Around 5 years ago, I moved to Fifth Avenue and 18th Street in Brooklyn, a community that entrepreneurial (and slightly cheating) realtors referred to as Park Slope.
As it became out, it turned into not without a doubt Park Slope. It failed to (and nevertheless does not) have the upscale boutiques, nor the handsome brownstones, nor the fancy eating places, nor the strollers. But on my first night time dwelling at my new area, my roommates and I wanted to get some pizza, so we fired up Yelp and determined a place some blocks away—Toby’s Public House—which somehow had the satisfactory opinions inside the area for pizza notwithstanding having a name that gave the impression of a Manchester soccer hooligan pub.
Puzzled, and a piece worried, we made the walk with our concerns only mitigated by way of the famous truism that pizza is like sex: When it’s correct, it is exact, and whilst it is horrific, it is nonetheless quite right.
To think: A random area with the moniker and indoors of a mediocre British bar come what may have the first-rate pizza I’ve ever had in a city it is domestic to masses of pizza joints. And mind you, this turned into no $2 slice spot (although the New York slice, is, of path, a masterpiece all its own—it truly is any other story); this became respectable, Neapolitan-fashion pizza with that thin-but-now not-too-thin crust with the suitable doughiness; melted gobs of mozzarella di bufala, no longer the shredded stuff from a plastic bag; and balanced, tangy tomato sauce. (As an Italian, I have no reservations approximately maintaining that Neapolitan pizza is what accurate, “real” pizza need to be. I grew up in Italy, near Milan, and in Barcelona, Spain, in which I spent most of my teenage years at a chum’s Neapolitan pizzeria.)
After almost six years of residing in New York City, I’ve realized that finding extraordinary Neapolitan pizza in a neighborhood that slightly had a decent grocery store become no fluke. As it seems, it’s less difficult to find suitable pizza in New York than in many Italian cities.
Yes, you study that proper. As I take a seat in my workplace in Williamsburg, there are quite literally half a dozen awesome Neapolitan-style pizza restaurants in a -mile radius. I recognize this could sound ridiculous, however, I undertaking you to take a look at me with a directly face and tell me you would have the same clean access to exquisite, actual-to-Naples pizza in every other Italian town, together with Milan or Venice.
Sure, there’d be dozens of pizzerias. But the reality is that most pizzerias throughout non-Naples elements of Italy simplest serve pizza—and no longer superb pizza, at that—due to the fact vacationers demand it. Depending wherein you go, a pizza in Milan or Rome can be basically one-of-a-kind from Neapolitan pizza and is regularly made with low-nice ingredients, and with the aid of pizzaioli that haven’t any idea what they may be doing aside from topping an easy crust with some shape of tomato sauce and cheese.
Go to Florence or Rome and consume the primary pizza you locate; you may not be capable of persuading me that it’s top. (Sorry Romans, however Roman pizza is paper-skinny, barely crunchy, and made with bland dough—in my view, now not nearly as desirable as Neapolitan pizza.)
The grimy little mystery approximately Italian cuisine is that it’s enormously local and that the only area where you can find awesome pizza quite tons anywhere continuously is in Naples. If you positioned dogmas and countrywide pleasure aside, that need to be obvious. No one takes pizza as critically and has mastered its artwork as properly, as Neapolitans. (This is why they need mandatory licenses for all pizza-makers to show their craft and look down on such lowly pizza clichés as dough-spinning.)
Do you recognize where there are numerous Neapolitans outdoor in Naples? That’s proper—New York City. In truth, America’s first pizzeria changed into opened via a Neapolitan, and New York-style pizza changed into without delay stimulated by means of Neapolitan pizza.
And it’s no longer just early-1900s immigrants who have made New York City a true destination for satisfactory pizza. There’s a new wave of Italian transplants, and this time it’s all-megastar pizzaioli. In the previous few years, a number of the most famend pizzerias in Naples, inclusive of Starita and Sorbillo, have opened branches in New York City. (Their respective New York City joints are known as Don Antonio and Sorbillo NYC.)
So if you discover yourself in Italy and want appropriate pizza, do a chunk of research and hunt down a real genuine Neapolitan pizza joint. Or you are probably better off eating something else—Italian delicacies are chock complete of other, greater worth delicacies.
Because yes, even as horrific pizza in Italy continues to be quite right, you’re better off shopping for a ticket to New York.