Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My first Neapolitan pizza...

Hi Folks,
I have arrived... Napoli (Naples)! Holy cow, this place is a madhouse. Loud and dirty, vespas everywhere, debauchery around every corner... its all that I expected from Naples, or so I was told, so if the pizza-tales are as true as the dark side of the city, I am in for a real treat (or something twisted like that).
All my flights were on time and my bike arrived without any major scars besides a few scratches on my Pay n Take sticker. Oh well, I brought an extra. As expected, hauling my bike suitcase to my hostel (6 Small Rooms) was SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS. It did not help that the hostel was on a obscure side street and took me about 1.5 hours to find. Oh well, I am here, the bike is built, and I have pizza and gelato in my belly.
Built and ready to ride on the streets of Italy.

So onto the pizza. I was thoroughly exhausted after the search for the hostel and then spending an hour setting up my bike. Also, I am not yet familiar with the streets here, and anyone who has been in Italian towns know how easily you can get lost. I was hoping to make my way to Via Tribunali (a famous Neapolitan street with good pizzeria and also the name of a Neapolitan pizzeria in Seattle), but exhaustion and hunger overcame me before I could find it.
No fear, in Naples, you pass a wood fired pizzeria as often as one passes Starbucks in Manhattan.  All the guides I have read state that the visual appearance of a restaurant is not a reflection of the food. The local restaurants would rather spend money on ingredients than decor, or so I am told.
My first Neapolitan DOP Margherita. About 14" in diameter. 
I did my best, I promise... just could not finish it.
True to form, Vesi was drab but the pizza was great. I ordered the Margherita DOP (4.5 euro... that is pretty cheap, considering it was about 14 inches in diameter!). Anyway, the crust was not as lofty as I like but the flavor was great. The pizza was true to neapolitan style, which means its really wet and was served uncut. I was given a fork and knife... that is right, I have arrived in the pizza aficionado paradise. The DOP tomatoes on the pizza were sweeter than anything I have had at home, which may be due to freshness of the canned stuff I use?? something to think about.
I am embarrassed to say that I could only eat 3/4 of the pie. Kind of sad to say but I was just too full.
Of course, I had to check out the oven, so I inquired. It looked exactly like a Ferrara oven, so I asked in my broken Italian if it was. They said it was and invited me back to take a photo. Got some photos and some love from the staff. Great hospitality! I was going to write more but this is turning into a stream-of-consciousness as I am fully exhausted. I am going to bed. Until the next pie!

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