NOVO, an 88 seat pizzeria and wine bar, will open next to Fifth Avenue Cinemas this August. As usual, Scout Magazine broke the news. According to their write-up, NOVO’s owners traveled to Los Angeles to train at the North American branch of the Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) – the association established by the Italian government to preserve Neapolitan pizza by specifying the legally permitted ingredients and methods.
Okay, so certified Neapolitan pizza is not a fad. It might be new in Van and super trendy, but it’s here to stay. So what’s the difference between Flying Wedge and an authentic Neapolitan pie? Everything except the shape. If you tried to use an 18-incher from Flying Wedge as a frisbee, the weight of the crust and cheesiest cheese blend would make that sucker drop like a stone. A real Neapolitan pie, however, has a thin, airy crust (only soft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water and sea salt may be used for the dough) and would sail through the air like a dream.
It doesn’t stop there. Only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano may be used for the toppings. Fresh garlic may only be used on the Pizza Marinara. All Neapolitan pizzas must be cooked in a wood-burning oven.
Pizza was invented in Naples in the Middle Ages and has been reinterpreted by every country in the world. At this point, some of the stuff that passes for pizza should give me the go ahead to call sandwiches sushi.
In 2010, there was just one certified resto in Canada, the Pizzeria Libretto in Toronto. Now there’s Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Gastown. But what about BiBo on W. Fourth, owned by Andrea Bini and Lorenzo Bottazzi? Does a resto still need to be VPN certified if the chef is a Naples import?
NOVO, 2118 Burrard St., phone number and website currently unavailable.
Last modified: September 14, 2011
“specifying the legally permitted ingredients and methods”
Does this mean no fortified flour containing added b vitamins will be used?
Caputo Flour (type 00) is a certified flour by the Association of Real Neapolitan Pizza. Caputo flour is 100% natural and contains no additives (like Vitamin B fortification). For example, mills can add bulk gluten to hit the 14%-15% they want for bread flour; and Molino Caputo does not do that.Caputo pizza flour is 11%-12% gluten. Hope that helps!