What is Napolità?
Napolità pizza-making has been an artful tradition cherished for more than 200 years, thanks to artisanal techniques and masterful wood-fired oven mastery that have been passed from generation to generation. Each step in its creation involves hard work, love and expertise passed on from generation to generation – elevating this cuisine beyond mere sustenance into an iconic cultural tradition that continues today.
Ingredients of the Naplolita?
Type 00 Flour
Napolità Pizza uses a special type of flour known which is “Tipo 00.” This flour is finely milled, creating a soft and elastic dough.
San Marzano Tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes, typically grown in the volcanic soil of the Mount Vesuvius region, it is the preferred choice for Napolità pizza sauce. It gives sweetness to the dish.
Authentic Napolità pizza features buffalo mozzarella, it is made from buffalo milk water. It gives a creamy texture and contributes to pizza.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin oil is one of the main ingredients in this which gives a unique taste.
Fresh basil leaves are a crucial topping for Napolità pizza, adding a fragrant and aromatic element to the dish.
Sea salt is used to season the pizza dough, sauce, and toppings. It enhances the overall pizza taste.
Yeast is used to leaven the pizza dough, contributing to the characteristic light and airy crust.
The Origins of Neapolitan Pizza
Napolità knows this fact very well – Naples is truly the birthplace and spiritual home of pizza!
In the 1600s, poor people began adding tomatoes to their flatbreads for added flavor. Queen Margherita became so delighted by this treat that she asked local baker Raffaele Esposito to prepare a pie featuring tomato red, mozzarella white and basil green as representative colors of her newly united Italy.
Pizza has its origins on Italy’s western coast in Naples. Residents there remain, true purists when it comes to pizza – rarely do you see anything other than the traditional three-ingredient combination on any slice served there!
Tomatoes first arrived in Naples from South America via the explorations of Europeans. While upper-class residents initially refused to consume tomatoes due to beliefs that they were poisonous, poorer city residents began adding them to flatbreads as part of a popular dish among the working classes.
Raffaele Esposito created a special pizza for King Umberto I and Queen Margherita when they visited Naples in 1889; it differed from any available at that time because it had no cheese or other toppings – giving rise to its contemporary name: Margherita pizza.
A traditional pizza margherita features tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil as the main ingredients. This traditional Italian dish is extremely straightforward in design; designed to showcase each ingredient’s distinct taste.
It has become immensely popular worldwide; one legend states it was created to mark Queen Margherita of Savoy and King Umberto I’s visit to Naples; its three colors represent their national flag: red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil (representing the Italian flag).
Another theory suggests that pizza was created to celebrate Italy’s unification. Esposito prepared one as a treat for Queen Margherita of Savoy; she named it after herself because the colors of basil, mozzarella, and tomato represented Italy’s new flag.
Margherita pizza may have existed before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Naples, as evidenced by an 1849 cookbook written by Emanuele Rocco which described a similar pizza that is also called Margherita pie. Therefore, we know this delicacy existed long before their visit!
Mozzarella is an Italian semi-soft fresh cheese made from water buffalo milk. It is one of the defining elements of Neapolitan pizza and is frequently featured in other forms of Italian cuisine. The name mozzarella derives from mozzare (meaning cut), about its production process which involves hand stretching curds of cheese into rounds before being cut by machine into finished cheese balls.
Origins of mozzarella remain somewhat obscure; however, it is believed that water buffalo were first brought to Italy from Asia during the seventh century, and cheese-making soon flourished using their creamy milk. Mozzarella became a rare treat until commercial production was initiated during the 14th century.
Mozzarella pairs well with light red wines such as Chianti or Primitivo, which help highlight its creamy mozzarella. You could also enjoy it as part of a Caprese salad!
Napolità pizzas differ from their counterparts by using minimal sauce and more mozzarella cheese for maximum flavor and texture enhancement of each ingredient and also prevent their crust from getting soggy when covered with toppings.
Starting in the 1600s, poor people in Naples began adding tomatoes to their flatbreads once they were brought from Peru by explorers. Though initially believed poisonous, their delicious flavor quickly made it popular. Neighborhoods within low-income parts of Naples became known for producing outstanding pizzas that attracted visitors from across Italy.
In 1880s Italy, a baker created a pizza for King Umberto and Queen Margherita that featured the colors of their flag using mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil; this pizza is widely considered to have marked the birth of modern pizza as we know it today.
Since its invention it has gained tremendous popularity – so much so that four years ago Unesco elevated it as “intangible cultural heritage,” joining Indian yoga, South Korean tightrope walking, and Burundi royal drum dance as treasured local traditions.
Preparation Method of Napolità Pizza
Prepare the Dough
Start by creating authentic Neapolitan pizza dough using double-zero flour from Naples. Combine it with fresh Neapolitan yeast, mixing by hand or with a mixer until it forms a rough clump, no thicker than 3 millimeters.
Initial Rise and Kneading
Allow the mixed dough to rise for 20 minutes. Transfer it to a lightly floured countertop and knead for approximately one minute. The goal is to achieve a soft yet elastic texture that doesn’t stick to its surroundings.
Stretching the Dough
After the initial rise, lightly knead the dough ball with your fingertips from the center out toward its edges. Perform several sets of “Stretch and Folds” over an hour, letting each set rest. This process helps gluten strands realign and bond, ensuring a strong yet hydrated dough.
Consider the balance of salt, fat, and moisture when selecting pizza toppings. Evenly space toppings across layers of equal size, starting with thinner pieces at the base. Generously flour a pizza peel or baking sheet and place the stretched dough seam-side down.
Final Dough Rise
Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. It should form into an oval-shaped mass that is firm and elastic in texture. Preheat your oven to 500F or 550F, placing an inverted baking stone or sheet on the middle rack.
Cooking in a Wood-Burning Oven:
Neapolitan pizza requires specific 00 wheat flour and hand manipulation. Once risen, hand manipulate the dough and cook it in a wood-burning oven. Use homemade San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte, or bufala mozzarella, and top it with basil leaves.
Where to Find the Napolità Pizza
Cozy eatery with a charming dining room, authentic Italian cuisine, appetizers, classic pasta dishes, and popular pizza choices. Impressive cocktail and beer selection.
Features: Variety of pizza choices, including deep dish and Neapolitan pizzas. Lou Malnati’s and Rosati’s are highlighted. Union Pizzeria in downtown Evanston offers light Neapolitan pies and Italian-inspired soups and salads.
Features: Napolità Pizzeria & Wine Bar by Vandalay Brands, offering all-natural thin-crust pizza, imported cheeses, cured meats, handmade pasta dishes, and desserts. Recognized by Pizza Guide.
Features: Napolità Pizza in Lake Forest, is known for satisfying pizzas with exceptional crust. Also, The Centro Collective is highly recommended for its rectangular Roman-style pizzas and salads.
Napolità pizza, is an Italian traditional food for over a thousand years, it has a few secret ingredients where it gives a unique taste to the pizza. You can get authentic pizza in a few towns in Italy. Overall it is a cultural heritage.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes Napolità pizza unique?
Napolità pizza stands out for its artisanal techniques and premium, flavorful ingredients.
2. Why is Tipo 00 flour crucial for Napolità pizza?
Tipo 00 flour creates a soft, elastic dough essential for the pizza’s texture.
3. What inspired the creation of Margherita pizza?
In 1889, Queen Margherita sought a pizza symbolizing Italy’s flag, birthing Margherita pizza.
4. Where can you find authentic Napolità pizza?
Notable locations include Wilmette, Evanston, Northfield, and Lake Forest, offering genuine Napolità pizza experiences.