We caught up with a number of Italian pizzaiolos (pizza makers) at the top of their game based in the heart of pizza land, Calabria, Southern Italy, namely; Ciro Oliva, Franco Pepe, Francesco and Salvatore Salvo, Salvo Ciro and Gino Sorbillo, and asked them to reveal their favourite toppings.
And the message is clear, when it comes to pizza toppings less is more, and let the quality of the ingredients do the talking. Find out what they had to say below.
Ciro Oliva (Pizzeria Concettina ai Tre Santi, Naples)
Want to try an unusual combination? My favourite is: yellow tomatoes from Piennolo, buffalo mozzarella DOP and olive oil, parsley, garlic and colatura, made with anchovies from Cetara. The aromas of the anchovy infuse the mozzarella.
Franco Pepe (Pepe in Grani)
A perfect topping for Neopolitan pizza? My recommendation would be cream of caramelized onions from Alife, and fresh from the oven, little tunny and celery baked in ice.
Francesco and Salvatore Salvo (Pizzeria Salvo)
In our opinion, the most classic pizza topping, which is also summery, is Piennolo tomatoes. For more particular toppings I'm thinking of a pizza that we do with Cipollotto Nocellino, anchovies and caciocavallo and buffalo mozzarella which adds a fresh note. Otherwise, we'd recommend blue cheese and 'nduja, where the mozzarella tames the spiciness whilst retaining that freshness.
Ciro Salvo (50 Kalò)
The water-front pizzeria in Naples is a stickler for local ingredients: "I am for simple things. A classic Margherita: Tomato, buffalo mozzarella DOP, basil. Adding anything else is unnecessary."
©Valentina Scotti - Anexperimentalcook.blogspot.it
Gino Sorbillo (Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo)
Gino Sorbillo keeps his growing pizza empire simply "For me the perfect combination is tomatoes from Corbara, buffalo mozzarella and Ligurian basil pesto."