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Pizza Magherita at Posto (all photos: Elizabeth Hathaway/PRK)
Unless you live in Davis Square, pizza at your neighborhood pizza joint does NOT look like this.
Last October is when I first heard of Pizzeria Posto, site of the old Carbury’s. I’ve eaten there three times since. Still, my first encounter with Posto’s artisanal pizzas sticks with me. “I haven’t seen a pizza look like this in ages,” I thought. Since the week I lived and ate in Naples is what I meant. Such an automatic, visceral connection with Naples, I am guessing, would make Posto chef/owner Joe Cassinelli proud.
Though it opened as recently as 2010, Posto is the only restaurant in New England certified as a maker of vera pizza napoletana, true Neapolitan-style pizza. The certification came last year, awarded in 2011 by the California-based organization of the same name: Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN).
Cassinelli, a native of Milford, had already been making well-crafted pizzas when he arrived at VPN’s American headquarters in Marina Del Rey, CA, for the three-day training course. He also had read a lot, taking it upon himself to learn what he could about making Neapolitan-style pizza before he trained with the experts. Cassinelli was confident.
But VPN said ‘no, not yet,’ and Cassinelli felt the same. He waited almost a year after the formal training to approach VPN again. He felt he knew enough, had the right equipment — more on that in a minute — and had imparted enough knowledge to his staff to try for certification. (Indeed, the VPN qualification applies to Posto, not to Cassinelli, personally. His main pizza maker, Juan Perez, is therefore extremely important to the Posto team.)
“A lot of people think this is [a joke],” Cassinelli offered. “You send some guys a check and you’re in.” Continue reading