Pizza Today - May 2020 - 42

T

he combination of
San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil has
yet to be superseded
in the pizza game.
Its simplicity in perfection is unrivaled.
It's very serendipitous that the Italian
flag, the inspiration for the naming of the
Margherita, in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy, has those three colors
which yielded those three iconic Italian
ingredients. If there was blue in the Italian
flag, who knows what would have become
of the original Margherita.
Neapolitan or Napoletana styles have
not gone anywhere since their inception.
It's only grown from its base. The original
three styles of pizza, Margherita, Marinara
and Mastunicola (rendered fat, a sprinkling of cheese, and basil), still exist today.
With that said, nothing compares to the
overall popularity of the Margherita.
In Naples today, a popular ingredient
on pizza is pistachios, roasted by the fire;
it is truly unique. I love this topping, but I
rarely see it on American pizza. The toppings of 100 years ago to those of today all
share the same ethos, simplicity and perfection. Naples style crust is exceptionally
unique and specific and not easy to duplicate. Regardless of your pizza crust, be it
Detroit style, New York, Chicago, Roman,
Sicilian, or St Louis; fresh mozzarella, San
Marzanos and basil will always work on
any pizza. So, what else can work? What
other notes can we pull from Naples to
translate to our own in-house crust?
I'm very lucky and happy to have
multiple styles of pizza at my restaurants. At Andolini's Sliced we have our
own Tulsa style, which is a mix of classic
New York style and California ingenuity
with an Oklahoma flour. Additionally, at
Sliced, we pay homage to New York style,
Romana, as well as Napoletana, cooked in
a wood-fired oven. I get to see first-hand
what works in translating the Napoletana
mindset across multiple styles of pizza. In
each variation of this, I do use a Margherita. With a pizza style so simple, you'd
think options would be limited, but they
are not.
Mozzarella: In Naples, fresh mozzarella typically prepared from pre-cut

chunks. However, you can slice it from the
ovaline or tear it thin or in large chunks.
This will affect how it melts, thinner
shred turns hard and burns faster, larger
chunks, and the top will sear, especially
in a wood-fired oven. When placed close
to the edge the mozzarella will burn and
harden. If you use a block shred instead of
fresh mozzarella, it will melt in the classic
Americana fashion with entirely different
results and lose some authenticity.
San Marzano: From the plum out of
the can, you can place it through a food
mill for the classic texture of a thicker
sauce free of tomato flesh. Or you can rip
apart the plums for a more rustic look.
You can remove the seeds before milling
for a more uniform sauce or leave them
in. Classically the Marzano won't need a
lot of help. Still, if applying this style of
tomato to a different pizza crust, you can
choose how you want to modify it, be it
adding EVOO or Romano to the sauce
or any other variation you prefer in your
base sauce.
Basil: How crazy can this topping get?
it's just leaves, right? Well, the devil is in
the details. In Naples, basil is sometimes
put on the pizza right in the center, one
to three leaves that will not be in every
bite of the pizza once cooked. Almost
done for show rather than taste. I like the
mozzarella placed on top of each ripped
basil leaf to protect the basil from burning.
That's how I prepare wood-fired basil as
a topping. For my other styles of crusts,
I like to julienne the basil and place it on
post bake, so it's spread evenly. Sometimes
it's ripped and placed on the pizza right
before going to the table to maximize the
fresh scent of newly torn basil. I genuinely
do not care for the look or taste of burnt
basil leaves but to each their own.
A make line in a Naples kitchen is simple; all killer, no filler ingredients. Some
salami added to make it a Diavolo or the
lack of tomatoes to make it a Bianco.
Everything in its simplicity. I love simple
prep lines, its streamlines execution.
For these styles, you can name
them what they would be on a
Naples menu or something completely
different that you create. When you do

name it the same, it becomes an homage
and takes on the responsibility of being
authentic. If you love the flavor combination but do a significant variation to it,
you set yourself us for failure naming it
the same as Naples. For example, I would
never name a pizza that has julienne basil
on it a Margherita because you would
never see that in Naples.
Therein lies the marketing aspect of
this. It will never come off wrong as
long as it's performed with some level of
authenticity. Diced tomatoes or balsamic
glaze on a pizza seeking an authenticity
pull screams phony and bush league. Not
just to pizza purists but to anyone who's
ever been to Italy or loves Napoletana. I
mentioned earlier pistachios on a pizza is
very Napoletana even though not pervasive. There is a lot of simple ingenuity to
glean inspiration from in Naples.
A style I saw in Naples called the four
stations; it used two thins rolled pieces
of dough to separate the Naples style
pizza into quadrants where four different
toppings styles placed in each of the four
quadrants of the pizza. I thought this was
a very unique and exciting idea. We do it
ourselves and it sells very well and garners
a lot of praise.
Another way to link Naples to your
menu is blending the regions in your naming of items. For example, we named a
Napoletana style pizza the Parma because
it had Prosciutto de Parma and Parmesan
Reggiano on the pizza. Using buffalo
mozzarella as opposed to cow's milk
mozzarella lends itself to the authenticity of Naples and the naming of items
with a Napoletana flair. All these ways
of integrating Naples into whatever style
of pizza you serve distinguishes you and
your brand as knowledgeable, as well as
thoughtful to your customer. The marketing of it as such only serves to advance
your cause. If you are seeking the push
for authenticity in your brand approach,
earnest and knowledgeable Naples style
homages work. When done thoughtfully,
I've never seen it not work regardless of
the style of pizza crust. n
MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini's
Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Pizza Today - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - May 2020

Pizza Today - May 2020
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Meet The Makers
Conversation
Man On The Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead To Know
Destinations
workplace violence
Mozz: slice, shred or dice
Build a pizza using the five tastes
The neapolitan way on any style
Ada online
New horizons
Product showcase
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - May 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - May 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Pizza Today - May 2020
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Contributors
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Meet The Makers
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Man On The Street
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Knead To Know
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - May 2020 - workplace violence
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 30
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Mozz: slice, shred or dice
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 34
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Build a pizza using the five tastes
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 38
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - May 2020 - The neapolitan way on any style
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 42
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Ada online
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - May 2020 - New horizons
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Product showcase
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - May 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - May 2020 - 66
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - May 2020 - Cover4
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