From the Città della Pizza: what dessert in pizzerias?

Three talented pizzaioli and a dilemma. Here are their answers from the debate that took place during Città della Pizza in Rome

01-07-2019
The dessert inspired by pizza, presented by Walte

The dessert inspired by pizza, presented by Walter Musco of Bompiani, Rome

Some places offer delicious fried food, others bruschetta or platters, the more gourmet-oriented places add some cooked dishes while others prefer not to ruin the appetite and don’t offer any starters or nibbles so that guests focus on the pizza. But virtually every decent pizzeria offers a selection of desserts, even if only a small one. In this case however, there’s a harder choice to make for the pizzeria patrons: is it better to continue with a leavened product, or perhaps postpone the fried offer to the end of the meal? Are light desserts like sorbets or ice cream better, or should one opt for rich puddings? Traditional or original? But most of all: should one ask a famous pastry-shop, or have a pastry-chef in the brigade, or continue to work with the oven, offering sweet pizzas?

This matter was discussed at Città della Pizza 2019 – in Rome, on April 12-14th – with a creative pastry chef (Walter Musco from Bompiani, Rome), a “pastry-pizzaiolo” (Fabio Ciriaci, who after various experiences in the kitchen opened Gusto Madre in Alba, with his wife Francesca who is also a pastry-chef) and a “pizzaiolo-pastry chef” (Luigi Cippitelli, at the helm of the family pizzeria in San Giuseppe Vesuviano, who also has experiences in the kitchen and as a pastry chef). Their thoughts were very different and all reasonable.

The dessert from Fabio Ciriaci​

The dessert from Fabio Ciriaci​

Going against his interest, Musco said he doesn’t agree with the idea of asking a pastry-shop (and Bompiani doesn’t do B2B, they only focus on consumers): «You’d risk having an offer that is unoriginal, unless you find a pastry-chef willing to create a line specifically for your pizzeria. But in my opinion including a professional in the brigade is a good investment, or else you can work on sweet pizzas, in coherence with the rest of the menu; the pizzaiolo, like the chef or the pastry chef, must always question himself in order to improve», he explained while he offered to the audience, among other things, a delicious dessert that plays with the ingredients of pizza – tomato, basil and buffalo milk mozzarella – what with sweetness and sapidity.

Fabio Ciriaci follows the firstapproach. He’s included a station dedicated to pastry-making (with the implied costs): «For me it’s a long-term investment that’s coherent with the work we’re doing with the pizza. We offer freshly made desserts, never too rich, paying attention to acidity and texture so as not to add heaviness, and to cleaning the palate, or leavened products like panettone or colomba», he said while Francesca announced the arrival in the room of an elegant dessert made with a mousse with Madagascar vanilla, truffle and pistachio crumble, with fruits of the forest, milk chocolate cremoso, caramelised pistachios and edible flowers.

Luigi Cippitelli prepares his Panpastiera (to the right)

Luigi Cippitelli prepares his Panpastiera (to the right)

Cippitelli, instead, focuses on tradition and territory but using the dough for pizza or bread in an unusual way; hence Panpastiera – with a shortcrust pastry made with bread crumbs, a cream made with bread and lemon zest, and a reduction of Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio wine for the garnish – and the PanCaprese, a sort of chocolate pan dolcewith black cherries from Ottaviano. «I believe it’s important that we make good use of everything we make; hence the extra dough for the pizza often becomes bread, and I try to use it in an original way, and not just for the usual bruschetta!».


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