So when I visited Donatella Arpaia's under-construction pizzeria yesterday (which I posted about this morning), she and our translator, Maurizio De Rosa, kept asking, "When is Ed Levine going to show up?" (And what am I, chopped liver?) So I got on the horn and got Ed to pedal down to the future home of Donatella's for a visit. (Yes, Ed rode his bike down, if you're wondering why he's wearing a bike helmet in throughout this discussion.)
The Naples natives in the room were adamant that an oven built on-location with all materials shipped over from Naples (save water, I imagine) would be superior to prefab units. ("By just a bit," De Rosa said.)
Skeptical, Ed kept pressing them on this issue, and of course, the conversation turned to the differences between strict-constructionist Neapolitan pizza as made in Naples and American-influenced developmentalist Neapolitan pizza.
Anyway, the folks in this room get very passionate and animated when talking about pizza. Who would have ever thought that would happen? I love the part where Enzo Coccia pulls out a historical photo of a pizza-maker from his wallet(!) and the part where Maurizio tells Ed:
"You are not the first reviewer! In 1750, a Neapolitan guy took the trouble to write a book of pizzeria reviews in Naples. With the names and the address! He was the original Ed Levine."
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Ed Levine Antagonizes a Group of Passionate Pizza Lovers
Important Letter from a Neapolitan Pizzeria
Dear Adam and Ed,
I am forwarding you this message on behalf of APN, Associazione Pizzaioli Napoletani USA.
A recent video-post on Slice (Neapolitans Talk Pizza) along with some related posts from Slice bloggers could have created some confusion on ovens for Neapolitan pizza. We would like to bring to your attention few FACTS to clarify things for your readers....