We visited the third best pizzeria chain in the world

At Grosso Napoletano the idea is to de-industrialise artisan pizzas. The key is in the dough and in the fresh Neapolitan ingredients

50 Top Pizza, the reference guide in the world of pizza, recognizes Grosso Napoletano as the third best artisan pizzeria chain in the world at the First World Pizza Summit 2022 congress and the first Spanish representative. With only six years of life, it has positioned itself in the Olympus of Neapolitan artisan pizzerias worldwide. We spoke with Hugo Rodríguez de Prada, co-founder of the chain, which already has 27 stores in Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Seville, Zaragoza, San Sebastián, Pamplona and Vitoria. Among them, fourteen are found in the capitalAnd for this reason, in response to the demand of gluten-intolerant palates, a year and a half ago it inaugurated two ideal spaces for celiac diners, both here and in Barcelona.

They are the Senza Glutine (Caleido, Fernando VI and Majadahonda). Hugo tells us that the goal is to de-industrialize pizza and make it accessible to as many people as possible, with or without gluten: “The intention is to establish ourselves in different areas of the city,” adds Hugo, for whom this recognition is as “having finished third in the soccer world cup.” It was now six years ago when he began, together with his partners, to cook up the idea of ​​offering a very good quality pizza in Madrid. They traveled to Naples to speak with different pizzaiolis, true masters of the subject, including the renowned Gino Sorbillo:“We went to meet him and learn how to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. We asked her to associate and she was not interested. Look, we have been third in the contest and he tenth. We have exceeded any expectations,” he continues. As for the preparation of what for him is the perfect pizza, he tells us that they work on four pillars. The first is occupied by the dough, made from medium-strength flour from Naples, which is 00.

Double fermentation

Another key is to respect the fermentation times. In fact, the one prepared yesterday is the one that diners enjoy tomorrow. Because, they carry out a double fermentation of at least 48 hours, in which both temperature and humidity are controlled. Crucial step so that the dough reaches its optimal point of fermentation, it is light and the digestion is not heavy. Likewise, the oven is made of refractory stone wood from the banks of Vesuvius. Such is the importance given to it, that it presides over all the premises, weighs close to 3,000 kilos and is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 500 degrees.

Important: cooking lasts between 60 and 90 seconds. Of course, they are prepared with top-quality fresh ingredients, from artisan producers, who travel twice a week from Naples to land in each kitchen in all its splendor. Especially dairy and sausages. Because, of course, with each bite you travel with your palate. Among them,the Fior di Latte mozzarella, from cow, which arrives fresh in its whey so that the pizzaiolo drains it, cuts it by hand and distributes it to the locals.And the tomato, what a tomato! The chosen one is the San Marzano, after making a selection among fifteen suppliers in the R&D department in which both employees and customers participated.

The idea was, among all of us, to achieve the perfect tomato to obtain the tenth acidity and sweetness when mixed with the fatty flavor and the cream of the flor di latte, which, with the basil and oil, results in the Margarita pizza, a of the most demanded. Let us remember that the art of the Neapolitan pizzaiolo was declared in 2017 Unesco intangible heritage. Artists who work both on the bench with the technique of the Neapolitan slap and place the ingredients. While another professional manipulates the “fornaio”: “he is an ambassador of Neapolitan culture.”Grosso NapoletanoGrosso Napoletano.

With or without gluten

Among our favorites are the Gorgonzucca Croccante and the Diavola, with spicy and cheerful salami, although vegetarians will prefer La Pertutti, versions also available without gluten, as well as the Ofelia Tartufona and the Nobile Borghese.