According to the Decalogue of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana a/k/a the 10 Commandments of Pizza, a true Neapolitan Pizza can be recognized by several distinguishing characteristics. Like the libretto (text) of an opera, the libretto of a pizza speaks volumes about that slice of pizza you are about to put in your mouth.
The libretto or the way a slice folds is one of the peculiarities of a true Italian pizza. The dough, the ingredients, the stretching techniques, cooking aroma, appearance and the libretto are all features of a true Neapolitan Pizza. With true Italian style and attention to detail the crust exposed by folding the pizza must be “1-2 cm high, even and puffed up, golden in color and with a very few burns and bubbles”. As far as a Neapolitan pizza is concerned, you want to see a lightly blistered crust yet without strong burns. The libretto checks the part underneath.
If New York City is a measure of how most Americans eat their pizza than a poll taken by Slice shows that over 60% prefer pizza a libretto. Folding their pizza more for convenience than a peak at the crust. Whether you eat pizza a taglia, (pizza in hand sold by the slice as in Rome) or a combination of knife and fork and hands and fold as an uncut single whole pie served in pizzerie all over Italy – don’t forget to check the way your crust folds. Textured, slightly springy, golden in color with a smoky flavor, slight char and lightly blistered crust, part of an individual work of art and an authentic taste of Italy.
2012 has ended and 2013 is well on its way. New Year’s resolutions are new and not yet broken and most of us are still retrospective about last year’s gains and losses; a perfect time to think about what we might have included in a time capsule for duemiladodici.
Time capsules have been around since the 7th century BC. Oglethorpe University in Atlanta Georgia, home of the International Time Capsule Society (ITCS), believes that leaving objects buried for future generations is a “valuable reminder” of the significant highlights of our history and gives us a voice into the future. For the 1939 World’s Fair, Westinghouse Electric created a time capsule that included a Mickey Mouse Cup, toothbrush, slide rule, eyeglasses, can opener, safety pin, the Sears Roebuck Catalog and Holy Bible. The 1964 World’s Fair Time Capsule gave historical importance to contact lenses, a transistor radio, birth control bills, a Beatles record, bikini and a credit card.
This got me thinking about what I would include in an Italian time capsule and here is what I came up with. Although I haven’t kept my choices within one calendar year I think that’s fine because when thinking about what to stash as a present for the future, anything from Italy remains eternal.
What would you include in an Italian time capsule?
Seeing and Savoring Italy’s Time Capsule
- Copy of a Renaissance painting
- Copy of a page from Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus
- Italian cashmere sweater
- Recording of Nessun dorma by Luciano Pavarotti
- A Venetian Carnevale mask
- Bialetti Moka pot
- Florentine leather bound journal
- Murano glass
- Tuscan terracotta
- Italian presepe
- An Italian designer handbag
- Recipe for an authentic Neapolitan pizza