The most iconic pizza, created in 1889 in Naples for Queen Margherita, it replicates the colors of the Italian flag in tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.
Famed plum tomatoes from the volcanic soil of San Marzano, at the base of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. Required for official Neapolitan pizza. Not all tomatoes sold in the United States as San Marzano or San Marzano-style are necessarily grown in the town of San Marzano. Are they the best? Depends. Judge pizza by taste, not by whether the menu says San Marzano.
In Jersey, thick-crust pizza, usually topped just with cheese and sauce, baked in rectangular pans.
A century ago, coal was the cheapest and most common fuel. Coal burns very hot (around 1,000 degrees) and dry, imparting no flavor. In artisanal, dome-shaped ovens, it’s largely been supplanted by wood, which burns hot, does not impart flavor, but contains some moisture that helps dough retain suppleness. Gas-fired commercial ovens are also flavor neutral, bake at slightly lower temperatures and can handle larger loads.