Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A primer on VPN certified Neapolitan pizza

Nicli Antica Pizzeria is a Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) Association certified Neapolitan pizza restaurant. If you don't already know what makes this type of pizza special, this post gathers some info and links for you.

If you just want the super-basic Philistine's version, Neapolitan pizza works out to basically toppings on bread that's very much like a thin, plain naan. Sometimes the thinner centre will result in the pizza being soggy there. Hopefully, it won't be.

The best place to start with more info is, of course, VPN itself, for what is required for certification.

BECOME A MEMBER OF VPN AMERICAS

Certify your pizzeria or restaurant and join the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

If you operate in full accordance with the following association rules:

1. A Wood-Burning Oven.
The real Pizza Napoletana must be cooked in a wood-fired dome oven operating at roughly 900ºF.
Gas, coal or electric ovens, while capable of produce wonderful pizza, are not conformed to the Pizza Napoletana tradition.

2. Proper Ingredients. Only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients (preferably imported from Naples or Campania region) are acceptable: Flour (Type 00),San Marzano (plum) tomatoes, all natural Fior-di-Latte or Bufala fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, x-virgin olive oil, sea salt and yeast.

3. Proper Technique. Pizza dough kneaded either by hand, or with a low speed mixer (fork or spiral with revolving bowl. No planetary or vertical mixers are allowed).
No mechanical dough shaping, such as a dough press or rolling pin, are allowed. Pizza baking time should not exceed 90 seconds.

4. Proper Equipment. A proper work surface (usually a marble slab), a wood pizza peel to introduce the pizza into the oven and a long handle metal round peel to turn and remove the pizza from the oven.

5. The Final Product. Pizza Napoletana is not larger than 11 inches with a raised edge crust and thin center. The pizza should be soft and elastic, and easily foldable, .

you can have the possibility to become a member of our association and bear the prestigious VPN sign outside your store.


You can get a briefing on Neapolitan pizza from the Nicli Antica Pizzeria website (and on the in-restaurant paper menu):

Each region in Italy has its own version of Pizza. Naples is the birthplace of pizza and of the SGT Specialità Tradizionale Garantita / Traditional Specialty Guaranteed.

The pizza is formed by hand and is cooked in a 900ºF wood-fired oven for roughly 90 seconds. This creates a pizza with the following:

A light and fluffy cornicione (crust) which has a patina of crunch
Flame blackened blisters may appear along the cornicione
[1]
A soft thin centre
27-30 centemetres in diameter

Fast cooking time: The addition of sauce, cheese and other toppings creates a pizza center that is generally soft and moist. This is a typical characteristic of authentic Neapolitan pizza. Because of this, Napolitanas traditionally tear their pizza apart manually and folded "libretto" style, please don’t be afraid to use your hands.

All pizzas are finished with extra virgin olive oil.
[1] Lip or edge of the pizza.

Here's more detailed information from Pizzeria Libretto:
Art. 5. Characteristics of the final product
a. Description of the product: Pizza Napoletana is an oven made circularly shaped culinary product , of a variable diameter which should not exceed 35 cm, with a elevated border (crust) and with the central part covered with toppings. The central part should be 0.3 cm thick, and the crust 1-2 cm thick. The pizza as a whole should be soft, elastic, easily folded as would be a pamphlet (aka LIBRETTO).
b. Aspect: Pizza Napoletana is characterized by a raised crust of golden color, typical of oven-made products. It is soft to the touch and taste, especially in the center of the toppings, where the red of the tomato stands out, and to which the oil or for the pizza marinara, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic has perfectly amalgamated; In the case of the pizza Margherita, the white of the mozzarella should be in patches more or less close together, with the green of the basil leaves, more or less dark from the cooking process. The consistency should be soft, elastic, easily foldable. The product should be soft to the touch, with a characteristic taste deriving from the crust, presenting the typical taste of risen and cooked bread, mixed with the acidity of tomato, combined with the aroma, respectively of the oregano, garlic or basil, and with the flavor of the cooked mozzarella. The pizza, at the end of the cooking process, will emanate a characteristic aroma, at once perfumed and fragrant.

No comments:

Post a Comment