Is there such a thing as an authentic Neapolitan pizza in Japan? Pizzeria Appetito in Okayama City might be the closest thing to the original since this pizzeria is adhering to the strict rules of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.
The Italian organization is promoting the original Neapolitan pizza around the world ever since the Italians decided to protect their pizza by applying the precept of Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) or “controlled designation of origin”like the French do for wine or cheese. Members have to follow a very strict method of production and use specific ingredients to produce original pizza marinara and pizza margherita.
There is always a gap between claims of authenticity and the real thing, but the gap at pizzeria Appetito seem really small. I think their effort was worth it and you can see the association sign right outside the shop.
The wood burning pizza oven, which is the main tool of the trade, occupies the center stage in this modern looking basement restaurant.
The menu is impressive and goes way beyond pizza, but since I was there for pizza, I ordered a large diavola pizza.
I watched the pizzaiolo at work and this guys looks like he knows what he is doing. The pizza came out of the massive oven with a beautiful evenly charred crust.
The tomato sauce was simply outstanding, the cheese was beyond reproach in the land of cheap cheese and the salumi was spicy.The pizza dough was off the chart!
The pizza at Appetito is a statement of simple good taste.
My wife ordered a white pizza with house made sausages and broccoli rapini. The pizza was different and the absence of sauce showcased the quality of the cheese.
If you have a big appetite, I suggest you order the large pizza.
Pizzeria Appetito is located in a basement and you could easily miss it if you were walking on Kencho Dori.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will be there back soon to try their lunch menu.
On a last note, the espresso was especially good. The woman behind the bar knew what she was doing!
If you are tired of corn on pizza, head to Pizzeria Appetito and get a slice of Italy right in the heart of Okayama.
Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana