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Pizza Napoletana!

Well over two centuries ago, pizza was born on the streets of Naples, where vendors peddled golden wedges topped only with hand-pressed olive oil and coarsely chopped garlic. Pizza has since become Italy's most popular export, and the world's love affair with it has inspired literally thousands of recipes. But now that the afterglow of new romance has dimmed, the birthplace of authentic pizza beckons us to taste its greatest culinary gift - pizza napoletana - in its purest form.

Springing to life from fire and stone, authentic pizza is characterized by thin, soft crust and spare but especially flavorful toppings of the finest ingredients. The classic Pizza Margherita (named in 1889) for its first fan, Queen Margherita of Savoy) is topped with tangy San Marzano tomatoes, creamy mozzarella di bufala, and pungent basil, while the ever-popular Pizza Marinara is garnished simply with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and fragrant olive oil. These two pizzas define pizza napoletana and must be made according to strict guidelines established by the Italian government, but they have also spawned countless other pizzas made in the same spirit and style, such as:

  • Pizza Quattro Stagioni, or Four Seasons Pizza (featuring asparagus for spring, zucchini for summer, olives for fall, and potatoes for winter)
  • Pizza Pescatore, or Seafood Pizza (with shrimp, squid, sea bass, and capers)
  • Pizza Bianca, or White Pizza (with only garlic, fresh rosemary, and olive oil)

Join award-winning author Pamela Sheldon Johns as she wanders through the venerable kitchens of Naples, retracing the history and traditions of pizza. You'll visit the oldest pizzerias in the world, along with Neapolitans' present-day favorites, and discover the artisan pizza-makers' secrets.
With photographs of 50 classic Neapolitan and regional pizzas, and images of the people and places from whence the come, Pizza Napoletana! transports you to Naples, where passion and pizza are forever entwined.

Pizza Napoletana! by Pamela Sheldon Johns - Ten Speed Press, October 1999 - Hardcover - 112 pages

 

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