Deep-fried pizza might sound like American carnival fare, but it’s a traditional dish that hails from the home of modern pizza: Naples. In its simplest iteration, pizza fritta is a bit like a deep-fried calzone. Chefs add toppings to rolled dough, fold and seal it, then drop it in hot oil. Rather than simmer the dough pockets into a crunchy, golden crisp, they fry the exterior for less than a minute.
Southern Italians are known for an array of delicious fried foods. Many pizzerias also serve potato croquettes, fried mac ’n’ cheese balls, and arancini (deep-fried rice balls). Because a deep-fryer is already on the premises, pizza fritta hasn’t been phased out by its more popular oven-fired counterpart. In fact, one Neapolitan milling company’s most popular product is a flour designed to work well both when kneaded in pizza dough and as a batter meant to crisp in the deep-fryer.
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Culinary Naples: Producers, Purveyors, and Pizzaioli
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Where to Try It
Antica Pizza Fritta Da Zia Esterina Sorbillo46 Piazza Trieste E Trento, Naples, 80132, Italy
This takeout pie joint is known for its legendary fried pizzas.