Q: Is Neapolitan pizza cut into slices in Italy?
A: The traditional Neapolitan pizza is served whole, rather than sliced. In Italy, these pizzas are intended to be eaten at the table with a fork and knife, rather than with your hands. In the United States, many pizzerias serve Neapolitan pizzas by the slice, to accommodate American preferences.
Q: What kind of sauce comes on a Neapolitan pizza?
A: According to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (“Association for true Neapolitan pizza”), Neapolitan pizza sauce should be made only with San Marzano tomatoes and a bit of salt to showcase the tomato’s natural acidity. Pizzerias with the AVPN seal of approval subscribe to this method while also upholding specific standards for the formation of the crust.
Q: Who invented the Neapolitan pizza?
A: The invention of the Neapolitan pizza is widely credited to baker Raffaele Esposito, who made the “Margherita” pizza as a tribute to Savoy’s King Umberto I and Queen Margherita in 1889. Using red tomatoes, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil, he captured the colors of the nation’s flag and the country’s quintessential flavors in one dish.
Q: How long does it take to bake a Neapolitan pizza?
A: Thanks to the ultra-high temperatures of the oven, Neapolitan pizzas take only 60 to 90 seconds to bake. To make Neapolitan pizzas, chefs set the oven to roughly 900 degrees – far hotter than the 500-600 degree range for New York-style pizzas.
Q: Why does Neapolitan pizza have less cheese than other pizza styles?
A: True Neapolitan pizzas only include a smattering of fresh mozzarella, which allows the natural flavor of the tomatoes and basil to shine.
Q: Why does the crust of a Neapolitan pizza crust taste different than other pizzas?
A: Neapolitan pizza dough is made using very finely ground flour with high protein – plus salt, yeast, and water – to achieve its uniquely airy texture. After the ingredients are mixed, the dough is allowed to ferment for upwards of 12 hours to give it a complex flavor and an addictive chew.