Result of a long and passionate research work that has traced its story, rewriting and reshaping it on new creative possibilities, ‘a ‘mpustarella is a unique product, unrivaled for its taste and lightness, revitalization of the ancient Neapolitan sandwich which was eaten at lunchtime when whole families, even the smaller arms, spent most of the day out of home, employed in the humblest and hardest jobs.
The challenge was to blow the dust off that meal, called marenna in the Neapolitan dialect, still little or at all known, which kept traditional delicious fillings between two slices of bread – this is the name meaning, from the Latin pōněre, to put, set or place – with a thick and crunchy crust and to reintroduce it in a contemporary version.
To update it, we chose to develop a new, original and exclusive recipe, which is the culmination of countless tests and experiments.
The ingredients, water, flour, salt and yeast, are the same of those difficult times, when as the lunch only meal, simple, cheap but highly satiating refreshed farmers, workmen, fishermen from the hard labour in the fields, in factories, or on the sea and at the fish markets.
Its appearance, too, is the same. Actually, the main obstacle was precisely to recreate its features, rough and unrefined, similar to those of pane cafone (Naples peasant bread), but the delicate crack you hear at the first bite let you explore an unknown world, soft and very light, almost airy. And while in the past and until the postwar period the wheat grains were coarsely ground and with the flours obtained – far from being refined as the ones we can buy today- people made a pretty heavy bread that filled the stomach more effectively, and for longer periods of time, our ʼmpustarella, obtained by mixing wholemeal and type 1 flours and enriched with sunflower, flax and sesame seeds with soy and oat, a genuine bomb of healthy nutrients for our body, even if it shares the same dark color, with its several holes inside, has a soft and easy to digest center covered by a thin crunchy crust.
Its preparation involves that the dough rises twice: the first rising is based on the biga, when a part of flour and a part of water are reduced and, using our mother yeast from Catalanesca, the white grapes grown on the Vesuvius slopes, it is left to ferment for 20/24 hours. Then the dough is refreshed with the remaining ingredients, it is kneaded again so as to go through the final rising and it is cooked in the wood-burning oven. The result is a highly digestible bread.
You just have to choose how to fill it and you will rediscover a classic of our cuisine that will make you take a step backward without giving you the unbearable sense of heaviness that sometimes you may feel when eating leavened products.