Taste 09.06.18

Napoli Pizza

A literary exchange seems pertinent here. After Humpty Dumpty scolds Alice, telling her a word “means just what I choose it to mean,” she questions whether one should ad-lib with language. “The question is,” Humpty responds, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Now, we know what the Associazione Pizzaioli Napoletani would say. Neapolitan pies must follow rigid rules governing flour, temperature, time and so on. But Michael Foley at Heirloom Pizza Co. found a clever dodge. There’s not much Neapolitan about his thin crust “Napoli” pizza.

Yep – Napoli, a pie dressed with prosciutto and pepperoni under a mound of pepperoncini, slivered and toasted until a crisp sheen develops. While the two meats volley, the pale green pepper flowers into something bright and meadowy. But this is a distraction, catching your attention to allow embers of heat to creep up and get in close without scaring off the other flavors. It becomes a choreographed melee between notes scaled from sweet to earthy and hot, played out on a crust that is crisp, without the visible wood-flame wounds of a Neapolitan.

But after all, this is a Napoli.

HEIRLOOM PIZZA CO. 700 Cass St., Monterey. 717-4363, heirloompizzapie.com

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