The farmhouse pizzeria trend
It’s now been over two months since the grand opening of Gustarosso Academy, a project by the cooperative DANIcoop, the Agro Sarnese Nocerino farm known for tits cultivation and marketing of San Marzano tomatoes for the past four generations. The project presents a space designed to protect and educate on the culinary traditions of the Sarno Valley, and where farmers are still the true guardians of the secrets of the earth. The project is set up as a school that teaches peasant cooking, pizza and bread making, and is ready to expand. Pomodorìa, whose focus is the countryside and the flavours of the past is a “farmhouse pizzeria”, a very popular dining format whose focus is farming, with a in-house vegetable garden and self-growing and producing the majority of the ingredients used in the dough and toppings. This trend was born thanks to the work of great masters such as Gabriele Bonci and Franco Pepe, and soon spread among younger artisans.
The project, therefore, follows the increasingly beaten path of the return to the earth, a philosophy that Gustarosso has always been pursuing. The focus di Pomodorìa, naturally, is on tomatoes and other vegetables contributed to the DANIcoop cooperative by its members. The initiative is in fact closely linked to the company's business, and to its store, now in its twelfth year of life. Over time the sales point has showcased many top agri-food products not only hailing from the Campania region but from all over Italy. The concept behind the school is simple: educate consumers and bringing back the key principles of the Mediterranean diet, with seasonality in the first place. This is a space that aspires, therefore, be first and foremost a meeting place between conventional agriculture–priceless value of the cooperative–and the art of Neapolitan pizza making, which was also recently recognized by UNESCO as cultural and intangible world heritage.
The "pizzaiolo" professional
To achieve this initiative with the happy and long-established marriage between tomato and pizza, the company has entrusted master pizzaiolo Gennaro Salvo, like his father, initially working for Ciro Salvo, then with Gino Sorbillo for the opening of Lievito Madre al Mare and the Milan venues. There’s a deep connection with the land and total respect for ingredients: for the new project promoted by Gustarosso, the artisan offers 9 different pies, 6 of which have a tomato base. There’s the Ziì Alfondo, topped with Crovarese Gustarosso tomato; then there’s the Zi' Ninuccio, a marinara enriched with Spunzillo a pacchetelle tomato; and not to mention the Zi' Vincenzo, a margherita made with San Marzano tomatoes. There’s also the pizza Zi' Eduardo, plain and topped only with a mix of yellow Lucariello cherry tomatoes; the Zi' Antonio, plain with tomato pacchetelle; and the Zi' Pasquale, plain base with naturally sun-dried tomatoes. The pies are an ode to one of the Campanian products par excellence. For those wishing to try a different vegetable topping there are also pizzas dressed with seasonal vegetables, such as the Zi' Aitan, with Gustarosso homegrown broccoli rabe; the Zi' Filomena topped with escarole; and the Don Gennaro, made with whatever the maestro decides on the day.
The menu changes constantly and follows the rhythms of nature. Selections include bruschetta, fried local products, platters of cheeses and cured meats, and a selection of traditional sweets sourced at some of the best pastry shops in the area. As far as beverages, attention is paid to small local producers, such as artisan Spuma Nera, and orange and lemon soda by Paoletti, a company with more than 100 years of history in the production of artisan soft drinks. The wines poured will focus on the Cantina Sociale of Solopaca with Falanghina and Aglianico, while for the beer selection, there will be labels of Birrificio Maneba di Striano, a few kilometers from Sarno.
Pomodorìa – Gustarosso Academy – Sarno (SA) - via Ingegno, 32 bis - 081944898 - www.gustarosso.it
by Michela Becchi
translated by Eleonora Baldwin