Neapolitan vs Roman: Unveiling the Secrets of Authentic Italian Pizzas
When it comes to pizza, Italy is undoubtedly the birthplace of this universally loved dish. However, not all pizzas are created equal, and within Italy itself, there are distinct regional variations that offer unique flavors and textures. Two of the most famous types of Italian pizzas are the Neapolitan and Roman styles. While both are delicious in their own right, they each have their own unique characteristics that set them apart from other types of pizzas around the world, such as the Chicago deep dish. In this article, we will delve into the secrets of authentic Neapolitan and Roman pizzas, exploring their history, ingredients, and cooking methods.
The Neapolitan Pizza
The Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, hails from Naples, a city in southern Italy. This style of pizza is characterized by its thin, soft, and chewy crust, which is achieved by using a type of flour called “00” flour. The dough is hand-kneaded and must be left to rise for at least 24 hours. The toppings are simple and traditional, usually consisting of San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil.
Neapolitan pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired, dome-shaped oven at a high temperature for a very short period of time. This results in a crust that is puffy and charred in spots, with a slightly smoky flavor.
The Roman Pizza
On the other hand, Roman pizza, or pizza Romana, originates from Rome, the capital of Italy. This style of pizza is known for its thin and crispy crust, which is achieved by using a combination of flour, olive oil, salt, sugar, and yeast. The toppings can vary widely, but common ones include tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, olives, and anchovies.
Roman pizzas are typically baked in an electric oven at a lower temperature than Neapolitan pizzas, for a longer period of time. This results in a crust that is uniformly thin and crispy, with a slightly golden color.
While both Neapolitan and Roman pizzas are beloved styles of Italian pizza, they each offer a unique eating experience. The Neapolitan pizza is all about simplicity and tradition, with its soft, chewy crust and classic toppings. The Roman pizza, on the other hand, offers a bit more variety in terms of toppings, and is loved for its thin, crispy crust. Regardless of which style you prefer, one thing is for sure: when it comes to pizza, you can’t go wrong with the authentic Italian versions.