A Little Lingo

Understand what you're ordering with our pizza-style guide.

MARGHERITA
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.

NEAPOLITAN
Puffy and pliant, made with imported 00-flour milled as fine as baby powder, and baked at about 950 degrees in less than two minutes, Neapolitan pizza has achieved a toehold in Jersey in recent years. In December, UNESCO added the pizza makers of present-day Naples to its cultural heritage list.

SAN MARZANO

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.

SICILIAN
In Jersey, thick-crust pizza, usually topped just with cheese and sauce, baked in rectangular pans.

WOOD-FIRED
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.

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