Proper Italian Pizza Done Right

Ever wonder if the soggy style of pizza you’ve been eating your whole life is really authentic? If so, this article will clear a few things up. Italians (the inventors of the dish) take the food very seriously and have a tradition when it comes to all of their food, especially pizza. True Italian style pizza has some very strict qualifications you might find surprising. The Americanized version we are used to goes against many basic fundamentals and would likely leave Italian’s gasping. From a simple pizza worthy of a purist’s approval, to how and when it is served, take notes so you can consider yourself an expert.

Not all pizza is truly Italian and there are some things to look out for so you can eat pizza like an Italian.

The pickiest of Italian pizza purists adamantly argue that there are only two varieties – Marinara and Margherita. Tomato, oregano, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and basil top the Marinara while tomato sauce, mozzarella di bufala, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil are characteristic of the Margherita. There are no added embellishments. The simple and balanced flavors of these two pizzas have been around since the first pizza crust was hand tossed. Unsure of where to start on a pizza menu? Order one of these two styles and enjoy!

A fun fact is that in Naples, Italy, a “True Neapolitan Pizza Association” was founded in 1984 to review and certify pizzerias that are true to tradition. Their pizza must be made with a specific, highly refined Italian flour, San Marzano tomatoes only, and fresh mozzarella made from water buffalo or cow’s milk. Without these qualifications, they will be unable to light the revered sign in their windows signifying their pizza’s approval. Keep an eye out for these signs of a perfect Margherita pizza – thin, dry and golden centered crust – thicker, slightly scorched edges – bubbling hot sauce – melted cheese that strings when separated – fresh basil leaves that are only barely cooked – and olive oil added right before it is sent to the table to be enjoyed.

Now that you are informed of just how seriously Italians take their pizza, the intricacies of this social food will be more appreciated. Pre-sliced pizza is an Americanized aspect of the food. Be prepared to cut your own pizza with either a fork and knife or a pair of metal pizza scissors. It is the culture in Italy to enjoy their full plate sized, crispy crust, bubbling simple sauce pizza with a fork and knife immediately after it is pulled from the wood fired pizza oven. Too hot to pull apart by hand, utensils are used to assist with devouring the incredible pizza.

The way in which pizza is cooked is also very particular. Only wood-fired, domed ovens that are heated to 900°F will do. It is because of this that pizza is almost exclusively a dinner and late-night food in Italy. The thin, almost charred crust edges and golden center are to be enjoyed as soon as possible when the 90 second or less baking process is completed. There are no to-go boxes and it is not to be eaten cold. Fresh or nothing.

With all of this in mind, and if you find yourself in Miami looking for the best Italian pizza, head to Ironside Kitchen. They take pride in providing customers with exceptional pizza following the Neapolitan Tradition. Ironside checks all the boxes: wood fired oven, “00” flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil. Their original Italian pizza menu is filled twelve varieties, using only fresh, organic and seasonal ingredients.

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