Pizza is a hundred-year-old recipe, and with its long history, we have different varieties of pizza. The Neapolitan pizza vs. Sicilian pizza debate is one of the long-standing debates.
At first, most people would prefer Neapolitan pizza over any other type of pizza. Therefore, it is the original recipe and is the most authentic type of pizza in the world.
Sicilian, on the other hand, did not come too late after the Neapolitan pizza. It is also one of the favorites for most people because of its slightly different toppings and different types of ingredients.
This shows that first, pizza is a very unique yet very versatile type of food, and second, we all have different preferences on the food and the type of ingredients that we want to eat.
For years, people have been debating on which type of pizza is the best. There is also this common argument between New York and Chicago pizzas but not as old as these two.
The Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza debate has been going on for decades, and no one seems to have a concise answer. So we will try to look into these pizzas and see which one is better.
What Is A Neapolitan Pizza?
Neapolitan pizza originated in Naples, Italy, around the 18000s. It is considered the first type of pizza to have ever made, but it was not loved back then as much as we do now.
At first, it was looked down upon as food for peasants because it was too simple. It only consisted of the cheapest ingredients that may have or may not have proper nutrients.
Nowadays, we love the fact that Neapolitan is simple. Some of us prefer the simplicity of this type of pizza over complicated ones or pizzas filled with unnecessary stuff.
Neapolitan pizza is also the major patent when it comes to making authentic pizzas. It is cooked in a particular way so that the crust becomes crispy while the toppings cook quickly and evenly.
It also tastes best when you want to cook at home as you use fresh ingredients. You get to pick what you want to put in it and prepare it right on the table.
You can also cook it in an oven that easily reaches high temperatures to cook the pizza in seconds. One of the best pizza ovens for this is the Ooni Pizza Ovens.
Due to the process of preparation and cooking, Neapolitan pizzas always come out crispy and light. That is why we love this type of pizza because it makes us want to eat more.
Essentially, Neapolitan pizza has the freshest ingredients, and you can easily prepare it at home or right where you are going to eat it, but things have changed a bit now.
Neapolitan pizza has no fancy toppings. If you are planning to label your restaurant with Neapolitan pizza, then there are a lot of factors you need to consider.
What Is A Sicilian Pizza?
Sicilian pizza is quite different from Neapolitan pizza at the first look. It has major differences that also make this pizza unique from Neapolitan and other types of pizza.
This type of pizza originated from Sicily, with the original being called the sfincione, which translates to “thick sponge,” which is fitting because Sicilian pizza has a relatively thick crust.
The crust can be as thick as 1 inch, but it does not sog. The crust on the Sicilian pizza is thick, but it is very airy and fluffy despite having a hard and crispy outer part.
Naturally, with its thick crust, this pizza recipe’s originators needed the toppings to match the thick crust. So this type of pizza has a lot of sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
The crust of the Sicilian pizza does not necessarily get crispy as the texture would be like bread. This is one of the major reasons why Sicilian is so different from the original Neapolitan pizza.
Overall, the Sicilian pizza has more herbs and ingredients. There are many cheese, sauce, and herbs while also having other unique toppings such as anchovies.
It also uses a different type of cheese compared to the Neapolitan pizza, which we will discuss later on. The Sicilian pizza is like a modified version of the Neapolitan pizza with larger portions.
It is one of the major types of pizzas that reinvented how we cook this type of food. We now have different types of pizza with thick crusts and layered toppings with thick proportions.
You also cook the Sicilian pizza in a different type of cookware. There are more conventional options to cook Sicilian pizza if you do not have the traditional outdoor ovens.
Differences In The Ingredients
The differences between the ingredients you use when cooking Neapolitan or Sicilian pizza are not that far from each other. You can use some of the ingredients on both pizzas.
What matters when differentiating the ingredients between these two types of pizza is the preparation and the type of oven and temperature to properly cook the pizzas.
There are differences in the type of ingredients as well. So in a general sense, they are the same ingredients, but when you look deeper, they are different from each other.
For one of the most important parts of the pizza, you will already find a difference. The dough, or more specifically, the flour you use for the dough for these pizzas, is completely different.
The Neapolitan pizza is cooked at a high temperature and cooked fast, so it needs top-notch flour. The Sicilian pizza does not go through the same intensity, so it uses regular flour.
You can buy the flour from the nearest supermarket and use it to make Sicilian pizzas. It does not cook in a special way like the Neapolitan, so the dough does not need to be the best.
The Neapolitan pizza dough has flour when mixed with salt, water, and yeast, makes a perfect Neapolitan Pizza Dough.
You do not need to add any type of artificial flavorings, preservatives, or other additives.
The flour that you use in Neapolitan pizzas also needs to be the Italian flour quality 00. It has the best quality for making this type of pizza dough as it makes it thin yet sturdy enough.
When you choose to buy ready-made dough, then you need to select the best quality for Sicilian. Neapolitan pizzas do not use pre-made dough if you want it to be authentic.
If you want your Neapolitan pizza to be perfectly authentic, you need to make all the ingredients at home. Buy the vegetables needed but make your sauce at home.
That is what makes both the pizza and the experience authentic. You also need to make the sauce as authentic as possible by using fresh tomatoes in making it.
As we have mentioned earlier, the Neapolitan pizza parts should have the top-notch quality from the freshest ingredients. That is why it needs the taste of tomatoes in the sauce you use.
For the Sicilian pizza, you do not have to pressure yourself to find fresh tomatoes as it can essentially use any type of pizza sauce. There are no specific types of tomatoes for Sicilian pizzas.
The sauce’s consistency is also a bit different as the Sicilian pizza uses a thicker type of sauce. You can also add other ingredients to the sauce to enhance the flavor, such as anchovies.
You can even experiment with the sauce and use different flavors for the Sicilian pizza sauce. You can have a combination of creaminess and cheese by using some Alfredo sauce.
Neapolitan pizza is that recipe that needs specificity. When it comes to the cheese that you need to use, you can only go with Mozzarella cheese, and you need to cut it differently.
The original Sicilian pizza uses caciocavallo cheese or toma cheese. Both these types of cheese originated from Italy, but you can switch to a more common type of cheese.
The cheese that you use in Neapolitan pizzas also needs to be fresh. That is why you also do not shred or grate it as you just pull it apart and lay it flat on the pizza sauce along with the toppings.
How Do You Cook The Neapolitan Pizza?
There is a specific temperature for making Neapolitan pizzas, and you cannot cook them at other temperatures. This is where the two different types of pizza differentiate from each other.
You also need to cook the Neapolitan pizza in a wood-fired oven to make sure that it is truly authentic. The dough of this pizza needs to have those leopard-like spotting at the bottom.
When cooking Neapolitan pizzas, you need the oven to get up to a temperature between 900-1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is essential for cooking the Neapolitan pizza properly.
The thin crust needs charring right away, and the toppings need to cook just as fast. The high temperature from the oven helps the pizza cook faster in just 60-90 seconds.
You can attain that kind of temperature with wood-fired pizza ovens. At first, the inventors of pizza used brick ovens, but not all of us have the luxury of both space and money.
So if you want to make your authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, then you can go for portable pizza ovens such as the Gozney Roccbox and pizza ovens from Ooni such as the Ooni Pro.
How Do You Cook The Sicilian Pizza?
Cooking Sicilian pizzas is easier than cooking Neapolitan pizzas since it does not require a lot of heat, or at least, not always. The Sicilian pizza can cook in conventional ovens.
You can cook a Sicilian pizza perfectly at temperatures between 425 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It cooks slower, on average 15 minutes, but it needs that for the perfect thick crust.
The result of this slow-cooking process is a thicker, spongy, bread-like texture on the crust. It can be cooked just like Neapolitan pizza, too, but it will still have a different result.
Aside from a deep-dish pizza, most pizza types, including Sicilian, can be cooked in just 90 seconds so long as the oven that you are using can get up to a temperature of at least 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Are They Served?
There is not much difference between these two types of pizza when eaten, but they do come out differently. The Neapolitan pizza has the classic triangle slices when served.
The Sicilian pizzas are rectangular, and you serve it in rectangle slices. You can serve the Neapolitan Pizza in 11 or 12-inch pies with at least 4 or 6 slices.
You can serve the Sicilian pizza in larger portions, with some getting up to 16 inches in diameter. This is the type of pizza that you cook when you have friends or other groups coming over.
The Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza debate have been going on for so long, and you can see why. Different factors need to be taken into consideration to conclude.
I prefer the Neapolitan pizza since it is authentic, light, and is very easy to make. You can get the ingredients from a small garden and make your pizza in just minutes.
The Sicilian pizza is great, but I prefer the crispiness of the Neapolitan pizza. So as you can see, it is all subjective, and you might prefer Sicilian pizza.
Nonetheless, both pizzas give you delicious flavors that no other pizzas can. So neither of these two will disappoint you; it will all just come down to your preferences on which is better for you.
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