Friday, September 18, 2015

Sud Italia: The Street Food ‘Pizza al Portafoglio’

In a city like London full of pizzerias and fast-food pizza chains, it is not surprising that the idea of a street food pizza truck would develop. Indeed, there are several trucks that have been transformed into mobile pizza ovens.
What makes the truck at Old Spitalfields Market so special is the offering of “Pizza al Portafoglio”, wood-fired pizza that you can fold and eat in the street with your hands. This is a simple style of pizza that was born in Naples and reflects what pizza used to be during its humble beginnings: street food.


The Truck

The Pizzaioli

Sud Italia has been around for about a year and is a true Italian invention. Silvestro, one of the two founders and presently the only owner of Sud Italia, took this concept and adapted it to London. He bought from France a Citroen H Van from 1974 and made it a pizza truck with a wood-fired oven. Initially, he used to travel to daily food markets and thus change location continuously. Today, instead, the truck is only based at the Old Spitalfields Market, near Liverpool Street. His clients are usually from the area and there are many returning customers! However, many tourists come as well to try this delicious pizza.

Silvestro and Customers

The name “Sud Italia” reflects Silvestro’s origins. He is from the region of Abruzzo but his origins are from Sant’Antimo, a village close to Naples. He uses only fresh buffalo mozzarella Alburna, which is delivered twice a week from Salerno and authentic Parmesan cheese aged for 24 months. The dough is made using 00 Napoletana and whole-wheat flour, which, along the 24 to 48 hours dough raising, makes it very digestible. After that the panetti (i.e. dough balls) are done, the pizzaiolo makes the ‘disco di pasta’ (i.e. pizza base) that is prepared by hand making a movement from the centre to the periphery in such a way that a thick ‘cornicione’ (i.e. crust) is made. Then the toppings are added.

Panetti
Pizzaiolo's Hand Movements
The Ingredients
The menu changes around every two months. The most representative pizza is “Sud Italia”, made with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato, basil, parmesan and rocket. It was presented and well received at the London Pizza Festival (a post about it is coming up soon). Other must-try pizzas are the classic Margherita and pizza with nduja, a spicy and spreadable pork sausage from Calabria.
Pizza Margherita


Pizza with Nduja


The truck is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30AM to 3:30PM. It’s a must try for foodies and pizza lovers!

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