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Defining with precision the often very ephemeral border between tradition and innovation within cuisine is already a difficult task in itself. Trying to do this with pizza, is even harder. If you then consider Neapolitan pizza, it could well become impossible. Let’s consider, for instance, Ciro Salvo’s pizza. He’s a member of a large family in the area of Vesuvius and while we’re writing he’s about to open 50 Kalò, his restaurant in Naples. He certainly follows the rules of Neapolitan tradition – with regards to basic method and final characteristics, from the thin and soft disk to the swollen and bubbly border – but at the same time his pizza is so ethereal, so light and easy to digest that even indigenous Neapolitans feel a little unsettled after the first bite, and they are definitely conquered after the second.
Among the biggest innovators of Neapolitan traditions, let’s put it this way, Ciro has created a virtually perfect dough. This is the result of a long and careful work began in 1996, when he finally chose to start his profession as pizza maker, and is in constant evolution thanks to the unstoppable research of the right flour and increasing hydration that would guarantee the lightest and easiest to digest result. Not to mention the toppings, which he prefers simple and classic, choosing among the best raw materials, especially local ones, from first class fiordilatte and buffalo milk mozzarella to the tastiest tomatoes.
However, he doesn’t despise experiments – even in this case – with pairings and unusual ingredients for a pizza, a little more creative and always very original as in the case of the pizza with Apulian artichokes, pancetta Piacentina Dop and Agerola’s fiordilatte or that of the multi-awarded Pizza dell'Alleanza with Slow Food Presidia. Apparently reserved and unusually “low profile” for a Neapolitan man, you only need to speak with him a little – and most of all to listen to him – to understand that he’s a very great expert in his field, a great and tireless professional and an extremely determined and at the same time humble person. Just like his pizzas, Ciro Salvo first confuses and then conquers you.
Ciro Salvo begins working in the family pizzeria in Portici when he’s very young – the restaurant being opened by his grandmother in 1968 and then run by his father with his brother in law. After having worked in the family pizzeria for a long time together with his brothers – the place has now moved to San Giorgio a Cremano – he decides to continue his professional journey by himself, as a consultant and teacher in professional training courses. In 2011 he arrives at Massé, a cocktail bar in Torre Annunziata that upon his arrival becomes one of the most renowned and awarded pizzerias in the area of Naples. In 2013 Gambero Rosso’s Guida Pizzerie d'Italia awarded the restaurant with the Tre Spicchi (three slices), the prize given to the best Italian pizzerias – and gives Ciro the prize for best recipe. In the winter of 2014, he opens 50 Kalò, in the centre of Naples
a journalist born in Naples now living in Rome, she tries to make her three passions meet: eating, travelling and writing
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