Pizza is not an original Tuscan dish, so eating a good pizza in Florence can be considered a difficult task. Fortunately for the true pizza lover, the city is home to a handful of Neapolitan ‘pizzaioli.’ And they brought with them one of Italy’s most beloved dishes: ‘Una vera pizza Napoletana.’
After a short drive from Florence, I arrive in San Donato in Poggio: a tranquil and attractive Chianti town. At Palazzo Pretorio, I meet cheerful pizzaiolo Giovanni Santarpia. Giovanni has made it his life’s work to perfect his pizza dough. It seems simple: a mix of water, flour, salt and a little yeast. So the ‘magic’ might be in the pizzaiolo ‘working’ the dough. Giovanni carefully kneads, pulls and works every pizza portion until it reaches its desired smooth consistency. A long rising of 24 hours guarantees a perfect ‘lightness’ of the final crust.
I am ready for pizza! We start with a ‘Mastunicola’: ‘lo strutto’ [pig’s lard], fior di latte, smoked provola and basil. We eat with our hands starting at the point [pizza was originally street food]. We continue with a ‘Margherita,’ and end with a pumpkin and pancetta topped variation. Comforting, savory and with a perfect crisp!
‘Una bella pizza’ indeed!
Il ristorante Palazzo Pretorio, Via del Giglio 26, San Donato in Poggio, T: 055 8072928
Further reading about Giovanni Santarpia : lucianopignataro.it