When you hear this successful combination of words, today on everyone’s lips and minds across the world, our thoughts immediately go to the pizza baked in the typical wood-fired oven. But, the expression “Pizza Napoletana” refers to another, even older, recipe: that of the deep-fried pizza, one of the pillars, although still little known, of the Neapolitan culinary culture.
Almost endless – and they are spreading like wildfire, just to stay on the topic, in many other Italian cities – the addresses in Naples where, albeit in a few square meters, the pizzaioli make their own versions of this popular street food, whose origins date back even to the XIII century.
At the beginning, there were the sweet sugary donuts that the street vendor gave with some honey, then came the time of pizzelle ‘e pasta crisciuta and the salty zeppulelle that with other preparations, fruits of the people’s cruel poverty, were bought for a few coins.
Greasy, dirty, unhealthy, high-calorie food: so it was the deep-fried pizza sold in the past on the alleys’ stalls, so it is the deep-fried pizza that you can buy at one of Campania’s many pizza places. To these characteristics, remained unchanged for centuries, Enzo Coccia decided to contrast diametrically opposite qualities.
Restyled, his golden creation, as the most beautiful princess, bejeweled, perfumed and stylish, can boast of being dry, light, highly digestible. Cooked at the right temperature in a very good oil, stuffed with excellent raw materials and served with great bubbles, Italian or French, it has all the credentials to be considered a masterpiece of our gastronomy.
And to double the taste of this pizza which, unlike the wood-fired one, reveals the uniqueness of its ingredients and gives off their delicious aromas only after being cut, as does a chest that, only when opened, exposes its treasures, the master decided to let your imagination run wild with a choice of fillings that are a compromise between a very ancient tradition and most innovative and contemporary pushes.
So, in the menu there are the classic deep-fried pizzas as the one with buffalo ricotta cheese and pork rind. To follow, the ones filled with what’s in season. Really fascinating are, for example, changes in the filling between the summer, which combines the buffalo ricotta cheese with Sorrento’s lemon leaves, and the winter, which matches cooler temperatures with the smoked mozzarella and zuppa forte (spicy soup). To end with a bang there are Enzo’s ideas, which is almost a lover who declares his love to the lady of the narrow streets. One of these keeps between two layers of dough salted codfish, escaroles with pine nuts and raisins, capers and olives from Gaeta, a new version of a pie written by Ippolito Cavalcanti in the nineteenth century.
While the curvy pizzaiola Sofia pleased people’s eyes and mouths during the second postwar period, now it is time for Enzo’s princess to delight our palates.