The Italian gastronomic center Citta delGusto, or City of Taste, has locations in both Rome and Naples. As a participant in the International Wine Tourism Conference fam trip, I was fortunate enough to attend a dinner at the Naples location, where local specialties were served in the large dining space. The highlight, of course, was Naples’ claim to the hearts of all Americans: pizza – crisp crust with the highest quality DOP ingredients including local tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
The chef de pizza there is Michele Leo, who uses the technique of long leavening to increase lightness and digestibility of the dough. Thanks to his in-depth understanding of the chemistry of the ingredients, he can use a low quantity of yeast and allow gluten to thicken the compound.
Citta del Gusto is part of the Gambero Rosso organization, which was a proponent of Slow Food before there was such an expression and which publishes one of Italy’s most respected annual wine guides.
Chef Leo’s pizza was served with numerous wines of the Campania region. And while pizza is terrific with red wine, such as the wonderful Aglianicos of the region, when in Naples, one also might consider indulging in a fizzy white wine, such as the refreshing sparkling Falanghina.
Visitors to Naples may also want to try a cooking class at the always tasteful Citta del Gusto.