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The secrets of pizza according to a Neapolitan pizza maker

In the 'Pizzaiolo Day' we discover how this delicious heritage of humanity is made.

Happy day to the pizzerias that give us happiness! © Grosso Napoletano

A pizza maker is made and a good pizza maker is born. First truth of the Neapolitan pizza secret, intangible universal heritage according to UNESCO. “In the end this is an art, not anyone is worth it to do it. It has been learned since they are children, it is a family job in many cases, ”says Coke, founding partner of Grosso Napoletano in Madrid, where once they understood the secret they decided to only bring pizzaioli from Naples.

“It's a special thing and you have to have some skill. It is not easy, first you have to find a recipe, it depends on the water and the flour, each one has its own recipe within the limits marked by what is Neapolitan pizza, and then carry it out, knead it live , it's not easy, ”he continues.

The circle of congratulations. © Grosso Napoletano

The secret of the perfect Neapolitan pizza is A combination of secrets. That is the second truth. Of course, it is essential a good dough, that the peculiarity of the Neapolitan is that it is not put in the fridge and must be fermenting more than 30 hours. There is no doubt that you need not good ingredients, but the only ones, the best ones. At least if we talk about pizza di Napoli, the tomato has to be San Marzano and the Buffalo mozzarella with designation of origin of Campania. But a pizza worthy of humanity and its heritage will not come out if the pizzaiolo not the "It has given good slaps" or if the oven is not wood, or more specifically, if it was not at the exact temperature.

With your hands in the masaaaa ... © Grosso Napoletano

They are things that Mario, executive pizza maker from Grosso Napoletano He started learning with 13 years. “In Naples be pizzaiolo It is very vocational, it is the official profession of the Neapolitans. In Italy if you say 'I am Neapolitan', they say 'make me a pizza'. Everyone in Naples freaks to make pizza or eat it or watch when they do it. My little brother of eight years asks for a pizza 'well levitated with high edges because he wants to see if the air is inside'. They are things that talk a lot, it was the first street food of the world".

Mario, like many kids his age, loved to see how they made pizza. Not surprisingly, Unesco has recognized that “for many young professionals, becoming pizzaiuolo It also represents a way to avoid social marginality. ”

In his case it was not out of necessity but for pleasure, and Mario was fortunate that his uncle had a pizzeria and in the summer of 13 he began working with him in the afternoon. "I stored food and made pizza boxes to go," he recalls. “And at 16 I was ready to make pizzas. It's like the army, they train you and then they send you to war. ”

The secret is in the oven. © Grosso Napoletano

He was one of those who was born with the gift to stretch and knead the pizza only as the Neapolitans do, "Slapping her, because you can throw her in the air, and if the oven is good, it will be good, but it's not the same," confess But he was not good at the oven, and his uncle told him that until he controlled it he would not knead again.

"Before pizzaioloyou are fornaio, you go through the oven, the oven has to be your friend. And it is not easy, you have to know that there is a type of firewood that is placed behind and warms more, other thinner logs are put in front to make a flame. It is not easy to know how to rotate 360 ​​degrees with the shovel and not burn. And it is essential that for a pizza to come out perfect the oven is always between 450 degrees and a maximum of 480 or 490, at most. If it's over, the mozzarella melts with the tomato and an orange stain forms, ”explains Mario. "In Grosso, a pizza with that color does not come to the table."

The authentic Neapolitan pizza. © Grosso Napoletano

At 18, Mario already controlled the oven and the dough. "And I took my uncle's job," he laughs. At 21 he came on vacation to Madrid and stayed. He started working in the first Neapolitan wood-fired oven in the city (“That was a year younger than me, 1994,” he says) in a pizzeria already disappeared in Cava Baja and today is a pizzaiolo recognized, which came recommended from Naples for the members of Grosso Napoletano.

The third truth of Napoletana pizza is “that a good pizzaiolo without a good team behind is nobody,” says Mario. “It's a job that is only done well with passion and humility ”, Add. "You are never good enough to believe yourself better than others and you always keep learning from everyone." Although yes, when you reach a respected level your true secrets do not share them with everyone.

In Grosso Napoletano follow the recipe and Mario system and who can not do it yet, is in the oven. But… "I don't teach anyone to make pizza," He says. "I have my secrets, my technique has taken me months and years to learn and perfect it. I can't teach it in five minutes."

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