Neapolitan pizza and New York-style pizza dough are two of the most popular types of pizza, and they have very distinctive qualities and characteristics. But no matter how you top it or cook it, one could be forgiven for confusing a New York-style and Neapolitan pizza from a distance. They’re round, rely on the same core ingredients, and are both undeniably delicious. But, in reality, they’re as far apart as New York and Naples.
The Pizza Napoletana is an Italian specialty native to the coastal city of Naples in Campania. This is as traditional as it gets. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is credited as the oldest, still-operating pizza place in Naples (and the world) and goes back to 1738.
Today, a very serious organization, the True Neapolitan Pizza Association, sets strict rules and definitions for pizza making in the city.
With the first Italian immigrants looking for a fresh start under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty came enthusiastic pizza makers, ready to swoon the good folks on the new continent off their feet.
America’s first pizzeria, Lombardy, opened its doors in 1905, and many others soon opened — some still operate today. The New York-style pizza was born.
What’s the difference between New York and Neapolitan-style pizza? And how did Italy’s invention become so different in the United States? Here are some points of difference:
This is the pizza base, but what are the differences between these two pizzas? The Italian pizza dough is made with extra care by paying attention to time.
After preparing the dough, it can sometimes sit for at least 24 hours or even 72 hours. This is to allow the leavening of the flour in the dough. They pay attention to the type and amount of flour used.
This Italian manner of care is not often performed on American dough as any flour can be used, and their wait time ranges from 8 to 16 hours. This is why most commercial pizzerias make pizza in a short time.
Not all crust is made equal. There’s a large difference between Italian pizza and American pizza; it all starts with the crust. Most Italian pizzerias skillfully stretch the dough to the point where it resembles a cracker with tomato sauce and cheese. It’s so thin and light that many eat a whole pie alone.
As an aside, Sicilian pizza, a vastly different take on the traditional pie, is completely different. It is thick, rectangular, and much heavier. On the other hand, American pizza comes in a large variety of crusts: New York floppy slice, Chicago deep-dish, Detroit pan, and New Haven coal fire.
Italians use fresh & pure tomato sauce, usually unflavored and devoid of additives or colorings. This sauce is the main characteristic of the classic Naples pizza from Italy. Other Italian pizzas may incorporate other cooking components in their sauce.
The Americans use thick and flavored tomato sauce, usually cooked beforehand. This is the feature of a typical New York Pizza. Other American styles may use other sauce types.
Early New York pizzerias relied on coal-fired ovens to replicate the high-temperature wood-fired ovens of Italy. But, over time, shops transitioned to gas-powered ovens, which required a change in methodology.
Fresh mozzarella was not suitable for the longer cooking times, so chefs replaced it with shredded low-moisture mozzarella. Shredded mozzarella wasn’t in line with Italian tradition. Still, it had a clear advantage: low-moisture cheese could be used liberally, whereas fresh mozzarella had to be used lightly to avoid making a pie too soggy.
Americans have such diverse tastebuds that pizzerias are required to offer a whole slew of toppings and cheeses. Even when you order a plain pie, American has much more cheese than its Italian counterpart.
This is because, in Italy, whole pies are often consumed on the go. This means they need to be very light and digestible. It’s also why Italians tend to not order them with only one topping.
Mixing toppings is part of American evolution. No other country offers as much variety as we do here in the United States. Whether it’s a meat lover’s special, the works, or something in between, America is unlike any other in the world. With all of that being said, hopefully, we were able to clear up the differences between Italian and American. No matter your preference, though, we can all agree that is amazing.
Key Takeaway pizza
Any type you choose is fine and good for you. If you are looking for a more traditional incline that is closest to nature, your pick is Italian. The Italian is made with laid down rules which will rarely change to fit anyone.
If you are looking for a mix of tradition and modernization, America is the linking joint. It is similar to rice and will accommodate any change as far as it brings a type of uniqueness and makes everybody happy.