There is a big debate among Italians on how the best Pizza should taste but also how it should look.
You need to start from a good looking Pizza to expect a good tasting Pizza.
But what is the correct look?
People from all over the 20 Italian regions claim they have the "più buona" (tastiest) Pizza of the country so lets try to investigate it a little deeper.
In Italy, condiments rarely differ from North to South.
- Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
- Parma Ham
- Porcini Mushrooms
- Zucchini Flower (Fiori di Zucca)
UNPOPULAR TOPPINGS (Hard to find on Pizzas Menu):
- Pineapple (or any other fruits)
- Green Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
What really differ in Italian cities is instead the preparation of the dough. There are several recipes and of course the taste can widely vary. For example the use or not of lard or the type of flour such as rye or wholemeal or the amount of natural rising process.
To keep it simple at the end of the day we can summarize it easily in 2 main categories:
DEEP PAN - PIZZA ALTA
Typical from southern regions - mainly from Naples.
THIN CRUST - PIZZA BASSA
Typical from central and northern regions - mainly from Rome.
It is difficult to choose one above the other as it mainly depends on the restaurant choice, however there are a few things to consider in order to make the most appropriate choice.
For example Thin Crust Pizzas are generally wider and often exceed the plate edge. For this reason they are likely to contain more toppings resulting in a higher sense of fulfillment after the meal.
Also Thin Crust Pizzas more likely allow you to better enjoy the taste of condiments such as fresh tomato, olive oil, mozzarella and so on due to the fact that they contain less bread that might flatten the flavor.
It must be taken also into consideration that Thin Crust Pizzas tend to be crunchier whereas Deep Pan Pizzas are often more elastic and rubbery but on the other hand it might result more difficult to lift a Thin Crust Pizza due to the weight of its condiments. In fact Deep Pan tend to be easier to eat with your hands and Thin Crust might require the use of forks and knife.
To understand weather you stand for Pizza Alta or Pizza Bassa, I would recommend to try only restaurants with real wood oven ("forno a legna") but keep in mind that often a restaurant might turn on their fire place only for dinner time while using electric oven for daily meals.
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