CANOTTO (say ‘ka-no-toe’).
The translation is “inflatable dinghy.”
Canotto pizza is a relatively new style of pizza, and the name refers to the puffy crust, which is achieved through careful stretching and baking techniques. The dough is typically made with a high hydration level of around 70% and often utilizes a preferment like Poolish or biga to help achieve the desired texture. Unlike Neapolitan pizza, there are no strict rules governing the preparation of Canotto pizza, so different pizzaiolos may have their own variations and techniques.
The debate: Canotto pizza vs Neapolitan
There is a debate among pizza makers about whether Canotto pizza should be considered a type of Neapolitan pizza or not.
Some purist Neapolitan pizzaioli do not consider Canotto as a Neapolitan pizza or something close to it. However, this debate is probably helping to increase the popularity of the Canotto pizza trend.
Carlo Sammarco is often credited as being the first pizzaiolo to work on the Canotto style and he has said that he took the unloved crust and made it his trademark.
Carlo Sammarco has trademarked the word “Canotto pizza” for his restaurant, and some other pizza chefs are now using the term “pizza contemporanea” to refer to this kind of style of pizza.
“Contemporanea” translates to “contemporary pizza” and is a way to describe the innovative and modern approach to pizza-making that Canotto represents.
Here you have the Carlo Sammarco Instagram page:
Nowadays many other famous pizza chefs are working on this kind of fluffy, huge, cornicione creation. Just to mention some of them: Salvatore Lionello; Marco Quintili; Vincenzo Capuano; Francesco Martucci; Diego Vitagliano; Angelo Pezzella; Raffaele Bonetta; Giuseppe Pignalosa; Sasa’ Martucci…
It’s possible that the Canotto pizza style (or “pizza Contemporanea”) is becoming a bigger trend in the pizza world, especially with the release of the new Caputo flour mix designed specifically for creating a Canotto-style crust. The fact that a well-known and respected brand like Caputo is investing in exploring this trend suggests that it may have a lasting impact on the pizza industry. However, only time will tell if the Canotto pizza style will become a long-lasting trend or just a passing fad.