Pizzeria da Michele: London vs Napoli.

The life of a blogger is tougher than you think!.  Oh, yes it is!.  Just imagine, all the time going around the city, finding new places to see and trying new pizza restaurants.  It's tough!.  For my followers I would do anything!.  For this blog I am going to an old traditional Neapolitan pizzeria that has just opened in London.  I am talking about L' Antica Pizzeria da Michele.  

LONDON  - Antica Pizzeria da Michele, 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. 

LONDON - Antica Pizzeria da Michele, 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. 

NAPOLI  - Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale 1, 80139 Napoli.

NAPOLI - Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Via Cesare Sersale 1, 80139 Napoli.

You might think 'well, there are many pizza restaurants in London, why is this one so special?'.  Well, first because it makes an amazing pizza and I can say this as a Neapolitan and secondly because it is one of the oldest pizzerias in Napoli, opened by Michele Condurro in 1870.  The Condurro's pizza making origins go even further back as the grandfather of Michele was a pizza maker at the court of the Bourbons.  In 1844 the grandfather made a pizza for the Russian Tzar Nicholas II and his wife Alessandrina Feodorwna, who had come to visit king Ferdinand II.  For this occasion he made a special pizza just for them: the cosacca, half marinara half margherita.  The legend says that they enjoyed the pizzas so much that they gave the Neapolitan king a present of two bronze statues, now in the gardens of the Royal Palace in Piazza Plebiscito.  The rest is history.  Since this time, the Condurro family have only made two types of pizzas: Margherita (mozzarella cheese, tomato, oil and basil) and Marinara (tomato, garlic, oil and oregano). 

Pizza Marinara in Napoli.

Pizza Marinara in Napoli.

In the movie Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts appears eating a delicious pizza in the Pizzeria da Michele.  You might of liked or not liked the movie, but honestly I can't disagree with Julia, 'It is a moral imperative to enjoy a pizza in Napoli!'.  

The menu at Antica pizzeria da Michele in Napoli.

The menu at Antica pizzeria da Michele in Napoli.

The following step is to open a restaurant in other places in the world, so more people can enjoy amazing pizzas.  After Tokyo and Rome, London is next!.

LONDON  - Pizzaioli (Pizza makers).

LONDON - Pizzaioli (Pizza makers).

NAPOLI -  Pizzaioli.

NAPOLI - Pizzaioli.

In cosmopolitan London which has a huge choice of international cuisines, it is a challenge to open a pizzeria with just two types of pizza.  It seems though for the expat Neapolitans they finally have a proper Neapolitan pizzeria in the UK and apparently, British people seem to appreciate it as well.  Probably the time of the 'pineapple pizza' is fading into the past.  More people around the world are well travelled now and appreciate authentic food and that is why Londoners are flocking to eat the proper Neapolitan Pizza.  Just a few weeks ago, in the London Evening Standard Newspaper, Gordon Ramsey expressed his opinion regarding the 'pineapple pizza', "an absolute no-no on the Italian dish".  Neapolitans have the same opinion.  Pineapple pizza is just wrong!.  Personally, I don't want to create a debate about it, but as a Neapolitan, I can understand why we are so passionate about it.  We take very seriously our products from Napoli.  We also want you to enjoy the best pizza available and not a second best experience.

Hungry Londoners.

Hungry Londoners.

And speaking of authenticity, if you want to go to L' Antica pizzeria da Michele in London, be aware that the pizzeria like the Napoli one is always busy and you can't book a table in advance.  The system is 'first come, first served', so I suggest you turn up as early as you can.  For the London one there is an app to tell you when it is your turn in the queue.

The pizza oven in Napoli.

The pizza oven in Napoli.

Some people say that the real secret of the pizza is the water used to make the dough and that's why Neapolitan pizzas are so unique, however the London one is very close to the original.  The oven and the chefs were brought from Naples and the pizzas have the same authentic flavours.  The tomato sauce is deliciously fresh and the smell of the basil is amazing.  Ah!!, it really seemed to me that I was in Napoli...except for the weather!.

This is where Julia Roberts sat in Naples. 

This is where Julia Roberts sat in Naples. 

London pizza before.

London pizza before.

and after.

and after.

Spot the Julia.

Spot the Julia.

This says it all.

This says it all.

 

L' Antica Pizzeria da Michele

London Opening hours:  12.00 - 23.00 (Sunday closes 10.30) Closed Monday.

Napoli Opening hours:    11.00 - 23.00 Closed Sunday.

Pizza Experience for the Addicted!

Pizzeria al 22, Via Pignasecca 22, 80134 - Napoli

Pizzeria al 22, Via Pignasecca 22, 80134 - Napoli

As soon as you land in Napoli you can already smell the pizza!  Yes, I'm not joking!.  As a welcome to the city there's the first pizzeria already at the arrivals exit.

My husband actually still believes that neapolitan children (especially me!) are born in a pizzeria. You can't explain otherwise our insane love for pizza!.  I am not a scientist myself, but I can certainly prove that eating one pizza per day helps to keep you fit and healthy.  You can't argue with simple ingredients like tomato, olive oil and basil.  It's good for your wallet (posh food but affordable) and mainly for your mood.  It tastes so good and satisfying.  It means love yourself and the others.  That's why 'going out for a pizza' is the most common social activity in Napoli, almost a spiritual moment.  A philosophy of life.

If your mouth is already watering just at the idea of eating a pizza, guess what it would be like to make your very own pizza!

Pizza maker on the job.

Pizza maker on the job.

The guys at Pizza Experience have some courses running in Napoli in November and December. Its a complete full immersion course to help you understand the tradition and history of this popular food.  Well, not to mention that you will be able to make your own pizza from scratch with all the traditional ingredients and prepare the dough in the famous traditional way by hand.  I haven't personally done these courses so I can't comment on them, but if anyone is interested here is some of the info they sent my way.

Making pizzas at Pizzeria al 22.

Making pizzas at Pizzeria al 22.

The first of these two workshops "Fatte 'na Pizza" (Have a pizza) will be held every Sunday of November in association with Pizzeria Al 22.  Participants will be welcomed by Giovanni Improta, descendant of a family of pizza makers and will have four hours to make their pizza and at the end to taste the result together with a selection of typical Neapolitan food, local wine and beers. 

In December (from 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29 and 30) the workshop will be Take a look at that pizza in Rosario Piscopo’s Pizzeria.  Here she will reveal secrets, tips and techniques for a proper pizza.  At the end participants can eat the food freshly made, discuss food and traditions and have a really fun time.

Education of the pizza means to know how to taste and appreciate its flavours. Once that you have tried a real neapolitain pizza there's no way back and you will never ever look at your frozen pizza from the supermarket the same way!

Courses will be held in the pizzerias, closed to the public only for this occasion, in English, Italian and Neapolitan. At the end the participants will receive a certificate of attendance, a personalized apron, a typical Neapolitan keepsake and not least the energy and the Neapolitan life philosophy!.

 

Itinerary of the courses:

'Fatte 'na Pizza'

Welcoming Neapolitan style Coffee;  Presentation of the Neapolitan pizza - Historical overview from the beginning until today;  Selection of the raw materials and description of the basic equipment; Demonstration and preparation of the dough made by hand;  Insights on the leavening and maturation process;  Preparation of the wood-fired oven and baking of your own pizza in order to eat it folded in four;  Tasting at the table of three Neapolitan pizzas paired with beer, wine or soft drink;  Presentation of the attendance certifications and gadget gifts with souvenir photo;  Final toast.

Min 2 - Max 12 people.

Duration: 4hrs (tasting included)

Sunday, 6-13- 20-27 November 2016 - Schedule 2017 on www.pizzaexperience.it

10.00 to 14.00

€ 75,00 per person (a launch price just for the Sundays in November)

€ 65.00 children from 6 to 16 years

Free for bambini from 0 to 5 years

www.pizzaexperience.it - info@pizzaexperience.it - tel: +39 345.1049203

Pizzeria Al 22, Via Pignasecca 22, 80134 - Napoli

 

'Take a look at that pizza'

Presentation of the Neapolitan pizza - Historical overview from the beginning until today;  Selection of the raw materials and description of the basic equipments;  Demonstration of a dough prepared by hand made by the Master pizza maker;  Insights on the leavening process and preparation of the pizza;  Tasting of mix fried food and traditional pizzas paired with beer, wine or soft drink;  Presentation of the attendance certifications and gadget gifts;  Final toast.

Min 6 - Max 28 people

Duration: 2hr30mins

Thursday and Friday from 17.00 to 19.30

Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 to 12.30

December 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29 and 30 - Schedule 2017 on www.pizzaexperience.it

€ 39.00 per person

€ 34.00 children from 6 to 16 years

Free for bambini from 0 to 5 years

www.pizzaexperience.it - info@pizzaexperience.it - tel +39 345.1049203

Pizzeria Rosario Piscopo, Via Egiziaca a Pizzofalcone 100, 80132 - Napoli

 

Apprentices.

Apprentices.