Giuseppe Giordano

Piedigrotta 2 Express

piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 33
t. +39.0131.262085

South meets North in pizza or, even better, in Giuseppe Giordano's (Giò) Pizz’ino®. He was born in Alessandria in 1972, son of Vincenzo and Filomena, both originally from Tramonti, a small town on the coast of Campania, famous for being the birthplace of many pizza chefs. Faithful to their tradition, in 1973 the couple decides to open a pizzeria that would represent the Neapolitan tradition in the Piedmontese town, and call it Piedigrotta, after the popular neighbourhood in Naples, famous for the Festival della canzone napoletana. A big challenge, considering that in Alessandria “Neapolitan” pizza had to compete with the local tradition of the “tegamino alessandrino”, something much closer to the copper-pan-baked farinata. The town divided itself into two factions, like the Montagues and Capulets: tegamino versus classical pizza, soft dough versus crispy. The only solution was a double track, with two ovens and two bakings.

In the meantime, however, Giuseppe, the eldest of three brothers – who started to play with the pizza dough right after his birth – had become an expert pizza chef, and with a good dose of creativity and initiative. In 1994 he opened the Piedigrotta 2 Express, the first take away pizzeria in Alessandria. In 2010, his intuition allows him to unite, at last, the two traditions of Naples and Alessandria: Giuseppe decides to experiment what might happen if you put a pizza in a circular crown, obtained by cutting the basis of the pan. What is left, is the external ring that permits the “containment” of the borders of dough so it stays tall and soft, typical of pan-pizza, but the dough is baked directly on the oven's stone, as in the Neapolitan tradition, giving a completely different taste and structure from pan-baked pizza. This is how Pizz’ino® was born. Registered as an international patent, it was presented for the first time at the 2011 Festival della Pizza in Tramonti, and at Slow Food's 2011 Cheese in Bra, as well as in Washington DC and at Pizza-up, the fifth symposium of Italian pizza in Padua, ready to be repeated. A brilliant idea – a good research on doughs and baking times – that finally ends the pizza dispute in Alessandria.

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Luciana Squadrilli

a journalist born in Naples now living in Rome, she tries to make her three passions meet: eating, travelling and writing