Friday, August 19, 2016

Napoli on the Road: The Art of the Pizzaiuolo Meets the Streets of London

Add an Piaggio Ape personalized with a volcanic stone wood-fired oven and the know-how of two pizzaiuoli from Campania -Caserta and Napoli to be precise - and you have the recipe for a street-food business that is bringing the Neapolitan tradition of making pizza around London.
"Napoli on the Road" is the idea of Paolo and Michele, who used to work together as pizza chefs at the renowned pizzeria Sartori in Leicester Square. Early this year they started the project with the aim of bringing Neapolitan pizza in the streets and showing that it can be a light and digestible dish, unlike what many would think. Now they are present in various events, offices for lunch and markets around London. For instance, on Saturday they park their Ape at the Schoolyard Market, close to the famous Broadway Market in Hackney.

Michele and Paolo with their personalized Ape Piaggio
Michele working as baker

Paolo working as pizzaiuolo
The Volcanic Stone wood-fired Oven

 One of the things that make this truck special is that Paolo and Michele work in tandem: Michele usually is the fornaio (i.e. baker) and Paolo the pizza-maker. However, they sometimes switch roles. Unlike other food trucks, the customers can see the pizza making process clearly. They use fresh ingredients coming regularly from Italy. The buffalo mozzarella, for instance, is from a dairy in the province of Caserta. They also use the Piennolo tomato, a Slow Food product from the volcano Vesuvius. The pizza is digestible and light also thanks to the long lasting raising of the dough, which reaches 30 hours. Another characteristic feature is the high "Cornicione" (outer edge), which is typical of the Neapolitan tradition. The quality of all the ingredients is extremely high, even the olive oil (extra virgin, of course) and the flour (blend of the well-known Caputo brand).

Michele and Paolo working in tandem

Napoli on the Road
Using the Pomodoro del Piennolo on the pizza 

Let's look at the menu, but first the size: do not expect the same as a pizzeria. Instead, expect a light, digestible pizza that you can eat in the street. Prices are affordable, going from 4£ for Marinara (the classic with oregano, tomatoes, garlic and pepper) to 7£ for the Vegetarian and the "Napoli on the Road", which features the unique Pomodoro del Piennolo. Another pizza I would recommend is the new "Propepe", with smoked cheese, pepper, basil and tomatoes. As well, next month will feature the special "Ricotta e Zucchine", another classic that can be enjoyed by vegetarians as well.

Marina (with Pomodoro del Piennolo)
Propepe Pizza, the new addition

I do not like to make rankings or give a grade to a pizza, but I can safely say that this the among the best and more digestible pizzas I have tried. Well priced, for everyone and with typical ingredients from the Campania region.Paolo and Michele are bringing back the art of making pizza to the street and what better place to do so than the cosmopolitan and multicultural city of London?

Follow "Napoli on the Road" on Facebook to know about the next destination of the Ape:

Location: Londra, Regno Unito