'VPN' on Serious Eats

What Is VPN Pizza?

What is "VPN" pizza? Glad you asked. Do you want the short or the long answer? The short answer: VPN stands for Verace Pizza Napoletana ("true Neapolitan pizza"). But the real question you should be asking is, "What does that mean?" More

Naples Comes to Seattle

The inaugural Neapolitan Pizza Forum will be held in Seattle June 24–29. Why Seattle, you ask? Well, there are several similarities between Naples and Seattle that make this city an ideal choice for VPN Americas' initial pizza convention. First of all, the skylines of both cities include a magnificent yet ominous volcano looming in the distance (Mount Vesuvius and Mount Rainier, respectively). Another shared geographical feature is that both of these busy ports are anchored in a magnificent bay. But from a culinary perspective, both Naples and Seattle are world-renowned for their inspired coffee and seafood, and most important,... More

Chicago's Spacca Napoli: Good But Not Great

Spacca Napoli 1769 West Sunnyside, Chicago IL 60640 (map); 773-878-2420; spaccanapolipizzeria.com Pizza Style: Neapolitan, as verified by the VPN Oven Fuel Source: Wood, of course I wanted to love Spacca Napoli. I really did. Having taken massive amounts of grief for allegedly dissing deep dish Chicago pizza by characterizing it as "at best, a good casserole" in my book Pizza: Slice of Heaven, I was hoping to swoon over Jon Goldsmith's VPN-certified pizzeria in the Windy City and put Spacca Napoli in my pizza pantheon. The friend I met there, Andrew Huff, founder of Gaper's Block, compared Spacca Napoli... More

It's Not Pizza Napoletana if You Don't Follow the Rules

Photograph from stu_spivack on Flickr Pizza Margherita will now be recognized as a "regional specialty" in Naples by the European Union under its official name, the Pizza Napoletana. This means anyone claiming to sell a Pizza Napoletana must now adhere to the rules of what constitutes a Pizza Napoletana, as conceived by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (the True Neapolitan Pizza Association): The diameter must be no more than 35 cm (14 inches) in diameter and no thicker than 1/3 of a centimeter at its center The tomato base must be made from the San Marzano variety of tomatoes... More

Chicago Pizza Goes Thin

SPACCA NAPOLI PIZZERIA Address: 1769 West Sunnyside Avenue, Chicago IL 60640 [map] Phone number: 773-878-2420 Website: spaccanapolipizzeria.com Hours: Lunch, W-Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner, W-Th., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., F-Sat., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sun., noon to 9 p.m. An interesting story in the "Good Eating" section of the Chicago Tribune today about the Windy City's Spacca Napoli, complete with recipe. The piece touches on the Neapolitan pizza trend that's sweeping Chicago (as it has in New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco), namechecking a handful of thin-crust Italian-style pizzerias that have opened there in the last... More

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