Every single person in the world must have had faced the notion of “pizza”, however the glorious concept of “Neapolitan pizza” is still unfamiliar to most of us. And remember, that this is where it all started!
In May, I decided to visit a motherland of a one true and original Neapolitan pizza. In a second, I will present you the best pizzerias in Naples, and in the next article you will find a short description of my meeting with Gino Sorbillo – worlds champion of pizza making. Moreover, I will describe what I’ve experienced at the most beautiful event – Pizza Festival. But before we rush to those, let me finally explain you, what Neapolitan pizza truly is.
NEAPOLITAN PIZZA… SO?
Not longer than a couple of years ago, the concept of Neapolitan pizza what something utterly exotic for Polish people. Poles used to believe that the original, “Italian” pizza should be based on thin and crispy crust. As a matter of fact, that is not true, as Italy presents a whole variety of different pizza types.
I don’t think I can list how many times I’ve faced negative and completely unfair opinions on Neapolitan pizza in Poland, saying that such “wet” and “burnt” crust with a droopy centre can not be named as a “pizza”. And of course, vast majority of customers complained on the lack of their beloved garlic sauce.
Despite this awkward situations based on the certain lack of knowledge of polish society, Neapolitan pizza is starting to rule culinary market in Poland, resulting in slight increase of awareness (for example: look at my IG followers)!
TAKE PIZZA SERIOUSLY
Let’s, once and for all, explain what neapolitan pizza really is! To make it easier and more clear I will use the Decalogue to recognize the true Neapolitan Pizza, that was created by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana – a group of Neapolitan pizza masters, that after observing certain disturbing ways of “development” of their beloved dish, has decided to create a collection of requirements that a pizza must meet, to gain the title of “Neapolitan”. As they believe:
We are fighting nobody, we just want to affirm our ancient traditions. We are against the cultural and commercial deformation of our pizza and against its industrialization; in fact, the ready-to-eat and frozen pizzas sold in supermarkets have nothing to do with the original ones.
Here are some of their rules:
1.Pizza is an artisanal product, so it could be slightly different from pizzeria to pizzeria.
2.The dough is made with just water, salt, yeast and flour and is left to proof for at least 8 hours.
3.The disk of dough is stretched exclusively by hand. This technique moves the air from the centre outwards so that the edge stays more puffy and will form the crust with the cooking.
4.The products used have to be preferably from Campania.
5.The pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven, and not using a baking pan, for 60-90 seconds.
6.The pizza should be round, with a diameter non greater than 35 cm, the crust has to be puffed up, while the center has to be max 4 mm thick.
If you want to know more about their theories just visit their website – you can also download their decalogue. What is more, Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certificates various restaurants that meet their requirements.
Speaking colloquially, neapolitan pizza is irregularly shaped, consists of thin, “wet” centre, with a puffy edges, a few burns and bubbles.
How to find a good Neapolitan pizza? Order Margherita! She will easily help you to verify the quality of dough and ingredients. If you decide that it tastes perfect and nothing could be better – you probably found a great pizzeria. Here, on the official website of Gino Sorbillo Pizzeria you might find an image of what a true Neapolitan pizza really is.
Another fact that should help you understand the seriousness of Neapolitan pizza is that in December 2017 it has been enlisted in UNESCO world heritage list. Impressive, huh?
THE BEST PIZZA OF NAPLES
I might be not cutting-edge but the best pizza in Naples is found in L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele and in Gino e Toto Sorbillo. These are two the most iconic places that can not be missed while visiting Naples. No matter if you fancy neapolitan pizza or not, eating in one of this given pizzerias should become a priority on your own Bucket List (“what to do” list before you die).
My dear readers, these are not ordinary pizzas. These are ultimate works of art, that were prepared with a heart and a soul. Community of Naples treats pizza seriously, cultivating her on every single step.
However, before you try the best pizzas in the world, you have to find your patience. Well, to be honest, a lot of patience, in fact. Getting a table in both Gino Sorbillo and L’atinca Pizzeria da Michele requires staying in a massive queues, usually for approximately 40 minutes. And it doesn’t matter if you go there in the summer or winter – this sanctuary of pizza is always full.
L’ANTICA PIZZERIA DA MICHELE
Do you know “Eat, pray, love” movie?
So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria da Michele, and these pies we have just ordered — one for each of us — are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delerium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair.
This infamous movie scene with Julia Roberts is enjoying her Neapolitan pizza and admits her everlasting relationship with it, was filmed… in L’antica Pizzeria da Michele! (click to see the short video).
Considering the fact that I was spending only one day in Naples, I had to tighten my daily pizza-eating schedule. As a result, I went to L’antica at 11 a.m. – a perfect time for my breakfast pizza. Come on, just tell me, is there a better place to do it in Naples?
To be honest, I thought I was being quite cunning by arriving here so early, but after I got there, I’ve noticed quite a lot of people waiting for a table… Luckily, it was nothing comparing to evening queues.
We were waiting for our table for about 20-30 minutes. What you have to know when going there is choosiness is not a good idea, as usually you have to sit at first empty seat. It means that sometimes you have to share place with some foreign people. That’s what happened to us – we were seated with a very nice, aussie couple that travels the world for nearly a year. They came here straight from the airport, carrying their bags with them.
L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele brings you positive vibes only. And what is more, I’ve never seen a place that serves well so many hungry #pizzalovers a day. I deeply believe it is due to a very good organisation and cooperation!
What’s interesting is that in L’antica you may observe the whole process of pizza making and, believe me or not, those pizzaioli know how to work in team. And despite the tempo and massive amounts of orders, the only feeling you might sense in this place is relaxation and happiness.
Pizza is heavenly impressive. Thin centre and aromatic ingredients are what makes those pies perfection. Eating such a pizza can help you forget all of your problems and dark thoughts. L’antica’s pizzera is the best therapy you might imagine, making your mind only pizza focused.
My dear readers, and please remember to appreciate places with history – L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele was established in 1870.
SOMETHING PRACTICAL: MENU AND PRICES
Pizzeria is located on Via Cesare Sersale 1, so about 10 minutes walk from Piazza Garibaldi and underground station. There is no possibility to book a table there.
Owners of L’antica Pizzeria da Michele share very traditional approach and that’s why you will not find extravagant dishes there. They are focused on timeless classics, such as Margherita (Standard: 4 Euro, Medium-sized: 4.50 Euro, Double Mozzarella: 5 Euro) and Marinara (Standard: 4 Euro, Medium-sized: 4.50 Euro, Maxi: 5 Euro). Drinks such as Coke, Fanta, water or beer you will buy for 2 Euro.
PIZZERIA GINO SORBILLO
My first adventure with Gino Sorbillo’s pizza was one year ago. However, I didn’t have much time then and wanting to avoid huge queues I ordered take-away one.
I remember how fascinated I was – never have eaten such a huge neapolitan pizza before, which was brought to such a perfection – thin centre, so aromatic tomato sauce and this creamy mozzarella. This moment – eating pizza in the middle of one of this magical alleys of Naples will stay in my mind forever.
Inside Gino Sorbillo’s Pizzeria there is quite different than in L’antica Pizzeria da Michele. It’s definitely more intimate and mysterious, full of dimmed lights, separate tables and very professional, kind waiters.
As you already know, I am a huge salami pizza lover, so I decided to go wild and order Diavola, which was… simply delicious! To be honest, you don’t need any other additional ingredients there – THIS dough, THIS tomato sauce, THIS mozzarella and such an aromatic basil are everything you need. If heaven truly exists, for sure you’ll be eating Gino e Toto Sorbillo’s pizza there.
However, if you are in the mood for experiments, unlike in L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, at Sorbillo’s you’ll find a whole variety of interesting, extravagant pies.
What’s interesting, it didn’t happen for no reason! The grand grandparents of Gino Sorbillo had… 21 children! And do you know what’s funny? All of them became #pizzaioli. All of the pies in menu are named after them. For sure, everyone can find something that will satisfy his needs there (however, I strongly recommend to try out Margherita first!).
SOMETHING PRACTICAL: MENU AND PRICES
Pizzeria is located in the city centre – on the Via Dei Tribunali 32, about 10 minutes walk from Dante underground station.
Pricing is quite wide and depends on ingredients you chose (Margherita: 3.80 Euro, Diavola: 5 Euro and the most expensive one: 8 Euro). When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, you can buy the for 2 Euro, and a glass of vine or a bottled beer costs 3 Euro.
P.S. I didn’t make it to try one of the Neapolitan speciality – Pizza Fritta (fried pizza with top quality ingredients). You might try it in all Gino Sorbillo’s pizzerias – Antica Pizza Fritta da Zia Esterina Sorbillo. Gino opened it for his beloved auntie, who showed him the love and passion for pizza.
Did you try pizza in Naples? Here is my short article about Naples and some tourist attractions there.
Soon I’ll post how I’ve met Gino Sorbillo and how Pizza Festival looks like! If you liked my article, comment and share it!
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