Sticking to Neapolitan tradition in pizza making – the Marinara and Margherita

The dish that has been called “almost certainly the most widely eaten food on the planet” originated in Naples, though Neapolitans would be aghast at the pizza toppings such as chicken tikka, ham and pineapple, and chicken pesto that have taken root in this country. Back in the home of the pizza, people keep it simple. Most go for the Marinara, topped with tomatoes, garlic, oregano and olive oil (with the option of a few anchovy fillets) or the Margherita, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil.

  • Marinara – tomatoes, garlic, oregano, olive oil
  • Margherita – tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil

I discovered how these tasty toppings retain their artisanal excellence on a recent visit to Naples organised by the restaurant chain Rossopomodoro (“red tomato”), which is based in the city. Established in the late Nineties, it has opened more than 100 branches in 12 years. Most are in Italy, with nine branches in Naples alone, but the company is rapidly expanding around the world. Already operating three restaurants in London and one in Birmingham, it plans to open another five per year in the UK.

Starting as a dough ball, the pizza base is pressed into the requisite disc with a raised edge (called the cornicione) by the fingers of the pizza-maker. All that flamboyant whirling in the air that you might have seen is frowned on. The Rossopomodoro pizza is then cooked in a wood-burning stove for 60 to 90 seconds at 485C.

But what goes on top? The zingy sauce made from the San Marzano tomato, grown around Vesuvius, explains why not much else is needed on local pizzas. Ripened by the sun, which shines here for 250 days a year, its flavour benefits from the mineral-rich volcanic soil and deepens during the preserving process.

keep reading to learn about the exclusive buffalo herds used for mozarella and more!

 

 

// Photo – Krissy Ho

A note on salads

I have been agitating for a while that supermarkets sell the worst kind of food. I even go so far as to say that everything they sell makes you fat.

Which consistently causes folks to disagree with me, after all 98% of Americans buy their food from them.

But, that means they have a complete monopoly on our food system, and with our health in their hands, the US obesity rate is skyrocketing to unheard-of levels.

In the fast food industry, a recent report states that Subway is now the worlds largest fast food chain, displacing McDonalds. There is also a booming salad industry with an explosion of salad fast food chains.

Perhaps the fast food industry will save us?

Well, remember the cliche: “I’m on a diet so please give me a Diet Coke instead of a Coke.”

I think that fits as an analogy here.

Just saying you’re eating a salad doesn’t mean you are eating well. One could skip the hamburger for the salad then load it up with dressing and fried chicken. A report from ABC’s Good Morning America, points out that in many cases the salad is equally fatty or worse.

They point out that iceberg lettuce, which accounts for much of the salad, has “zero nutrients and zero fiber.”

Which is where I draw the line.

The story is all wrong. Yes, iceberg lettuce can be at zero, but so can everything else we eat. Let’s not take an entire crop and label it as useless.

Instead we should understand the nature of food. First and foremost, quality is the most important aspect of food and not all are created equal. Or, put another way, vegetables that are grown from quality seeds and harvested when ripe are densely filled with nutrients.

But, if you buy vegetables from a supermarket or fast food chain, you are not getting this. Instead, you are purchasing the cheapest food money can buy. Which means they are harvested before they are ripe and grown from the cheapest seeds.

There’s more. A growing number of items, like tomatoes and strawberries, have been modified to produce extra sugars. Added together you have produce practically empty of nutrients but with extra sugar.

Fantastic.

Even if you choose the best supermarkets have to offer, you skip the dressing, choose a lean meat, and all that…then the best you can do is “the cheapest food money can buy.”

A lot like choosing the Diet Coke.

If you’re new to this, here a good way to think about it.

Take the typical supermarket salad and cut it in half. That should be your portion size when eating high quality food. It should make you feel full and it should be delicious.

The reason for this is the dense amount of nutrients in the food which also makes it taste much better. Decrease the amount of nutrients and you will increase the amount you eat. It’s as simple as that.

Now, how long do you think it will take for 2/3 of America to understand this?

Sometimes you can spot the tomatoes that are "densely packed with nutrients"

photos

salad by catsper

tomatoes by clayirving