YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsWine

Talking with brick-oven pizza John Cangemi

May 31, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

So why not just order a pizza?

(Laughs). I've had people say, "I'm going to go right up to my pizza guy's manager and punch him right in the mouth because I've been eating rotten pizza for all these years," and hopefully I won't disappoint you two today, making you some authentic Neapolitan pizza.

So what constitutes an authentic Neapolitan pizza?

What constitutes an authentic Neapolitan pizza is the flour and the ingredients that go into the crust, which is Caputo type 00 flour, yeast, water and salt - that's it. No sugar, no oil, just those four ingredients in their proper proportions mixed together and allowed to rise for four hours, punched down and divided up into pieces and let those rise another four hours. You're talking eight hours of pizza dough rise - that's the first part of it.

The second part of it is the wood-fired oven, powered up to 800 degrees with nonaromatic wood. The pizza has to be baked on a hearth, which is what this is (pointing to his oven). ... It has to be mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes - they can be canned or fresh, but being here in America, we can't get fresh tomatoes here from San Marzano - and extra virgin olive oil.


Why was there a need to outline what constitutes an authentic Neapolitan pizza? Were there impostors?

Yes, there were impostors. In fact, in Naples itself there are a lot of pizzerias that claim to (make) true Neapolitan pizza. But just like ... that the wine has to be of a certain origin, the wine must use certain types of grapes, it's the same thing with pizza. Pizza has to be strictly controlled so that you as the consumer know that you're going into a VPN establishment, which is Verace Pizza Napolitana (the Verace Pizza Napolitana is a Naples-based trade group that "certifies" Neapolitan pizza restaurants as authentic), which is a place you can trust, that you can get the kind of pizza that you can remember or are passionate about.

And you can get that right here at John Cangemi's house!

The Herald-Mail Articles