Tradition vs Innovation
Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 by Alan Pizzaiolo Tribe — No comments
Reading this article
by Ciro Sasso has given me the motivation to finally write this article about tradition and innovation in the pizza world
How do we respect tradition while moving on with the times? And as Ciro says "Is it really tradition that we follow? At the beginning of the 20th Century Neapolitan pizza was made with unidentified flours, tap water, salt and a starter called "criscito". Some people added lard. The dough was made in a wooden kneading -trough. Any left over dough was deep fried. Only 4 or 5 pizzas were considered traditional. Nowadays who is making 70kg of dough by hand? Whos has got only 5 pizzas on their menu? Are we really respecting the old traditions?"
We have inevitably moved on from the old way of making pizza, technology and science are now helping and supporting us. We use precise weights, flours developed especially to make pizza. Temperature controlled environment for maturing and proving our doughs. No one (well almost no one) prepares the dough in the afternoon for the evening.
Eve with these premises the defence of so called tradition is very apparent in pizza forums and pizzaiolo Facebook groups, where anything without a cornicione is derided and the makers called infidels.
It's probably ok if you work in Naples and all people eat is Margherita and Marinara, but in the rest of the world people expect more choice, people like endearing combinations, doughs made with different ingredients and flavours. Also who are we to deny a kid some pineapple on their pizza?
On a personal level when I first opened my pizzeria I used to have a sign on the door saying "The words pineapple and low-carb are forbidden in these premises" and I used to tell customers we don't have a "Meat Feast" pizza in Italy and that's why we didn't have one on the menu.... now I have changed my mind. People should be able to get what they want - within reason -.
I'd love to know your opinion on this.
How do you innovate?