What to expect at a Neapolitan pizzeria

The dining experience at an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria is dramatically different from Chicago-style and other conventional American pizzerias. Neapolitan style pizza is an art form, and it is best enjoyed in the rustic dining atmosphere of a pizzeria where wine flows freely and food is the star.

Single-serving pizzas

Neapolitan pizzas are hand tossed, so they may vary slightly in shape and size, but they tend to be only about 12 inches in diameter. Because they are so thin, they are best enjoyed as single-serving pizzas. Unless you are ordering salads or appetizers as well, you should stick to ordering one pizza per person.

Simplicity in toppings

Size aside, one of the biggest differences between Neapolitan and American pizzas is the amount of toppings on the pizza. Gooey buffalo mozzarella may not cover the whole surface of the pie, as pockets of tomatoes and basil often poke through. Even non-Margherita pizzas have only three to four toppings, and this is to showcase the incredible flavors of each ingredient. San Marzano tomatoes feature a depth almost unheard of in commercially-produced tomatoes found in most American supermarkets. Therefore, they should not be overshadowed by mounds of various toppings. If you do want a little extra cheese on your pizza, however, you can order the pizza “doppio,” which will add another handful of mozzarella.

Charring on the crust

The crust of Neapolitan pizza is created from brick wood-fired ovens that may reach nearly 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Pizzas are only cooked for a few minutes, and they come out with charring on the crust and a chewy, airy texture inside.

To experience Neapolitan pizza as it should be served, visit Fiammé in Naperville. You can explore their whole menu online or call 630-470-9441 to make reservations for dinner.

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