The street food of Naples
What I propose today is an excursus on Neapolitan culinary culture, in particular the one that turns around streetfood. In Naples, food is almost a mantra and a cultural phenomenon of the Neapolitan tradition that is envied all over the world.
Discover the specialities that you can taste in the alleys of Naples at every corner.
Pizza a portafoglio
The pizza a portafoglio is an icon of Neapolitan street food. The pizza a portafoglio is a street variant of the famous Neapolitan wood-fired pizza that is eaten very hot, wrapped in foil and folded on itself, hence the name "a portafoglio". The pizza a portafoglio is smaller than the pizza we know and can be purchased for a euro or so.
The pizza a portafoglio is irreparably Margherita flavoured with tomato, mozzarella and a basil leaf and must be enjoyed exclusively while walking through the alleys of the city because the flavour is enhanced by the beauty of Naples.
In Neapolitan street cuisine, fried pizza could not be missing. The absolute protagonist of the Neapolitan culinary tradition, it has always been an essential part of Neapolitan street food. Fried pizza is very popular in Naples and there are many pizzerias where you can enjoy it in the meanders of the historic centre.
Fried pizza can be eaten at the table but its crescent shape almost forces us to eat it with your hands and on the street while you get lost in the city. The fried pizza takes on its golden shape after being immersed in boiling oil and left to fry for a few minutes, while for the filling there are different variations from the most traditional to the most innovative. The traditional filling is that with ricotta and provola and usually some type of salami such as cicoli or ham.
Fried pizza is also offered without filling but covered with true sauce and a basil leaf in a variant known as the montanara.
The fried cuoppo
The mixed fried food, better known as cuoppo fried, is another cornerstone of Neapolitan cuisine and in particular of modern street food. It is a typical dish but which is served in a special cone to take for a walk, filled with all kinds of fried pasta such as arancini, omelettes, crocchè, zeppole and polenta scagliozzi.
Pagnottiello: the Neapolitan sandwich
The pagnottiello, also called Neapolitan sandwich, is a super stuffed dough that somehow recalls the Neapolitan tortano. The Neapolitan sandwich is made with pizza dough, filled with lard and stuffed with many types of salami and eggs, cut into cubes.
It is the apotheosis of Neapolitan street food, so much so that it is equivalent to a complete meal (perhaps even more than one) to be enjoyed comfortably while you are out and about.
The Neapolitan tarallo (
Among the alleys of Naples, there is another protagonist of street food, the tarallo. The tarallo is a typical baked product of southern Italy which consists of a ring of unleavened dough intertwined and stuffed with different ingredients such as pepper, almonds and lard. The preparation and the filling changes from region to region and as often happens in Naples, its recipe is the result of the creativity of ancient generations who often prepared delicacies with the few ingredients they had available.
In Campania there are different types of tarallo from the one stuffed with wine to the one with almonds, passing through the tarallo with lard and pepper or the egg one.
In Naples, the tarallo is the host especially during aperitif times when it is often accompanied by a nice mug of beer or other drink.
The macaroni frittata
Macaroni frittata is omnipresent in Neapolitan cuisine. Prepared with ragù sauce and any kind of pasta (often spaghetti or bucatini) to which eggs are added and everything is fried in a pan. The result is a kind of very compact golden mixture that is cut into wedges.
In street food, in addition to the aforementioned classic variant, there is often the so-called "frittatina" which is prepared with spaghetti or bucatini surrounded by bechamel, minced meat, peas, mozzarella, pepper, and a pinch of tomato puree and wrapped in a batter composed of water and flour, that is then dipped in hot oil.
The traditional Neapolitan desserts
Not only many savoury dishes but also many delicious desserts that make up the handbook of Neapolitan street food. Among these desserts, there is undoubtedly the sfogliatella, a cone of pastry wrapped around a filling of semolina, ricotta and cedar or other creams if necessary. The sfogliatella also has other variations such as the shortcrust pastry, which has the same heart but which is wrapped in the same dough that is used to make the base of the Neapolitan pastiera.