Before you can launch a new product Mario Cipriano, Neapolitan master pizza maker, Tre spicchi guides Gambero Rosso, wants to be on the safe side. And in fact, only after identifying the right mixture of flours and verifying the digestibility of the dough, did he decide to launch his latest creation: the Fabric, an incredibly crunchy thin pizza.
I am really curious to taste this masterpiece of white art and I accept the invitation to the tasting at The old Man and the Sea, a restaurant that Mario manages with Pasquale Naccari. I love pizza but I can't stand the feeling of heaviness that I often feel after eating it, not to mention the cooking which, as far as I'm concerned, must be perfect to conquer me.
“This is a finer and more delicate pizza - Mario assures me - cooking in an electric oven allows me to obtain a greater drying of the product and therefore a soft and crunchy consistency at the same time. A recipe very different from true Neapolitan pizza, both for hydration and for the longer cooking time ".
I follow the kneading of the dough and immediately notice that it is something different, the pizza maker spreads a thin, albeit compact, sheet on the work surface.
A different proposal compared to the pizzas that Cipriano offers in his premises, among which the True Pala and Frying pan, and approaches the traditional Tuscan pizza, lower and drier than the Neapolitan one.
The first canvas I taste is the most daring, with a base of provolone smoked and a filling based on fruits wood e octopus crispy. The consistency of the dough conquers me at the first bite and I devour the clove despite, I confess, I am not really a lover of fish.
The second pizza, stuffed with potatoes mashed, succulent sausage di Scarpaccia, cream of friarielli fresh and decorated with fresh tops of broccolini, simply seasoned with oil and salt, it is really delicious. The dough is light and maintains a dry and crunchy texture despite the rich filling.
The top quality ingredients that enrich the third slice that is offered to me, among which the milk cream, the mushrooms porcini sautéed, the stracciatella pugliese and above all an excellent one bresaola homemade, they delight me and, once again, I cannot help noticing that the pizza base remains fragrant in a homogeneous way for the entire time of tasting.
My taste experience finally ends with the queen of pizzas, the daisy, for me the real "litmus test". The basis of milk cream pugliese with graft whey, which makes it particularly digestible, is accompanied by a pommarola which does not at all have that acid aftertaste that sometimes characterizes this recipe. I find this tasty and perpetually “al dente” pizza excellent.
“For the sauce I only use peeled San Marzano DOP tomatoes which I pass strictly by hand with the vegetable mill - Mario tells me - I do not use the mixer which would break the seeds, giving the product a more acidic flavor. I don't add anything, not even water, just salt, oil and basil ”.
At this point I can say with certainty that Cipriano has managed to give life to a new successful gourmet recipe, expanding the already rich offer of his signature pizzas.
“I wanted to meet a wider audience by offering a pizza of the highest quality that can be tasted at Express by Il Vecchio and the Sea, at home, take away or with home delivery, and al Pan 2.0, of course, also at dinner, at the tables, as soon as possible ”.
The preparation of the dough, the leavening and the ingredients used to garnish and season give the Tela a high digestibility and, in fact, I feel light and satisfied despite the variety of the pizzas I tasted.
The old Man and the Sea was born in 2007 from an idea of the Naccari family and has become a must for those who love fish and more. Since 2017 the arrival of Mario Cipriano has led to the expansion of the restaurant's offer, which has become a 'must' for those in Florence looking for quality, taste and refinement in the presentation of dishes.
"We have been collaborating since 2017 but I contacted Mario first, to ask him about flour and dough, - he tells me Pasquale Naccari - then we got to know each other, the synergy between us has gradually increased, we have decided to expand the products and also the points of sale to meet all needs, always with top quality ingredients ".
In 2019, thanks to the desire to always offer something more to the loyal clientele, 'Express by Il Vecchio and the Sea': a point of sale to the public that offers the best of pizza, take-away or delivered directly to your home by the local messengers. Last born in the Naccari-Cipriano house, 'The Pan 2.0', the first restaurant on the banks of the Arno that offers pizza alla pala or baked in a saucepan, which becomes irresistibly soft inside and crunchy outside. In 2020, Cipriano's Neapolitan pizza was awarded for the fourth consecutive year with the Tre Spicchi del Gambero Rosso, while in the 50 Top Pizza 2020 'Il Vecchio e il mare' rose from 79th to 66th place in the ranking drawn up every year on the blog by Luciano Pignataro.