For the Neapolitans cooking is an art, to compare with the figurative and musical ones. This art is probably the richest and maybe the most antique (historians report that there are recipes dated to the Greek and Roman Ages, with additions and updates influenced by the different dominations over the centuries) and it is a mixture of fish, meat and vegetables, realized in simple and elaborate ways .
Let's start with the famous "PIZZA", prepared for the first time by Raffaele Esposito in Naples at the end of '800, who dressed this thin flour cake with tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves and entitled this new speciality to Queen Margherita. Spread out by hand, thin at the centre and higher at the edges and cooked in a wood oven, it is the symbol of Naples and Italy around the World. The pizza recently has been proclaimed STG (Specialità Tradizionale garantita - guaranteed traditional speciality).
The Sunday tradition is the preparation of the "ragù". Eduardo De Filippo (a famous Neapolitan actor of mid 1900), explains that the correct procedure is the slow boil ("pippare") of the San Marzano quality tomato sauce for approx. 6 hours, with a special flavouring produced by braised pieces of onion, pork meat, beef and olive oil.
Other folkloristic specialities are: the minestra maritata (vegetable soup with pork meat and hot spices); the soffritto, pork interiors cooked in olive oil, flavoured with onion and hot spices). We also suggest the "tortano or casatiello" a special bread made with suet and filled with strong flavoured cheeses, boiled eggs, salami and pieces of pork lard ("ciccioli") or "pizzette fritte", beloved by the Neapolitans are fried pieces of dough stuffed with zucchini blossoms, ricotta cheese, sea algae and covered with tomato sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Other typical courses are the pizza stuffed with chicory, olives and cappers, parmesan of zucchini, fried zucchini with vinegar and mint sauce and friarielli (sour taste broccoli cooked with fresh sausage).
More attention goes to the baked maccheroni or rice /(sartu) pies.
Next to the traditional fish specialities such as risotto alla pescatora, spaghetti alle vongole (clams), impepata di cozze (mussels), spigola all'acqua pazza, it is possible to appreciate vegetable combinations such as scialatielli with prawn and zucchini sauce, for example...
And for dessert ? You will be spoilt in the choice! From the rhum babà to the sfogliatella (of pastry or of shortbread), to the Christmas specialities (mostaccioli, susamielli, struffoli, zeppole, cassatine); to the cream filled fried puff pastry for San Giuseppe; the Neapolitan pastiera and the sanguinaccio (a chocolate cream with sweet dices of lemon and orange peel, originally prepared with pork blood) are just a few of the local recipes to fulfil the taste and flavour expectations of everyone.
And to complete Na tazzulella 'e café (a small cup of Neapolitan coffee).