Speaking of Naples in my previous posts, I already said that Neapolitans are generous, sympathetic, able to adapt, make do and find solutions.
Once there was the custom of the “paid coffee”, to wit, rich persons who often left another paid coffee at the bar, and this for any eventual worse-off who had no money for a coffee, but now it is the turn of the pizza.
One of the oldest and most famous pizzeria in Naples, Sorbillo’s, recently launched a new initiative, those who have no money can eat a pizza today and pay the next week, a sort of IOU. An initiative against the crisis to help people.
This custom existed in the past, especially after the war, when the economic situation was not rosy.
Crisis and unemployment have led to an increase in the poverty, so in many neighborhoods some retailers of food are returned to the old custom of giving goods on credit, transcribing “purchased” products on a sheet in duplicate (a sort of credit or promissory note) and wait until the end of the month for the payment. This is a risk, we know, but a way to sell and not lose customers, and the retailers adapt and are confident.
Hunger increases crime and leads to steal, as happened a few months ago in a neighboring country where a man (a good person) stole some pizzas from the hands of a customer coming out of a pizzeria, then saying to the victim: “I’m doing it to feed my family, this is better than stealing money or anything else.”
Sorbillo’s pizzeriasays that his initiative is aimed at students, street urchins, older and pensioners whose he makes note of their personal information before delivering pizza on credit, hoping that they, by serious people, then keep the promise to pay. If someone does not pay, it goes well, doesn’t matter, considering about 800 pizzas sold per day, there is also the gain of the few pizzas no longer paid.
Probably this is also a way to get publicity, but economics trends is real and we all felt it.
Today I read a news on a local newspaper that struck me for its originality.
It is well-known that Naples is the land of pizza and every tourist, coming from anywhere, has always praised the “Made in Naples” pizza, stating that it is different from the one eaten in their country. As I have said before, in other countries the difference is not so much in the ingredients (mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil), which now are also easy to find in any well-stocked supermarket, but mainly in the preparation of the dough, where the type yeast, flour, and even water, affect the quality of the dough. Finally, the type of cooking also has its own importance, where to be a true “Neapolitan pizza” must be baked in wood-fired ovens and directly on the baking stone.
The article in question says that a well-known restaurant in Pasadena, CA, to cook their pizzas, make use of a traditional wood burning oven bought and imported directly by Naples, thing which gave the opportunity, about the cooking at least, to get a Neapolitan-like pizza. This Californian pizzeria is called “Trattoria Neapolis” and advertises a menu where many dishes have ingredients typically used here in Naples.
Having never eaten at this restaurant, I cannot judge if the pizza is really similarto our pizza, but consoled by the fact that it is at least cooked the way that has to be.
And for two reasons: because as Neapolitan citizen I like pizza and glad to know that the president also likes it, and because it’s always nice to see a politician as important as the president of the United States of America that acts like our neighbour. GREAT OBAMA! Aside from that, I am convinced that at this particular time of global recession, the State needs stability and a long presidential term of office, to let it carry out and complete its commitments and goals. Unless there are serious and important reasons to change course, the political changes often lead to worse. I’m not American and I can not vote there, but I hope you Americans canvass more with the head than with the skin, basing yourself on words and possible novelties mostly. Please, give confidence to people who have long been working for you and for the future of our children. In your shoes, I still would give credence to Obama.
Italy and Naples in particular is known worldwide as the country of the pizza and of course we like pizza that try to eat as often as we can. Then, during summer holidays the chances to go at restaurant and eat a pizza increase, as it as usually happens to me too. Of course, any region and city has its own way to prepare the pizzas, also if, aside from the filling ingredients, the preparation of the dough is the main thing making the difference. For instance, I like a lot the kind of dough used to prepare the pizza in the place where I usually spend my summer holidays. It’s a softer dough that looks more white, and as thin as pizzeria make the dough then brings the pizza to become lighter and crispy. I don’t know exactly how they prepare such a dough but someone told me that for it they use a white 000 flour that just imparts that colour and that stiffness to the pizza. Just a kind of pizza to taste.
The following images are some of the pizza we ate there.
A traditional “Margherita” pizza with tomato and mozzarella.