Neapolitan-style Pizza

DeltaPie serves Neapolitan-style pizza with a twist featuring the freshest local ingredients as much as possible. Our pies are cooked in a hearth-fired WoodStone oven at around 700 degrees Farhenheit and served right away. So you may ask, what is Neapolitan-style pizza?

What is Neapolitan-style Pizza?

Neapolitan pizza has had a long and storied history. The style originated in Naples, Italy, and constituted the first variation of the pizza anywhere. 

Pizza was a popular commodity in Naples in the 18th century among the poor. Flatbreads had existed for years, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that the peasants began topping their flatbreads with tomatoes brought from Peru. Oddly enough for over 200 years, the citizens of Naples were convinced they were poisonous. The answer was easy, at that time most Europeans were using pewter plates that reacted to the acidity in the tomatoes. It leached lead into the food and led to poisoning and death that was erroneously attributed to the tomatoes.

Once it was established that tomatoes were delicious red balls of heaven, the pizza was born, named ‘Pizza Marinara’ after the mariners who began eating the tomato-topped flatbread at the harbor. The marinara pizza had humble beginnings, but who do we have to thank endlessly for the genius of the tomato-cheese feast that we know as pizza today? 

That would be one Neapolitan baker by the name of Raffaele Esposito, who introduced cheese to the mix in 1889, thus proving the age-old theory that everything tastes better with cheese on it. Topping the pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella (the three colors of the Italian flag) he pioneered the creation we know and love today, coining it ‘Pizza Margherita’ after Queen Margharita of Savoy.

You’d think that from there, Naples would have become the world leader in experimenting with different toppings, but that’s far from the truth. While pizzerias line every street corner, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pizza that strays from the classic three-ingredient make-up. It’s bad news for those who enjoy pineapple on their pizza because the people of Naples are the ultimate purists (and if you’ve ever tasted a classic Neapolitan pizza, you’d agree that they have every right to be).

While the ingredients may seem basic, the classic Neapolitan is anything but. Today, pizza in Naples is a serious matter with its own set of rigorous rules which the Pizzaioli (the pizza makers) have to abide by. Pizzaiolis have to meet certain requirements which include using only the finest mozzarella di Bufala, a specific type of tomato, the dough cannot be stretched more than 0.4 centimeters in thickness, and can only be cooked in hearth-fired ovens.

So next time you’re munching down on your favorite slice topped with just about every meat, cheese, and vegetable under the sun, remember that bombarding your pizza with that much would likely get you thrown into pizza jail in Naples. Sometimes it’s good to strip it back to a simple Margharita or Marinara, to remember that those flavors are more than enough on their own. If it’s good enough for Italians, it’s good enough for us!