When you speak about pizza in Italy, everyone have their own opinion. People who love thin pizza, others who love it higher, who prefers it soft, who prefer it crispy, who wants it red, who wants it white.
To each his own, and the best version is impossible to establish. If you consider that in the world there are so many different types, it’s very difficult to draw up a classification.
We can start by clarifying that in Italy there are many different types of pizza in Italy. Among all, we’ve decided to make a difference between the Roman pizza and the Neapolitan pizza.
Roman pizza vs. Neapolitan pizza: which one was born first?
It’s almost impossible to establish which type of pizza was born first, between the Roman one and the Neapolitan one. Its history is long and undefined because this Italian food was subjected to different influences during the centuries.
Since the ancient times, among Egyptians and the Romans, there were white flatbread pizzas (leavened or not), but we cannot say if these were the real forefathers of our modern pizza.
We know for sure that one of the first documents in which the word “pizza” appeared for the first time was in Gaeta, province of Latina, in 997. We’re halfway Rome and Naples.
In the XVI century Benedetto Di Falco will write that “in the Neapolitan dialect the focaccia is called pizza”.
Only after the introduction of the tomato in Italy and after its plantation, pizza was transformed into the modern one. But if it was born first in Rome or in Naples is still a mystery!
The characteristics of the Roman pizza
The Roman pizza is also known as the “scrocchiarella Roman pizza”, because one of its main characteristics is the crumbliness of its dough.
This is the most famous pizza in Italy, despite it is not so recognisable: over time and because of its diffusion nationally, it lost its “crunchy” characteristic. Luckily today they’re working for giving to the Roman pizza its original characteristics.
Let’s see them:
- The dough is thin and crunchy;
- The crust is thin and crumbly;
- The dough is made of soft wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil;
- It is shaped and flattened with a rolling pin;
- The cooking is longer so that the oven can dry the dough and make it crunchy.
Roman pizza can be baked in the baking tray or on the oven shovel. You can put whatever you want on it, but the most famous ingredients are tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, anchovies, basil, pecorino cheese and pepper.
A suggestion for you: if you’re in Rome, you can join our street food tour for tasting the real Roman pizza! You will not regret it!
The characteristics of the Neapolitan pizza
Let’s talk about Neapolitan pizza, the most famous type of pizza in the world.
This type of pizza, together with pasta, is a real mouthpiece of the Italian and neapolitan food culture, so much that in 2017 the UNESCO has recognised “the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker” as World Heritage Site.
Here are the characteristics:
- It’s dough is soft;
- The crust, which absorbs air while it’s kneaded, is high and soft and it is called “cornicione”;
- The dough is made with water, flour, yeast and salt without any oily part like oil or lard;
- The cooking in the wooden oven is almost 50-90 seconds.
Like the Roman pizza, also the Neapolitan pizza has different types of seasonings, but the most traditional are Marinara and Margherita types. The first one is with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano and oil, while the second one, maybe the most famous in the world, is with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and oil.
So, which are the differences between a Roman pizza and a Neapolitan pizza?
We have explained the characteristics of these two famous types of pizza, but which are the real differences between the Roman pizza and the Neapolitan one?
The first one is thin and crunchy; the second one is soft and fluffy. The Roman one is made with oil, the Neapolitan not. If the Roman pizza needs a slow cooking, the Neapolitan one needs 50-90 seconds in the wooden oven.
Finally there’s another difference about the way it is served. Even if both are perfect for the street food, the Roman pizza is served by the slice, while the Neapolitan pizza is folded in four with a special food paper and it’s called a portafoglio (lit. wallet pizza).
These different proposals and preparations give birth to many debates about which one is the best pizza in Italy.
Which one do you prefer? The Roman or the Neapolitan one?