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Neapolitan vs. Sicilian Pizza: Why are they Poles Apart

 

Pizza is one of those foods that can make us all drool endlessly. One slice is nothing. 

No….! Two slices are also insufficient. Having numerous pieces of pizza is heavenly.

The sauce? Umm, sacred. No food is like pizza.

Comparing normal food to pizza is like comparing the skies to the ground. Who compares it to pizza?

We don’t compare usual food with pizza, no not more.

But, with almost 50 different varieties of pizza on the globe today, we can’t help but compare them all. No matter if it’s deep-dish pizza, Chicago style Pizza, or Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian slice.

And so, a question arose in our minds about Neapolitan vs Sicilian Pizza. It made us dig deeper to find why Neapolitan Pizza is different from Sicilian. And, to our surprise, we found a huge difference. 

Want to know them? Let’s dive for a read of this article. By the end of the article, you’ll be able to differentiate between Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian Pizza clearly. Yep, scholarly too!

How Many Types and Tastes does Pizza have?

Pizza has no doubt many different types and tastes, including:

Oh, they seem not to end!

But, here we will talk about your and mine’s favorite pizzas, i.e., Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian Pizza for they have been most confusing.

Every lump of their bite gives the finest taste since every pizza comprises the finest Italian vegetables, meat, and sauce.

However, Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas have very different tastes and subtypes. 

Neapolitan vs. Sicilian Pizza: Let’s Know Neapolitan Pizza Types

There are many types of Neapolitan pizza such as:

After the visit of Queen Margherita in Naples, people started recognizing Pizza Margherita that was presented to the queen by the royal chef. It was the first time pizza got exposure to the world as Pizza Margherita. It is mostly made up of San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella.

The rest of the variations under Neapolitan Pizza have almost the same ingredients with slight variations. Because of the small difference between the variations, they all fall under Neapolitan-style Pizza.

Sicilian vs. Neapolitan Pizza: Let’s Know  Sicilian Pizza Types

Like Neapolitan Pizza, Sicilian Pizza has different types:

Some ingredients in Sicilian-style pizzas are constant. As they’re present in all the sub-variations of Pizzas to keep the Sicilian style alive. However, Sicilian Pizza is itself a variation of the original pizza.

Sicilian Pizza Unique Sicilian / sfincione is the first Sicilian pizza and has a soft, rectangular base with a light consistency. It’s topped with bread scraps, herbs, anchovies, onions, and tomato sauce.

Neapolitan vs. Sicilian Pizza: Where did Both Pizzas Originate from?

Sicilian Pizza is a type of pizza that originated in Palmero city of Sicily, Italy. Sfincione (Italian: [sfintone]; Sicilian: sfinciuni [sfntun]) or focaccia with toppings are other names for Sicilian pizza. By the mid-nineteenth century, this style of pizza had become a popular meal in western Sicily, and it was the sort of pizza most people ate in Sicily until the 1860s. 

The tomato-based form was not accessible before the 17th century. It later made its way to North America, where it was somewhat modified, with a thicker crust and a rectangular shape. And later on, many countries acquired it. But from country to country, the taste of this pizza varied with time and innovation.

It came into the limelight during the 19th century and is traditionally square or rectangular. The shape is not the same as other pizzas, but sometimes people make round pie-shaped Sicilian Pizza. And ah, the taste that you’ll never forget. It tastes so good.

People preferred eating pizzas because pizzas were very affordable in Italy.

Due to its affordability and its mouth-watering taste, it became more famous.

Whereas, Neapolitan Pizza, aka Naples style pizza, originally originated from Naples, Italy, came into recognition from a visit after the unification of Italy when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889. 

Chef Raffaele Esposito made them a pizza named for the queen. He used the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves) to make it special for the royal couple. That pizza Margherita is now considered the classic Neapolitan pizza. 

The pizza contained red sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves that were believed to represent the flag of Italy.

Sicilian Pizza vs. Neapolitan Pizza: Key Differences

When Italian migrants immigrated to America and opened pizza shops there, the pizza got so much praise that American people fell in love with it. And from that time, it became one o the most favorite dishes to enjoy breaks and meal time with friends and families in gatherings.

However, there’s a huge difference between Neapolitan Pizza and Sicilian pizzas, which most people don’t know about. So here’s my take to describe the difference between both types of pizzas.

Let’s discuss the basic differences in their ingredients and baking.

Crust

The crust is the most important part of the Pizza. If the crust is not as good as it should be for a perfect pizza, it can affect the whole experience.

Italians are naturally very concerned about the crust. Even after reaching American states, these Italian immigrants remained original and unique, just like home.

Sicilian Pizzas have a thicker crust, and usually, it is rectangular Pizza in shape. Sicilian pizzas have a very soft crust. Both softness and thickness make it look so tempting.

The crust has no fillings and sometimes has crushed basil leaves sprinkled onto it. The original pizza crust is completely different from what the cultural editing skills of the people have done to Sicilian pizzas. But overall Italian restaurants make sure to preserve the originality of the dish.

In contrast to Sicilian Pizza, Neapolitan Pizza has a thin crust and round shape. Not only does it have a thin crust, but it also contains cheese.

The crust can contain sprinkled green leafy crushed garlic too. The customer usually chooses cheese as they wish because some people are intolerant to cheese.

Most people love to add mozzarella cheese into the crust, and some don’t. It is also soft but has a juicy, chewy flavor because of the cheese present inside the crust, making the overall taste of pizza mind-blowing.

Flour

It isn’t easy to make a crust without flour. You can use different varieties of flour to build pizzas that are distinct from one another. A high-quality flour will result in a beautiful crust.

Flour has a large impact on pizza dough; it can affect customers if it is not perfect. Let’s look at the different types of flour used in Sicilian and Neapolitan pizzas.

Sicilian pizzas contain all-purpose or bread flour. This pizza is simple to create because flour is practically available at all times. As it has an extremely thick crust like deep pan pizza, the chefs add a generous amount of water in the flour, unlike Neapolitan Pizza.

The amount of water added to the flour impacts the chewiness and softness of the crust. The more pores the bread has, the more wonderful it will appear and taste.

Neapolitan Pizza, as previously said, has a thin crust and contains simply yeast, wheat, salt, and water. As nothing else helps further to make the dough soft like some additional water.

The dough for the Neapolitan Pizza comprises the high protein flour wholly to make it delicious and healthy. Customers get healthful advantages while enjoying a tasty delight.

The type of flour in the standard Neapolitan Italian Pizza is ‘OO kind’. For instance, King Arthur’s Italian style or Caputo ‘OO’ flour is the finest flour on the market for Neapolitan Pizza with 8-12% of protein content. This flour works marvelously and has a high absorption capacity to make it soft.

Sauces

Amatriciana, Cheeca, Bolognese, Marinara sauce, Spatini, and Arrabbiata are some of the most popular tomato pie sauces. But with Pizza styles, sauces vary.

Unless you specify what sort of Sicilian Pizza you bought in the Pizza Hut restaurant, it’s impossible to say exactly what your Sicilian Pizza has. People occasionally request that extra sauces be added depending on their unique preferences.

Ammoghin, Carne Capuliata, Pesto alla Trapanese, Salmoriglio, Pesto di pistacchio, and Agrodolce are the six basic Sicilian pizza sauces.

Agrodolce is the most amazing sour and sweet sauce. In contrast, other sauces like Pesto di Pistacchio have pistachio; Salmoriglio has oregano, lemon, pepper, parsley, and olive oil. Some other sauces like Pesto Alla Trapanese (includes garlic, basil, almonds, and ripe tomato sauce), Carne Capuliata (includes chopped beef, tomato sauce, carrots, celery, onions, and white wine), and Ammoghin (includes capers, basil, lear celery, parsley, olive oil, salt, tomato sauce, and garlic).

The major component in Neapolitan pizza sauces is lightly seasoned sauce or tomato sauce. It’s also known as Napoli sauce or pizza Napoletana sauce.

La Salsa, which means ‘the sauce,’ is another name for this Neapolitan pizza sauce. Cloves, bay leaf, basil, mushrooms, oregano, and thyme are among the ingredients in this La Salsa Sauce.

Individual tastes may dictate whether or not meat traces are included. All the ingredients must be from Italy, and San Marzano tomatoes should be from Agro-Sarnese-Nocerino to bake these pizzas.

Vegetables

Pizza isn’t complete without veggies. You’ve never seen an Italian pizza without a single veggie on it. At least one vegetable is present in Italian pizzas, i.e., artichoke. So let’s see what special vegetables are specifically on these pizzas.

Sicilian Pizza has many types, and each type has different toppings and vegetables. Traditional Pizza Italian toppings of Sicilian Pizza are onion, tomato, herbs, and cheese anchovies.

Some people may have different herbs or vegetables from country to country, but the original Sicilian pizza vegetables are only these. And the special thing about the traditional Italian pizza toppings of Sicilian Pizza is that they are only from Italy.

Neapolitan Style Pizza doesn’t have any vegetables other than raw San Marzano tomatoes. They’re quite simple and usually have more meaty and cheesy toppings than vegetable toppings.

Only among Neapolitan pie types of Pizza, Pizza carrettiera has Rapini, which is broccoli that looks like a vegetable that adds green leafy flavor to the Pizza.

Meat

Usually, pizzas contain vegetables, but gradually they started adding meat toppings in both standard Sicilian and Neapolitan Pizza. Some of the meat toppings are discussed below. 

Different varieties of Sicilian pizzas feature various meaty toppings, just as they do with vegetables.

You may also detect varying amounts of sausages, pepperoni, ham, beef, lamb, or chicken, depending on the variety. However, if ham, pepperoni, and sausages are not accepted owing to religious differences, chicken, lamb, or beef can also be fine. BBQ Sicilian pizzas are also offered in several countries.

Neapolitan Pizza has many types, just like Sicilian Pizza, but the variety of meat is different here. Some of the most popular Neapolitan pizzas like Pizza Carrettiera has Salsiccia (Italian sausage), Pizza Viennese has Wiener Würstchei (made up of pork), and Calzone Pizza has Pork Rinds, Salame Napoli including Lard (all are obtained from pork).

But these pork obtained meats are substituted with lamb, chicken, and beef, according to individual preferences.

Cheese

Most people eat pizzas out of love for cheese. I mean, who doesn’t fall for cheese? After all, it’s the most amazing gift nature has gifted us. So let’s see how the chefs have made use of this gift.

Sicilian pizza uses parmesan, caciocavallo, toma, provolone, and gorgonzola. They all are popular Italian cheeses. These cheeses have different tastes and structures. Cheese toppings or fillings can be different but leave us with nostalgic cheesy, tasty memories.

Style of cheese toppings also varies, for instance, shredded cheese or melted cheese. But usually, the Sicilian-style Pizza has melted cheese toppings.

Popular Neapolitan pizza’s usual cheese toppings are fresh mozzarella cheese, Provolone Valpadana, Ricotta, and mozzarella di bufala campana.

Mozzarella Cheddar cheese is undoubtedly the most used cheese in Neapolitan-style pizzas. You can always use mozzarella if you don’t find any cheese mentioned above except mozzarella as a substitute.

Mushroom

Mushrooms are fungi, neither vegetables nor meat. Usually, mushrooms like cremini, portabella, button, morel, and shitake are used in Italian pizzas.

Let’s see if these two pizzas have mushrooms or not.

Sicilian pizzas do have mushrooms. However, very few Sicilian-style pizzas have mushrooms, such as Sicilian Style Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions Pizza.

This Pizza contains spinach, onions, and mushrooms as toppings and is far the most different Pizza compared to other pizzas in the market.

Neapolitan Pie doesn’t have any mushrooms. It contains oregano, flour, tomato sauce, olive oil, pork, and basil in general.

It sets Neapolitan Pizzas different from other Italian pizzas.

Pork is one of the most common components of Neapolitan Pizza. As a result, adding mushrooms to a Neapolitan pizza will effectively transform it into a different type of Pizza.

Pepperoni

Pepperoni is made up of pork and is usually preferred by Italians. However, most countries prefer chicken, beef, or BBQ, so they get replaced by available substitutes. Let’s read how Italians use pepperoni in Neapolitan pizzas and Sicilian pizzas.

Italian restaurants sell Sicilian-style Pepperoni pizza with loads of melted grated cheese and red tomato sauce on the top. Sicilian pepperoni is also used on these pizzas.

Fennel-cured pepperoni has a robust, spicy flavor and can stand up to the most powerful flavors that might help you to lend a kick to your next pizza recipe.

Neapolitan Pizza doesn’t have any pepperoni added to the toppings as it contains ham or sausage. Traditionally pepperoni is never added to Neapolitan Pizza. The general toppings include tomatoes, pork, and mozzarella cheese.

Oil

The basic reason to add oil to the Pizza is to preserve the moisture so that the soft bread-like crust doesn’t get hard or too crunchy to swallow. But usually, oils are not added if the Pizza is made up in the wood oven.

Silician pizzas use Olive oil for pizzas. The main reason for using olive oil is that it gives a unique taste. Everything that is cooked in olive oil has numerous health benefits too. 

Since olive oil is one of the most amazing oils, it is used in almost every Pizza. Sometimes because of the non-availability of olive oil, people can replace olive oil with canola oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil.

Neapolitan Pizza uses extra virgin olive oil. However, the crust is very thin; and extra virgin olive oil plays an extremely important role in keeping the whole round dough intact and moistures the center of the bread. The olive oil also includes basil leaves. You can’t substitute extra virgin olive oil with no other oil.

Salt and Sugar

You probably think that salt is required, but what about sugar? When did they begin putting sugar on Pizza? It’s always gone into the dough, haha.

Sicilian Pizza thick dough needs both sugar and salt to taste like an ideal bread for toppings. 

To preserve the right balance in the taste of the Pizza, it is strongly advised to add an adequate amount of sugar and salt. However, you can add two tablespoons of sugar and salt to the dough for one Pizza.

Like Sicilian pizza dough, Neapolitan Pizza flour also needs sugar and salt to make it taste like an ideal bread for toppings. 

To maintain the right balance of pizza flavor, it is advisable to add an adequate amount of sugar and salt. However, just like Sicilian Pizza, you can add two tablespoons of sugar and salt to the flour for a pizza.

Yeast

Yeast is mixed with water and flour that helps the dough to rise. It stretches the dough that makes it expand simultaneously, producing flavor and carbon dioxide.

You can use any type of yeast for Sicilian Pizza. It can be active dry yeast, such as Caputo Lievito Active Dry Yeast or any other that you usually prefer for baking dough. Ensure that you keep an eye on how much yeast you are adding because that will decide the taste and structure of the end product, i.e., pizza.

Since Sicilian Pizza has a thick crust, yeast is added to achieve good thickness.

One and a half tablespoons of yeast are enough for Sicilian dough, depending on the quantity of the dough.

Like any other pizza, Neapolitan Pizza also contains yeast in its dough. However, the Neapolitan Pizza has a thin crust and is mostly filled with cheese. And it dictates how much yeast should be added while keeping in mind the effect it’ll create on the Pizza.

If you’re going to fill cheese in the dough, you should also consider the shape and taste that it’ll give you. Usually, one tablespoon of yeast is good for Neapolitan pizza dough with less water so that it doesn’t expand as much as Sicilian pizza dough needs to be expanded.

The Difference between Sicilian Pizza and Neapolitan Pizza: Summary

Lastly, while there are some variations between Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas. They have many parallels in their baking techniques. I feel Sicilian Pizza is the best pizza style.

The dough-making process is tricky and risky sometimes. Because of lack of knowledge, the dough can be hard or bitter. The dough needs the appropriate amount of time and ingredients to prepare the pizzas.

Any ignorance at this stage might lead to regret. After all, who would want to eat a pizza that doesn’t taste good? No one.

After creating the dough, the next step is dressing and baking it. It means ensuring that you put the right ingredients on the right pizzas and don’t confuse the ingredients of Neapolitan Pizza with the ingredients of Sicilian Pizza.

I can use any hot oven for Sicilian Pizza. But for Neapolitan Pizza, I’ll need a wood oven which is so complicated for me.

Final Thoughts

Neapolitan pizza is like a religious ritual: bound to sacred rules, you can’t alter them. The Sicilian Pizza is like a social event, you can be creative and innovative.

So, when it’s about Neapolitan vs. Sicilian Pizza,  maybe making Pizza, specifically Sicilian and New York pizza, is a lot easier to make than Neapolitan Pizza and can help me treat my coworkers or family in much less time.

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