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Bloated

All About Pizza

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In Naples last week I ate at some of the ‘famous’ pizzerias: Sorbillo, Trianon, Port Alba and Da Michele. There were queues outside of Da Michele and Sorbillo. The pizzas are cheap (three euros for a Margherita) and were all very nice- all roughly the same standard. I ate twice at Da Michele- on one occasion the pizza had a different character to the other pizzas I ate. It was baked in less than a minute- that was the main difference I could tell compared with the other ones which took about two minutes to bake.

Most of the pizzas on menus are made with ‘fior di latte’ cheese rather than mozzarella and have a lot of oil poured on them before baking.

Those of you that live in London: I am going to go back to make sure but I don’t think the pizzas at eg Pizza Metro are far behind the Naples standard at all- perhaps the base is a little bit heavier at Pizza Metro, the pizzas there are of course much more expensive.

I tried some of the potato croquettes available at roadside stands, but even the ones with mozzarella in them were not all that great- but the mashed potato was light.

I bought a couple of chocolates to sample. Cioccalata di Modicano was one of the brands.

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Would you believe that all the times I have been at Metro Pizza I've never actually had their pizza!!! (their Antipasti and Pasta with lobster etc so mind blowing that I just cannot order anything else!). However UK Pizzarias do tend to have a heavier crust compared to Italy.

Just to prove I am not an 'Italian snob' I do think that the Neopolitano with an egg in the middle at.....er........Pizza Express is very good! Anyone heard the rumour that the chain is going out of business (if it's true then it proves something, I'm not sure what).

Bloated, did you notice that in many Pizzarias in Napoli serve only beer, no wine?!!!

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I can't speak for Neopolitan pizzarias but the pizza at Chez Black on the beach in Positano used to be glorious. The other "great" pizza I knew was at a place in Venice whose name I can't recall at the moment. But it was near La Fenice.

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Bloated, did you notice that in many Pizzarias in Napoli serve only beer, no wine?!!!

Italians associate pizza and beer. Look around you at any pizzeria and you will see almost everyone drinking beer instead of wine.

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

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I grew up drinking (and still do drink) root beer with pizza. Not that I don't like regular beer and wine with pizza, mind you.

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Actually the 'spina' wine they sell in most pizzerias is fizzy and a lot more like Coca Cola than Chianiti. It washes down a pizza just as well as Coke - but not as well as beer.

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"Chi ga inventado il vin, se no 'l xe in paradiso, el xe vixin."

Maybe it's me but what language is this - with all the x's it must be Basque! My guess is a New York Italian dialect??? Portugese??

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Yes, I drink Zinfandel, the coca cola of wine.


beachfan

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"Chi ga inventado il vin, se no 'l xe in paradiso, el xe vixin."

Maybe it's me but what language is this - with all the x's it must be Basque! My guess is a New York Italian dialect??? Portugese??

It's "old Italian." Nothing to do with New York or Portuguese.

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Yes, I drink Zinfandel, the coca cola of wine.

Zinfandel doesnt deserve that moniker, its a serious varietal.

WHITE Zinfandel however, like the kind Beringer makes, definitely deserves that title.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I've eaten a lot of pizza in northern Italy, particular in the areas around Varese, Como, Milano, etc. The style of pizza is distinctive, and consistent - thin, thin crusts, crispy edges but absolutely cut-able with a knife and fork, a bit charcoal-y on the bottom and edges, not too much topping, and the topping doesn't extend all the way out to the edges, and not too too much oil. I almost always get 4 stagione - and I love the differences in the toppings between pizzeria to pizzeria. We always drink beer - and just about everybody is doing the same.

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Yes, I drink Zinfandel, the coca cola of wine.

Zinfandel doesnt deserve that moniker, its a serious varietal.

Not according to lots of people. Matter of opinion, right?

I like drinking Zinfandel sometimes myself - but sophisticated it ain't.


Edited by La Niña (log)

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I always thought the closer analogy to Zinfandel was mouthwash or toothpaste.

Zinfandel toothpaste - is this from Tom's of Maine?

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Yes, I drink Zinfandel, the coca cola of wine.

Zinfandel doesnt deserve that moniker, its a serious varietal.

WHITE Zinfandel however, like the kind Beringer makes, definitely deserves that title.

If I wanted to insult the varietal, I would have called it the Pepsi of wine.

It is most definitely a serious varietal. And often delicious. But not sophisticated.


Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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"Chi ga inventado il vin, se no 'l xe in paradiso, el xe vixin."

Maybe it's me but what language is this - with all the x's it must be Basque! My guess is a New York Italian dialect??? Portugese??

It's "old Italian." Nothing to do with New York or Portuguese.

It is simply an adage in dialect from Veneto which roughly translates as "if whoever invented wine is not in paradise, he's close to it". Nothing to do with old Italian (a most difficult thing to define, BTW).

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Well did you ever drink wine with pizza? No matter how many times I've heard someone say "this is a good pizza wine," it isn't any good. Coca Cola is better with pizza then wine is.

Yes, I drink Zinfandel, the coca cola of wine.

Zinfandel doesnt deserve that moniker, its a serious varietal.

Not according to lots of people. Matter of opinion, right?

I like drinking Zinfandel sometimes myself - but sophisticated it ain't.

Hmmmmh. I definately disagree (surprise, surprise).

Points:

Zinfandel IS a serious wine. For me an aging Foppiano is stunning but there's a lot of cheap wines that have the name Zinfandel which are nothing to do whatsover with the Great Zinfandels. Maybe that's what you've been drinking?

Or are you talking about White Zinfandel which is a pop wine!

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"Chi ga inventado il vin, se no 'l xe in paradiso, el xe vixin."

Maybe it's me but what language is this - with all the x's it must be Basque! My guess is a New York Italian dialect??? Portugese??

It's "old Italian." Nothing to do with New York or Portuguese.

It is simply an adage in dialect from Veneto which roughly translates as "if whoever invented wine is not in paradise, he's close to it". Nothing to do with old Italian (a most difficult thing to define, BTW).

Do you pronounce it with a high pitched accent alla Veneto dialect?

In the movie Lorenzo's Gold Nick Nolte got panned for his "bad Italian accent" - actually his accent was not bad at all, trouble was it was a Veneto accent and not what many consider an Italian accent which, they say, should be Gel-ah-toe, Spa-ghe-tti - slightly up in the middle and definitely descending down at the end, which is actually how Southern Italians speak and as the vast majority of immigrants were from the South this accent was accepted as Real Italian (ha! little joke there for Thom).

"Old Italian"? What is that? Nearest I can think (apart from Latin) is Italiano Vulgari di Dante (vulgar Italian from Dante - i.e Dante's Inferno) which was actually Latin's Tuscan dialect and is now considered to be perfect Italian (actually not, Italians say that perfect Italian is "Lingua Toscana in Boca Romana" meaning the Tuscan tongue - words - in a Roman mouth - accent).

Peace, love and pasta.

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If I wanted to insult the varietal, I would have called it the Pepsi of wine.

Well I would have done that except that it doesn't taste like cola and it does taste like toothpaste and mouthwash.

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If I wanted to insult the varietal, I would have called it the Pepsi of wine.

Well I would have done that except that it doesn't taste like cola and it does taste like toothpaste and mouthwash.

Sorry Steve, you may have just discovered that it's fun to eat where the locals eat but you still need to learn a lot more before you can spout your head of. Zinfandel is a great varietal as Jason Perlow himself said. I have no idea what you were drinking.

n.b. actually that was a good descripton as to your experiences in Lyon.

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There is no such thing as a great varietal without great terroir. The syrah grape outside of Cote Rotie is a mere shadow of itself. Same for pinot noir and Burgundy. Zinfandel I submit, is neither a great varietal, nor do they grow it anywhere where there is great terroir. Even Ridge, who arguably makes the best zinfandel, blends it with other varietals in order to make Geyserville, a wine that I rank on the order of, "order if there is nothing else to drink on the wine list" category. Beer is still better with pizza and zinfandel still tastes like mouthwash.

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I gotta agree with Steve here. Well, certainly on the fact that Zin is not a great varietal. Mind you, I like to drink it sometimes - the bold, uncomplicated, fruit-in-your-face thing is welcome when I'm in the mood, or if a food seems to warrant it - but ultimately I find drinking Zin unsatisfying, relatively speaking - no complexity, no subtlety, no sophistication - just bold, bold, right there in front of you - and yes, no sense of terroir whatsoever.

Those who disagree might do some further reading (I don't mean on egullet).


Edited by La Niña (log)

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Zinfandel is a great varietal

That's just not true. Great varietals get transplanted to be made all over the world. Great varietals have numerous producers who's wine is known for aging and complexity in a multitudes of vintages- great varietals have been such for hundreds of years and have never been "saved" by their use as a white wine. Great varietals have success in multiple different styles of winemaking.

Zin has a place, and there may be some great zins, but it's not a great varietal.

Cheers,

Charles

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