Ideology? I am obsessed with pizza and believe that all pizza is good, but not all pizza should be called pizza.
What I mean by this is you have Chicago style pizza and New York style pizza, and lots of different pizza available in Toronto. While they all call it pizza, its only common defining characteristics are that it is generally made of bread, topped with sauce, inexpensive mozzarella-type cheese, and a bunch of other toppings baked together. There is nothing wrong with enjoying this, it can be quite good at times (although it can also be quite bad!) but it’s not REALLY pizza. Pizza is a MUCH more specific thing, invented in Naples in the 18th century and an important part of their life and culture. So why not be true to this by respecting the rules set out by the European Union and the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association? According to them, if you want to call it Neapolitan Pizza it must follow these articles from the strict “Disciplinare” manual…
“Art. 5. Characteristics of the final product
a. Description of the product: «Pizza Napoletana» is an oven made circularly shaped culinary product , of a variable diameter which should not exceed 35 cm, with a elevated border (crust) and with the central part covered with toppings. The central part should be 0.3 cm thick, and the crust 1-2 cm thick. The pizza as a whole should be soft, elastic, easily folded as would be a pamphlet (aka LIBRETTO).
b. Aspect: «Pizza Napoletana» is characterized by a raised crust of golden color, typical of oven-made products. It is soft to the touch and taste, especially in the center of the toppings, where the red of the tomato stands out, and to which the oil or for the pizza marinara, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic has perfectly amalgamated; In the case of the pizza Margherita, the white of the mozzarella should be in patches more or less close together, with the green of the basil leaves, more or less dark from the cooking process. The consistency should be soft, elastic, easily foldable. The product should be soft to the touch, with a characteristic taste deriving from the crust, presenting the typical taste of risen and cooked bread, mixed with the acidity of tomato, combined with the aroma, respectively of the oregano, garlic or basil, and with the flavor of the cooked mozzarella. The pizza, at the end of the cooking process, will emanate a characteristic aroma, at once perfumed and fragrant.”
Pizzeria Libretto makes VPN certified Pizza, using the guidelines set out by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association and as set out by the Italian Government and the European Union. This strong statement is backed by our commitment to specifically selected high quality ingredients, made in a traditional manner with old world equipment. For example, the pizzas are made with San Marzano tomatoes, which come from the foot of Mount Vesuvius in Naples, with Fiore di Latte Mozzarella brought in fresh daily, and dough made from Italian double zero flour. These ingredients are baked quickly in 90 seconds in a 900 degree wood burning oven. Our oven was hand made in Naples by a 3rd generation pizza builder. We had a 5000 lbs oven shipped across the ocean because we believe that part of making a real Neapolitan Pizza is the charred and blistered crust which can only be achieved with this type of oven.
There is a reason why the European Union and the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association are all working really hard to preserve this piece of world culinary heritage. I invite you to come taste why.
–proprietor Max Rimaldi
p.s. We are also working to make Pizzeria Libretto as “green” as possible. Some highlights:
- We use locally grown ingredients, whenever possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the Neapolitan Pizza experience. All of our specials are based around local fresh ingredients in season.
- We do not serve bottled water, in order to reduce the carbon foot print and other environmental ramifications of this trend. We instead serve purified Toronto water and carbonated filtered water.
- We serve only fair trade organic espresso.
- Our used kitchen grease is converted into biodiesel fuel.
- We use green electricity, a mixture of emission-free wind power and low-impact water power provided by Bullfrog Power.
There is of course more than just this, and we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our footprint on this beautiful earth.