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The two pizzas, forget the third

Pizzas / pizza styles

PIZZA IN THE PLURAL

Pizza? Yes, the plural of pizza is pizze in Italian, and as you can read in the next few lines, I swear by the Italian school. So pizzas in my book become pizzas every now and then. Just to make a statement, in classic Italian style.

There are two pizza schools in my opinion. And if anyone shouts “three” and “deep pan” they get a mouthful! There are two – the Neapolitan style and the Roman style.

NEAPOLITAN STYLE PIZZA

The Neapolitan pizza is characterized by being baked at very high heat and being relatively “bread-heavy”. Not ‘heavy’ in a bad way, certainly not, because the quality of the bread is one of the most important things in this tradition.

It should take a maximum of 1 1/2 minutes to bake a Napoli pizza, so you need an oven that knows what it’s doing; you’re working at a temperature of around 425 degrees. The crust is crispy on the surface, slightly burnt and soft underneath, and the center is thin and soft.

In the past, people would often fold the pizza around the tomato and mozzarella and eat it as a small package. Not as a slice like we often get today.

In general, the Naples version is not afraid to use plenty of tomato sauce and mozzarella, and you shouldn’t complain about that either, because when the ingredients are as good as the southern Italian ones, the heavens open up and praise the Neapolitan Margherita’s flavor domination in all its simplicity.

ROMAN STYLE PIZZA

The Roman version is often the one we Danes associate with a good pizza. Thin, crispy bases, not too much bread and not too much floating around. Simple, simple, easy and delicious.

Tradition also dictates that they are circular, whereas a Napoli pizza can be a little more rustic. To achieve the consistent crispiness, the pizza is generally baked at a slightly lower temperature than the Neapolitan pizza, meaning the crust doesn’t have the slight burn of a good Neapolitan pizza.

The pizzas take about 3-4 minutes to bake and the temperature should optimally be around 325 degrees.

So which of the two is the best? The Neapolitan pizza can be traced back the longest and is probably a child of the Saracen occupation of most of southern Europe. Since then, flatbread has moved up through Italy and has been shaped by local food traditions. So “oldest” is easier to

WHICH PIZZA IS THE BEST?

So which of the two is the best? The Neapolitan pizza can be traced back the longest and is probably a child of the Saracen occupation of most of southern Europe. Since then, flatbread has moved up through Italy and has been shaped by local food traditions.

So ‘oldest’ is easier to determine than ‘best’. For me personally, there is no one tradition that is the absolute best. It’s like comparing pears and bananas. I’m deeply in love and married to the Roman style in my Gorm’s, in my restaurants, but I can’t deny myself a fierce flirtation with the Neapolitan style. Especially not after I had the pleasure of baking down there with the tough guys at Gino Sorbillo. Great craftsmanship and amazing pizzas!

But you should go all out with whatever style you like, and everyone should try a Neapolitan variation, definitely.

Also read about our Italian restaurant Aarhus with a Nordic twist. Also stop by our Italian restaurant Copenhagen with a Nordic touch. Wondering what the best pizza in Copenhagen is? Then read on.

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH A NEW PIZZA?

How do you come up with a new pizza? Like any other gastronomy, any other dish, a new pizza starts with a basic playfulness when it comes to food. It certainly does for me. Many of the pizzas in this book have either inspired new dishes in restaurants or have been developed based on a dish we have invented, eaten in a restaurant or something else entirely.

The point is that pizza can be the most delicious, almost gourmet meal, but it should never be a finger-licking affair. Pizza is smooth, accessible and fun food. Both to eat and to make. So throw out (almost) all the rules and embark on your own pizza adventure. It’s a great trip!

To give you inspiration and show you how this development process works, I’ve included some of the dishes that the pizzas are related to. I hope you enjoy them despite the pizza nerdiness – it’s great food!

Read also: places to eat in Amager, places to eat in Vesterbro and places to eat in the city center.

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