Neapolitan Pizza is the most sought after these days but there are so many other pizza styles as well as the Sicilian Pizza, Chicago Pizza, NY style, Greek Pizza that it just gets difficult to keep up.
If you are here for some history on the Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza, then you have come to the right place. The Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy and the Sicilian Pizza was made in Sicily.
Both these pizzas are different from each other however, the major difference in the two has to be the fact that the Neapolitan pizza comes with a thin crust along with some toppings.
While the Sicilian pizza is square in shape and has a thicker crust than that of the Neapolitan Pizza. The Sicilian pizza has more sauce and the crust is spongy and bread-like.
The Neapolitan pizza is circular in shape with a thin crust along wth little cheese and some toppings. The flavor of the dough is the star of the show in the case of the Neapolitan pizza.
The Sicilian Pizza, on the other hand, has more pizza sauce and toppings than compared to the Neapolitan pizza. It is square in shape and you do not need to do the classic pizza fold that is much needed to be done in case of the classic Neapolitan pizza.
Neapolitan pizza is made up of very basic ingredients and the pizzas that are usually made inside a wood-fired pizza oven with homemade dough and some sauce along with a few chunks of mozzarella are considered Neapolitan Pizzas.
This is a close enough/modern definition of the Neapolitan Pizza but if you are looking for what exactly the Italians meant with Neapolitan pizza then it simply means preparing a fresh pizza with homemade fresh dough and without any fancy toppings.
A basic pizza where the taste of the dough and the freshness of all the ingredients steal the show.
The Neapolitan pizza has pretty strict rules as well and there are many pointers a restaurant needs to keep in mind before they can serve Neapolitan pizza to anyone.
Sicilian Pizza is very different from the Neapolitan Pizza. Originated in Sicily, this pizza has an extremely thick crust and the crust could be as thick as 1 inch.
The pizza is then topped with lots of sauce, cheese anchovies. The pizza is going to have a bread-like crust which makes it distinctly different from the classic Neapolitan PIzza.
This pizza is flat and stiff because of the thin crust and you would not need to do the classic Neapolitan Pizza fold that we usually see.
Overall, the Sicilian Pizza is more seasoned with herbs and comes with a combination of some strong flavors.
There are many places that serve this pizza in a circular shape but usually, they come in square shapes and this makes them very different from most of the classic pizzas out there.
Cooking the Neapolitan Style Pizza
The cooking style involved with both the pizzas is completely different as well. Well, the dough in case of a Neapolitan pizza comes with the leopard sotting which can only be attained inside a wood-fired pizza oven.
The temperatures that are needed to cook this pizza are extremely high and ideally, you need a pizza oven that could reach temperatures of about 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit.
This can only be attained inside a wood-fired pizza oven and if you do not have a brick oven at home then you can always get a countertop wood-fired pizza oven that is portable.
Yes, these days you can get a portable wood-fired pizza oven and a few of them are the Ooni Pro, Roccbox Pizza Oven, Ooni 3 Pizza Oven.
These ovens have made making authentic Neapolitan pizzas very easy as it takes less than a minute to cook a pizza inside these ovens. You can set it up on a countertop in your backyard and get started with the cooking.
You do not need to do any assembling with these pizza ovens which makes it even easier to get started with using them. Hence, it is not a compulsion anymore to own a bulky brick pizza oven in order to enjoy the homemade Neapolitan style pizzas.
Neapolitan Pizzas require great quality wood, something which has low moisture content and produces minimal residue.
There is a detailed post on different kinds of wood that you can use in a wood-fired pizza oven which you can go through if interested more on this subject.
One should consider the fact that these days people even use wood pellets to fuel a wood-fired pizza oven. It is more efficient and easier to use as well.
Does it affect the taste of the pizza? Yes, mildly but yes, it does. Using different kinds of woods can render different flavors to your pizza, so you might want to consider the kind of wood that you are using to make your pizza.
Traditionally woods that you get locally are the best to use and you can even use woods from seasonal tress just make sure that they have low moisture content so that they burn better without leaving any residue.
Cooking Sicilian Pizzas
Cooking Sicilian Pizzas is easier than the Neapolitan once and you do not require any high-temperature pizza oven, you can cook these in the range of 450-600 degrees Fahrenheit which means these can be cooked inside a home pizza oven.
The pizzas have a bread-like spongy texture and you are going to find it easier to cook this kind of pizza at home. Cooking the pizza can take a longer time in comparison to cooking the Neapolitan Pizza.
However, you have to consider that the crust, in this case, is also going to be thicker than that in the Neapolitan Pizza. The sauce and everything is a little different as well, so let’s discuss this pizza in more detail in the next section.
The Difference in the Ingredients
The ingredients of the pizza are not very different from each other, however, the fact that you are cooking them at different thicknesses and different temperatures is what matters.
There is a difference in the quality of the flour though, the Neapolitan Pizzas needs a very high-quality flour while the Sicilian Pizza can be made with regular flour.
The sauce on the Neapolitan pizza has to be homemade and you need to make it with fresh tomatoes so that it can get that taste. Neapolitan pizza is all about making the pizza with the best high quality and fresh ingredients.
The Sicilian pizza consists of a tomato sauce that is thicker in consistency and along with that, you can add some anchovies and a few other toppings.
The toppings are not going to be overloaded like most of the pizzas you find out there, instead, you would have some toppings and a little cheese to go with it.
The porous texture of the pizza is going to be interesting and different from the Neapolitan pizza. The square shape of the pizza is also different from the classic circular shape of the Neopolitan Pizza.
To sum it up, the cooking time is definitely longer with the Sicilian pizza and you can easily make it inside your home electric oven. But the Neapolitan Pizzas require a wood-fired pizza oven that would reach really high temperatures.
Both the Silician and the Neopolitan Pizzas are unique in their own way and depends on which one you prefer. It is a personal choice and I personally love the Neapolitan one as it is simple yet the taste of the pizza is so amazing.
The Sicilian Pizza has evolved in few parts of America and you might feel like the Chicago Style Pizza is very much similar with the added filling in the crust. However, that is just a whole new level of cheesiness.
The Neapolitan Pizza is growing in popularity and people are modifying it and adding a few toppings on it to give it more variation and a different taste.
There are so many pizzerias that even have pizzas that are overladed with toppings and even though they are not going to be like the traditional Neapolitan pizzas like they were back in the day, they taste really good and no one can resist them.
There are so many different kinds of pizzas out there already that you are going to take a while to try all of them. The Sicilian pizza more or less feels like a piece of bread with toppings and if you are someone who would like that then go for it.
However, there are pizzas that are square in shape but feel like they are something between the Sicilian and the Neapolitan pizza. Basically pizzas have now evolved so much that people just end up saying thin crust or a pan pizza with a thick crust.
Try out these pizzas and let us know which one is your favorite!
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