While we walk into the future, everything must be “new.”
Naples city’s name comes from the Latin “Nea-Polis” (New – City).
Now, the NeoNeapolitan pizza style stands for New-Neapolitan.
NeoNeapolitan indicates an American pizza, made by using Italian techniques.
NeoNeapolitan pizza style
Today I was thinking about this pizza style: I was asking myself, “is it a real style? should I talk about it?”. Then I thought at all the controversial ways of thinking, at the criticism that could grow around my explanation of this style. So, because I like these kinds of arguments: here I am writing about the NeoNeapolitan style. Or, as many people call it: NewNeapolitan or NeoPolitan. Please choose the word that you like the most.
Let’s start with some etymology: NEO is a Latin word that means new.
Naples (in Italian: Napoli) comes from a Greek word “NEAPOLIS” that means “NEW CITY” (Polis = city).
Many settlers were moving to this city before its born. Whenever “something” was landing in Naples, the city was taking it and learning from it. And any time the city “was borning again” as a “new city” (NEA – POLIS) embracing and welcoming any new arrival.
The NeoNeapolitan pizza idea
By indicating a pizza style as NeoNeapolitan, we emphasize that Neapolitan style pizza is in continuous evolution.
Travel to LA
I heard about this style during a trip to Los Angeles with some Canadian chefs. The trip’s purpose was to have a close look at some new kind of pizza growing in popularity in LA.
The pizzas we saw had a very charcoal crust, crunchy dough, delicious local ingredients as toppings, sourdough aftertaste due to a long maturation process.
Someone asked me, “can we call it Neapolitan??”
I couldn’t have said that was Neapolitan pizza, even if it was very close to it.
In my opinion, that pizza was a Traditional style with substantial similarity to the Neapolitan. Then, a chef from LA made everything clear by saying, “this is the NeoNeapolitan.”
I’m sure that this style was born in LA, when some chefs started to play around with the Neapolitan STG rules by making the Neapolitan pizza recipe “more sophisticated”.
I found this interesting Pizza Today article that talks about the differences between Neapolitan and NeoNeapolitan (In the article, it is called “Neopolitan”).
Neapolitan style VS NeoNeapolitan
From the same article I mentioned above, I found this exciting table comparing the two pizza styles.
I mainly agree with everything on this table except for the 3rd line.
The dough weight range for the Neapolitan is 200 – 280 g. See the disciplinare in the paragraph “2.1.5 Fermentation/Dough Rising“.
For “Verace Pizza Napoletana” – (Vera Pizza Napoletana), the dough balls must weigh between 200 and 280 g to obtain a pizza with a diameter between 22 – 35 cm.
Also, I have to say that the NeoNeapolitan style dough ball rarely is over 250 g.