Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Le Delizie di Napoli

Napoli is full, just FULL of good things to eat, and believe me, I be eatin'...
La Pizza! Naples is the birthplace of pizza, the absolute classic being the Margherita. It takes just minutes (about 5) to cook in these traditional wood-fired ovens that have a temperature of around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a designation of La Vera Pizza Napoletana, that is awarded (much like the D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. of wines) to the Pizzaiolo (pizza maker) who makes his margherita with very strictly controlled ingredients. The mozzarella MUST be Mozzarella di Bufala, produced in Campania, the region of Naples. Next, the tomatoes must come from the volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius, and the basil must be fresh!! To top it all off, you put good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (This is more or less accurate, but let's not be picky, k?) There was an actual law created by the Ministry of Agriculture that defined what La Vera Pizza Napoletana is composed of--these people are hardcore about their food, eh? But, that is one of the things I love about this country.

Baba' al Rhum--a typical Neapolitan dessert that is made of sponge cake, baked in a (typically) mushroom shape, then soaked in rum syrup. They can be found plain, stuffed with chocolate or pastry cream, or topped with whipped cream and tart little wild strawberries. The latter is my favorite because the baba' is so sweet that it needs the tartness of those strawberries to give it a little complexity. For most, the unadorned baba' is the unbeatable classic, but for me, pleasure is in the balance of flavors.

There ya go, just a couple of the culinary classics of Napoli. Don't worry, I'll be back with more. But now, ho voglia di dolce!


Blogger american girl in italy said...

I have never had better pizza then the pizza I ate in Napoli. It was so delicicious. And the mozzerella di bufala! :OP YUMMY!

2/20/2006 9:01 AM

Anonymous lena said...

How funny - I was just reading about babas in "the art of french cooking" and could not figure out what they were. Now I have a picture! They look so yummy. I am jealous...

2/20/2006 4:17 PM

Blogger Daniel said...

Wow, I didn't realise Italians were quite that fanatical about what technically qualifies as specific pizza or food stuffs. :D

2/21/2006 12:06 PM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I have been wanting to write, but it seems Mom and I are on the go 24/7. I have been enjoying your blog and love your style of writing! Sound like all is going well. Good luck with the ironing, I KNOW what you mean. I always used the dryer in the US to take the wrinkles out of my clothes, but the dryers in Italy NEVER get hot enough.

One last thought....
Just the mention of the word Bahbah brings a twinkle to the eyes of my husband (and mine as well). We had one here last week, but they are NEVER the same (or as good) as the ones down there in Naples. Have one for me soon!


2/24/2006 3:54 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

wha...? dryer...in...italy?

2/24/2006 4:03 PM


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