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Neapolitan fried pizza

The fried pizza è an old dish of the Neapolitan gastronomic tradition, associated with the Neapolitan expression "a ogge a otto" that is, I eat it today and pay for it in eight days: it was one of the few foods accessible to the poor, debt-ridden populace living in the alleys of old Naples. Fried pizza, filled with ricotta cheese, salami, cicoli, mozzarella or other stuffing or as a simple dough without filling was a cheaper version of oven-baked pizza, which not everyone could pay for. Pizza "a ogge a otto" was sold in the "bassi", humble studios without street-level windows, a symbolic dwelling of poor Naples. In charge of frying and selling was often the pizza maker’s wife, who would prepare the dough before going to the pizzeria. The customer, most of the time also an inhabitant of the "bassi", would buy the pizza, while the pizzaiola would write down the credit in a little notebook and for that day the problem of hunger was solved. Then in a week’s time the bill would be taken care of! Another explanation for this term can be traced back to the fact that these pizzeria-basses remained open only one day a week, because they were run directly by the pizzaiolo, who, on his day off during the week, rounded off the family’s meager income by selling fried pizzas (since they had no oven, frying was the only way to cook them). Today there are no more of these pizzerias-bass; but fortunately è it is still possible to eat this all-Neapolitan delicacy in some classic pizzerias in the cityà.

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