Pizza #259 Ripieno Fritta, Pizzeria Tutino
ricotta, tomato, sausage, deep fried batter
Via C. Carmignani 79, Napoli
Imagine a whole pizza being deep fried. Hold that thought, and think about the toppings floating up in the canola or vegetable oil without anything to hold them down. For any veteran chef of McDonalds or Burger King, you would soon realize that ‘mixed’ ingredients do not effectively cook inside a deep fry basket. So it doesn’t seem like a deep fry vat could successfully cook a pizza, does it? However Naples has an answer, and you can order a ‘Ripieno Fritta’, or a deep fried pizza, to prove it. Neapolitan Pizzaiolo’s solved this frying difficulty by first preparing a normal pizza, then folding the exterior crust over the pizza until all the ingredients are enclosed inside the uncooked crust, similar to how a calzone is prepared. The folded pizza is then dropped in a deep-fry vat until the crust is golden brown. These pizzas do not taste greasy or especially oily, so I can only guess that the cooking oil is allowed to drain for a decent amount of time.
I have been told that deep fried pizzas typically contain ricotta, tomato, and sausage, and this pizza at Tutino does not vary from these ingredients with the exception of added provolone cheese. The golden exterior of the deep fried crust has an almost sweet taste to it, almost like donut batter. As a whole meal you can then imagine that this pizza is an addictive find, and I am a bit unsure as to why it cannot be found more readily in the fry-happy south of the United States. Without the sausage, the batter and ricotta could even pass as dessert. For a deep fried pizza this was surprisingly easy to eat, even compared to some other calorie heavy pizzas like the Nutella chocolate pizza , the volcano pizza, and the meter long pizza. On a scale of one to ten I give the toppings a 6 and the crust a 7
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