriously. So seriously they even got the European Union to pass a law stipulating how a pizza must be made, and what it must be made of in order to be called a Neapolitan pizza. Pizza Neapolitan Style The number one qualifier is the crust; it has to be soft and light. To get to that quality of texture the dough must be made the day before and allowed to rise for at least 10 - 15 hours. Then it’s up to the pizzaioli, or pizzaiuoli in Neapolitan dialect, to work his magic. It is a craft that must be learned. In most cases it takes at least two to three years of apprenticeship just to learn how to handle the dough. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Neapolitan pizza is not finger food. The centers are goopy, slightly undercooked, and you need a knife and fork to eat it. Pizza served in Italian pizzerias are about 8 or 9 inches across, individual size, and even if they don’t have a goopy center Neapolitan style, you still eat them with a knife and fork. The only pizza you pick up and eat is the pizza you buy on the street. And even then, it comes wrapped in paper so your hands never have to touch the slice. (more...)