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PIZZA RUT

A French chef won first prize at the World Pizza Championships this year. Can Italy stomach such a public humiliation?

@Stokel

FOR MOST PEOPLE outside Italy, it was not so long ago that a slick of red sauce on a spongy dough covered with a sprinkle of cheese and a topping or two was all you needed to make a credible pizza. But today’s pizza consumers have become connoisseurs, demanding more than just thick, bready bases and tart tomato sauces seasoned with dried herbs. Over the past decade, sick of those cardboard-like school-lunch slices, artisan pizza-makers busted out their wood-fired ovens and high-quality ingredients. The practices of pizzaioli (pizza-makers) in Naples, Italy—where pizza was invented—have since surged in popularity worldwide. That’s very good for Naples…except many non-Italians now make better pizza than their Neapolitan counterparts.

DOUGH BOYS: Some pizza geeks are so obsessive about trying to make the dish in the traditional style that they “lock themselves in a basement for six months and study the dough.”
THE PICTURE PANTRY/ALAMY
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