Pizza and coffee are scared in Napoli, the two have so many expressions of different kinds, yet for most foreigners they are very much alike. Discussing pizza is like discussing soccer, a world that encompasses all opinions of greatness, or disappointment.
Sitting with a well-known chef, we talk about the dough of pizza, he remains nameless as he wishes to avoid neapolitan politics. Many would say, it is the “pasta” the pizza’s dough that counts, the toppings are secondary and less important. One of my friends that introduced me to Enzo Coccia, says he used the finest organic wood to burn, she says that is one of his secrets.
Enzo is proud that his pizza takes 45 seconds to make, the pizzaiolo does not need to do much except not make a single mistake. Sitting with Italian friends last night at La Notizia, a popular pizzeria, you see no foreigners. Probably because it is rather far away from the centre of the city, a hair-raising ride with a local taxi takes 20 minutes. Driving in napoli is an experience that you shouldn’t miss, red lights are not red, they are green. The taxi driver smoothly says, “normale”, as a scooter rips through a red light shaving the side of our taxi.
Enzo is very cool, handsome, slim and energetic he talks, walks and jokes with us. Suggesting some consulting, I first contacted Enzo almost five years ago about helping me with pizza. Unfortunately he doesn’t speak a word of english, he speak a dialect of neapolitan language. His pizza’s are like choosing a horse at a track, pages and pages of variations. Below is a calzone scarola, a pizza sandwich made with olives, capers, salted anchovies, black pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and scarola, a green leafy vegetable. It is very good, unusual as we are used to da michele.
The pizza’s are many, we have a degustation of combinations I have never seen, the opposite to da michele in Napoli’s center, where they only serve two, marinara and margherita. The pizza at la notizia, is certainly worthy of a visit, it has a dough that is “special’, thin as it comes, there is little show, the tastes are pure and the place is jumping with locals.
The one important element about pizza says claudio, living in Nerano he visits notizia frequently, “this pizza leaves you feeling good, not heavy”, and this is so true. I never thought of it this way.
Enzo reminds me of a term, I laugh, we laugh and say good-bye, he uses the local word, guaglio, which means boy in a friendly way.
“Ciao guaglio”, we hug and off to Romeo, a hotel of luxury in Naples.