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The History of the Neapolitan Pizza

The History of the Neapolitan Pizza

The Neapolitan pizza, a culinary masterpiece from Naples, Italy, is not just a dish but a symbol of Italian tradition and culture. Its history dates back to the 18th century when it was a simple food for the poor, made with readily available ingredients like tomatoes and cheese. Over time, it gained popularity and became a beloved staple, with the Margherita and Marinara pizzas being the most iconic variations.

Neapolitan Pizza

The art of making Neapolitan pizza is so revered that it’s included on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. This recognition highlights the cultural significance and the meticulous process involved in crafting the perfect Neapolitan pizza.

When it comes to making your own Neapolitan pizza, the choice of flour is crucial. The best flour for this purpose is the Italian “00” flour. This finely milled flour has the perfect balance of protein and gluten, which is essential for creating a dough that’s easy to stretch and shape into a thin, light crust. The result is a pizza that’s crispy on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside.

The “00” designation refers to the fineness of the grind, with “00” being the finest. This fine texture allows for a smooth and soft dough, which leads to a crust that’s lighter and less chewy than those made with other types of flour. Additionally, 00 flour performs exceptionally well in high temperatures, which is ideal for traditional pizza ovens, creating that authentic Italian pizza experience.

The Neapolitan pizza is a testament to Italy's rich culinary history, and using 00 flour is the best way to honor this tradition when making your own pizza. Its fine texture and ideal gluten content work together to produce a crust that truly embodies the essence of a genuine Neapolitan pizza.

The traditional Neapolitan pizza is renowned for its simplicity and quality of ingredients. Here are the key components:

  • Dough: Made with high-quality Italian “00” flour, water, salt, and yeast. The dough is hand-kneaded and left to rise, which contributes to the pizza’s distinct texture.
  • Tomatoes: Typically, San Marzano tomatoes, which are grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius, are used for their sweet flavor and low acidity.
  • Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella, preferably buffalo mozzarella from Campania, is used for its creamy texture and rich taste.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a burst of flavor and a lovely aroma.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil adds a touch of richness and depth.
  • Sea Salt: For seasoning, enhancing all the flavors of the pizza.

These ingredients come together to create a light, flavorful pizza that embodies the essence of Neapolitan culinary tradition. The focus is on the quality and freshness of each ingredient, which is why Neapolitan pizza is such a beloved dish worldwide.


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