It may be an Italian specialty, but Portugal is now where you can officially eat the world’s best pizzas.
Judges at last week’s Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) held in Naples, Italy awarded the world’s top pizza title to Portugal’s pizzaiolo team, which took part in the contest for the first time and presented five pizzas made with typically Portuguese ingredients.
The national team beat 15 other countries, including Italy, to clinch the title.
“The quality of the ingredients – all 100% Portuguese – and our hard-work fuelled by passion were the key to our success,” António Mezzero, the Italian-Portuguese leader of the team told TSF radio.
They presented mouth-watering pizzas to please all palates: Pizza Alentejo, with goat and sheep cheese, black pig ‘paio’ (smoked sausage) and tomato; Pizza Algarve, with mussels, shrimp, cuttlefish and Ria Formosa salicornia (marsh samphire); Pizza Lusitana, with Quinta Avaleda cheese, Chaves ‘presunto’ (smoked ham), cherry tomato and salad rocket; Pizza Serra da Estrela, with buttery ‘Serra’ cheese, ‘presunto’ and organic salad rocket; and Pizza Porto, including sardines, corn bread, olives and ‘presunto’.
Mezzero also won second place in the ‘Classic Pizza’ category with his Amália creation, which combined codfish, olives and tomato on a light Neapolitan pizza crust.
The national team included the following pizzaiolos:
• António Mezzero (Pulcinella restaurant, in Matosinhos)
• Daniel Baptista (MouraPão, Vilamoura)
• Fábio Silva (Gastrófilo, Tondela)
• Rute Mazza (Il Siciliano, Cascais)
• Casimiro Santos (L’Artista, Oliveira do Hospital)
• Francisco Ribeiro (Al Forno, Penafiel)
• João Almeida (Grupo S.Martino, Porto)