Newsletter 47 del 22 dicembre 2017

Dear {{NOME}},

After presenting the 11th edition of the Guida di Identità Golose ai ristoranti di Italia, Europa e Mondo (the third only online) at the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan on the 28th November, we gave a look at the reviews. We were thrilled to see there are 68 pizzerias. In 2008, when the guide debuted, there were only two.

This doesn’t mean there were no pizzerias. However, low prices and large quantities gave higher rewards than high quality flour, dough and ingredients, cooking and service. So what’s better, pizza served in a piece or sliced? Sincere sharing or «I’m full, who wants a slice?».

Pizza has changed so much over the past ten years, that it cannot change again, not with the same force, though it will not remain the same. But which direction will it take? Are we sure slices will still be as popular many years from now? Or perhaps smaller sizes, though not too small, will be necessary? At Sirani in Bagnolo Mella (Brescia), Nerio Beghi serves pizzas for 150 grams instead of 220 in midmorning. This could be a way.

Paolo Marchi



It is a known fact, that wheat is a precious reserve of energy for our body. What’s less known, unfortunately, is that the quality of this energy depends mostly on the climate in which the spikes grow and later the grains are stocked. Different combinations of humidity and temperature, rain and drought while the wheat grows, storehouse climatization, are some of the elements that have a crucial effect on the technological performance of flour in the dough of leavened products. Plus the yeast’s yield is crucially affected by the environment in which the dough is left to rise, as well as by the flour used.

Climate, yeast and grains are pieces of a net in which energy flows following fluctuating schemes, which one must know in order to make good baked products without artificially altering their natural dynamics. PizzaUp 2017 launched a debate on this topic, starting from the origin of the wheat, and highlighted the importance of selecting a good climate for the wheat, year by year, regardless of its geographical origin. See the live streaming from PizzaUp.

Piero Gabrieli

PizzaUp, giving value to original wheat

Chef Peter Brunel in a photo by Carlo Baroni during the 12th edition of PizzaUp in Vighizzolo d'Este, Padua, in November 2017

PizzaUp, edition number 12 in Vighizzolo d’Este (Padua) in November focused on a truth pointed out by Piero Gabrieli, marketing director at Molino Quaglia: «There’s lots of confusion online, where words and definitions often become labels that lack a real meaning. Wheat, mills and flour are no exception: consumers’ perception of these elements has remained the same, even though technological developments have revolutionised wheat cultivation and its transformation into flour.

Paolo Marchi

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From 2 to 68: pizzerias tackle the Guida 2018

Simone Padoan, Gabriele Bonci, Giancarlo Casa and Stefano Callegari: there were only 4 pizzaioli in the 2009 Guida IG, the second edition; the former two were also in the 2008 Guida, the debut. They now have 64 colleagues, in the latest editions, and they’re still there: a proof that high quality was the right choice

There’s a total of 68 fine dining pizzerias in the Guida Identità Golose 2018, with as many as 19 new places compared to last year (and the number is destined to grow). The number of oven-focused places grows in our publication because there’s a growing number of high quality places across the country. A phenomenon that is spreading quickly: with new places in Trentino Alto Adige (Enosteria I Momenti), Sardinia (Sa Scolla) and Apulia (four, in fact: Le Macàre and Taverna del Porto, with a double soul, given they’re also taverns – and 400 Gradi and Lievito 72, where the focus is – almost – complete).

Lombardy leads overall, with 16 trophies, including LoRo, which serves pizza too, but is first of all a starred, fully accomplished restaurant. This also applies to Stefano Ciotti’s Nostrano in the Marche. Campania follows with 9 mentions, and Lazio with 8. This is the region with the largest number of pizzerias in one town, Rome. Indeed all the pizzerias in Lazio are there, while Milan has 6 (after a recent thrilling recovery - there was nothing here once) and Naples has 5.

Only 6 regions out of 20 have no recommended pizzerias: small Valle d’Aosta, Molise and Umbria, plus Liguria (a pity), Calabria (but the local culinary scene is powerfully growing, so we have good hope for the future) and Sicily, which is the most serious lack: for sure there’s not a big tradition, there’s an alternative street food here, but how can it be that a region that’s so rich in terms of food, has 0 pizzerias, while its restaurants in the Guida IG 2018 are increasing in number, and this year are 40?

In other words, there’s a fault, though the overall picture is fantastic. Below, we have the 8 foreign pizzerias, all new or appearing for the second time, which shows that this phenomenon is spreading abroad too. But most of all, what strikes is he total number, 68, knowing that others would deserve and will deserve a mention at some point. In the first edition of Guida Identità Golose, in 2008, there were only 2 reviews of pizzerias, and not because we were lazy (we’ve always been in favour of opening our doors to properly-made Margheritas or Quattro Stagioni). These were Simone Padoan’s I Tigli in Veneto and Gabriele Bonci’s Pizzarium in Rome. The following year, Giancarlo Casa’s La Gatta Mangiona and  Stefano Callegari's Sforno also in Rome appeared. They’re in our list to these days, and all in excellent health, even 11 years later. This shows the choice of quality, taken then, was a winning one.

Carlo Passera

The rise of pizzerias around the world

A Detroit-style pizza at Emmy Squared in Brooklyn, one of the most popular pizzerias in New York, says Ryan King (foto

As mentioned, the Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità 2018 includes 68 reviews of pizzerias. Some abroad. We have 8 in 4 countries: France, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The number will grow in the coming months. Here they are, with links to the reviews in Italian:

BIJOU, Gennaro Nasti (10, Rue Dancourt+33.1.42574729, Paris, France): read the review by Ilaria Brunetti.

RADIO ALICE, Matteo and Salvatore Aloe (16 Hoxton Square+44.20.70183656 e 67 Venn street+44.20.76273881, London, the U.K.): read the review by Gualtiero Spotti.

DOUBLE ZERO, Matthew Kenney with Jacob Livingston (65 Second avenue, between 3rd and 4th Street, +1.212.7771608, Manhattan, New York, U.S.): read the review by Paolo Marchi.

EMMY SQUARED, Matthew Hyland (364 Grand street 11211, +1.718.3604535, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.): read the review by Ryan King.

ROBERTA'S, Carlo Mirarchi (261 Moore street, +1.718.4171118, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.): read the review by Passione Gourmet.

BONCI CHICAGO, Gabriele Bonci (161 N Sangamon street+1.312.2434016, Chicago,  U.S.): read the review by Gabriele Zanatta.

LOVELY'S FIFTY FIFTY, Sarah Minnick (4039 North Mississipi avenue, +1.503.2814060, Portland, U.S.): read the review by Identità Golose

DOC, Tony Nicolini with Wainer Bertazzo (295 Drummond street, +61.93472998, Melbourne, Australia): read the review by Valeria Senigaglia.

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Bottura’s appetizer dedicated to Ciro Oliva

"At this age, I feel I can conquer the world, but there are times when my legs are shaking. When I saw Massimo Bottura coming inside Concettina, my heart started to beat fast and I was petrified for 10 seconds. Good that dad, with his experience, gave him a warm welcome right away! From that moment on, everything was as usual, thanks also to Massimo Bottura’s easiness - a great man. Thank you chef for choosing Rione Sanità when looking for of Neapolitan pizza. We were honoured to try to satisfy your desire, and thanks to Maurizio Cortese too, for his precious presence". These are the words of young Ciro Oliva, considered the enfant prodige of pizza in Naples, on the 28th of October, after welcoming the chef from Modena in his Concettina ai Tre Santi.

Bottura must have been satisfied, if you think that in the new menu at Osteria Francescana, which he launched less than a month later, Omaggio a Ciro Oliva appeared among the appetizers. It’s a fried gnocco with tomato sauce, cream of scamorza, anchovies, tomato and basil. Boom! You can see it in the photo: it’s magic. As often the case with Massimo, he concentrates the essence of a dish in a mouthful. In this case, pizza, with all the necessary suavity and a truly incredible complexity (including the toasted notes).

Carlo Passera

Brescia, Areadocks bends over backwards

An old railway warehouse in Brescia turned into a multifunctional space of some 3000 square metres. A unique place in terms of research and design. Areadocks is a tasteful and trendy multifaceted location, acting as restaurant and lounge bar, offering coffee, pizza as well as furniture and clothes.

"Areadocks e la Pizza" is the area run by dining room manager Andrea Sonzogni, and pizzaiolo Michele Mondini, the latter with the support of second pizzaiolo Francesco Artu, chef Matteo Golia, and help Andrea Boccone.

The rich team researches raw materials, selecting them based on quality and origin, taking care of freshness and seasonality with special attention to organic unprocessed ingredients. They cook fresh vegetables on the spot, while the flour is stone milled. There are three types of dough, without animal fat, hydrogenate products, additives or preservatives, which are left to rise for at least 48/72 hours at controlled temperature and humidity, and finally cooked in three different types of oven so as to enhance the different features.

So, three types of dough, with three types of oven and hence three types of pizza. The first, baked in a wood oven with fire-resistant bricks, is thin and fragrant, with a thick and puffy edge, made with a medium-hydrated dough (60%) with a two-step leavening of 60 hours. The second – baking tin pizza in two versions Alta Farcita and Alta Ripiena – is cooked in a bread oven with fire-resistant bricks. It is thick, airy, light and fragrant, based on a high-hydrated dough (80%) with a two-step leavening of 48 hours; there’s a gluten-free version too. Finally, the third type, by the shovel, is soft and with a thick and crispy edge (it is recommended for at least two people); it is made with a medium-high hydrated dough (70%) with a two-step leavening of 36 hours. It is baked in a wood oven on fire-resistant bricks right after it is hand rolled.

Pizza alla Pala is available either with one topping or two, including lactose-free mozzarella. Overall, toppings are rather classic, with a few interesting creative ideas: Beef tartare, rocket sprouts, mustard and shaved Bagòss or Buffalo milk mozzarella, babaganoush (aubergine cream), smoked swordfish, pesto gentile and extra virgin olive oil. Prices between 13 and 32 euros. As for pairings, there’s a nice choice of cocktails and wines.

Tania Mauri

Via Gerolamo Sangervasio 12A, Brescia
Tel. +39 030 40190
Open daily from 5.30 pm till one, and till two on Fridays and Saturdays

Cuore Napoletano, goodness in Vicenza

Historic family pizzeria, owned by brothers Enrico, Vittorio and Giuseppe Brancati; when it was born, in 1970, in Marano Vicentino, it was the first in the village. Initially Enrico would call out the menu (only 9 classic pizzas: marinara, margherita, mushrooms, prosciutto, calzone, romana, artichokes, capricciosa and quattro stagioni), enriched with a few cold dishes and two types of toast.

In the early Eighties, Enrico took over with his wife Mariarosa. They enlarged the pizza offer, including the one with “aubergines made our style”, which became famous and still sets them apart. In 1990 the first big renovation took place: no more benches and tables where people waited to be seated, plus they completely renewed the bar area and the dining room.

That same year, Luca, the son Enrico and Mariarosa became a member of the staff. Today he runs the restaurant with extreme attention to details: fresh ingredients of the highest quality, organic and local. With him, there’s been a further evolution thanks to his explorations of the pizza universe, from north to south, east to west, thanks to which he attended Molino Quaglia’s Università della Pizza and chose their flour.

Hence the tradition of wood ovens met the creativity and skills of Luca, who presents a large range of classic and non-classic pizzas, with seasonal toppings. Pizzas are made with three types of dough: round Contemporanea, served on the plate, with a large edge, dough made with Petra 1 and 9, mother yeast, a long maturation of over 36 hours and a 70% hydration; Verace, dedicated to his father, with a very tall edge, and a blend of Petra flour including Unica and 1110, a double leavening at room temperature with mother yeast; finally, Fa Crock with Petra 1, 5, and 9 and mother yeast with 85% hydration, served diced in six versions. They pay strong attention to extra virgin olive oil coming from northern, central and southern Italy and paired with the pizzas.

A list of wines and craft beers completes the offer, on top of panettoni, only at Christmas, which is giving him some satisfaction, and are of course made with Petra flour for panettoni.


Pizzeria Cuore Napoletano
Via Monte Pasubio 9, Marano Vicentino (Vi)
Tel. +39 0445 621202
Closed on Mondays

Pizza also takes part in the gourmet redemption of Benevento

Photo by Eudechio Feleppa

Restaurants in Benevento are experiencing a time of great ferment, and this is also thanks to pizza. Oasi dell’Antica Quercia is in Benevento, in Contrada Epitaffio 13; it’s a family pizzeria founded 9 years ago by Ernesto Varricchio, pizzaiolo out of love, and wife Gina, who trained with Rolando Morandin and is specialised in cakes – these days, she’s making panettoni – and their children Mario, Laura and Luca, who are still studying and help at the weekend. 

The restaurant is in the old family farm, which was previously used as a sports centre; everything was made with Ernesto’s skilled hands: the oven, the kitchen, the structure, the balcony and tables, including the garden where there’s a nice cork tree after which the restaurant is named.

According to Ernesto Varricchio pizza is «the most lively and friendly popular dish you can eat mostly away from home». He serves a pizza easy to digest, with high hydration (70%) and leavening for 48/72 hours. Two types of dough: one with mother yeast (refreshed with Petra 1) and Petra 3 flour, which rises at room temperature; the other made with polish and whole wheat flour (Petra 3 and 9), 2 maturations and one leavening.

The result is a light pizza, thin in the middle and thick on the edge but «without exaggerating», seasoned with local raw materials: oil from the hills of Salerno, fiordilatte from Agerola, “Miracolo di S. Gennaro” tomatoes from Abbagnale, S. Marzano dell’Agro nocerino/sarnese, cherry tomatoes from Corbara (Corbarino), piennolo del Vesuvio PDO, tuna and anchovies form Cetara, cream of pistachios from Bronte, capers from Salina, red onion from Montoro, Cashel Blue cheese, wild garlic and oregano.

One example is the strong-flavoured Mallone, with cream of broccoli, potatoes, fior di latte from Agerola, cotechino and extra virgin olive oil, or Cetarese with pacchetelle di Piennolo del Vesuvio, tuna from Cetara, anchovies from Cetara, basil, garlic, wild red oregano and extra virgin olive oil.


Oasi dell’Antica Quercia
Contrada Epitaffio 13, Benevento
Tel. +39 0824 360108
Open from Tuesday to Monday from 7.30 pm to midnight

Enzo Coccia goes to Hollywood

Enzo Coccia, from pizzeria La Notizia in Naples (and much more) in Los Angeles for the Week of Italian Cuisine in the world in California

On the 20th November the Californian Week of Italian Cuisine in the world came to an end. On this occasion the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West in Los Angeles hosted a special event to present pizza and its evolution. The focus of the event was pizza-chef Enzo Coccia, great ambassador of taste who flew from Naples on this very occasion. A master who surprised guests with his creations and his extensive culinary culture.  

The pizza-happening started with Coccia presenting three essential elements of pizza...

Francesca Zanetti

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Franco Pepe presents the "Pepe in Grani case study" at university

"Excellent enterprise: the Pepe in Grani case study": this was the title of a lesson Franco Pepe held a few weeks ago at Università Federico II in Naples, during which he explained his entrepreneurial experience to students of Economics (in the photo).

The lesson, in front of over 200 students, was focused on the opportunities that a successful business can offer to a territory, in terms of promotion and enhancement. In order to speak of success, though, in the case of Pepe in Grani, one has to mention the crucial importance of respecting one’s territory and history, and of a constant research that guarantees that a product is not just good and healthy but can represent different generations, sacrifices, and lots of team work.

Territory is at the heart of everything: the one of Caiazzo and its producer – the historic ones and most of all the young ones on whom one should bet now. Plus you need a little courage, which helped Pepe to "dare and believe in it". These are the watchwords for anyone who wants to accomplish a project, an enterprise, an activity. Finally, you need lots of humbleness, hard work, experience and the wish to express yourself through work.