Pizza Rules Challenged by Naples Pizzaiolo
Anyone who’s wandered the streets of Italy knows the unspoken laws, especially when it comes to food. Cappuccino after 11 a.m.? A no-go, strictly for tourists. Spaghetti bolognese? A culinary crime. And pineapple on pizza? Absolute heresy, or at least it was until Gino Sorbillo, a renowned Naples pizza maestro, decided to shake things up in 2024.
Sorbillo’s Pineapple Pizza Revolution
Gino Sorbillo, a third-generation pizzaiolo based in Naples, has taken the bold step of introducing “Margherita con Ananas” to his menu on Via dei Tribunali, the famed pizza street. This pizza, priced at 7 euros ($7.70), is not your typical Hawaiian; it’s a pizza bianca, sans the usual tomato layer, adorned with three types of cheese and featuring twice-cooked pineapple for that caramelized touch.
Sorbillo defends his creation, stating it’s a move to combat food prejudice. He shares, “Sadly people follow the crowd and condition themselves according to other people’s views, or what they hear.” His goal is to challenge the stigma around certain ingredients by making them not only acceptable but delicious on a Neapolitan pizza.
Crafting the Controversial Slice
Sorbillo’s pineapple pizza involves prebaking the pineapple in the oven, then cooling it. The topping includes smoked provola, a local cow milk cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. The pizza is then fired in his woodfired oven, with “micro shavings” of two types of smoked cacioricotta cheese from Sardinian goats and buffalos in the nearby Cilento area scattered around the crust.
Despite the meticulous preparation, the reaction has been nothing short of uproarious.
Beyond Pineapple: The Ketchup Conundrum
Sorbillo draws the line at starting with a tomato base, explaining that the acidity of both fruits wouldn’t make for a good product. He emphasizes the importance of pairings in food, stating, “If you pair ingredients well, the result is good. People who are gastronomically curious are eating it, which means we did well.”
He predicts that pineapple pizza will soon appear on menus beyond his pizzerias, challenging the traditional notions of what belongs on a. With a mischievous smile, Sorbillo says, “All you need to change is one ingredient, or one preparatory step, and you create a whole new thing.”
In the end, whether it’s pineapple or ketchup, Sorbillo’s mission is clear: to challenge preconceived notions and keep pushing the boundaries of creativity.