Calling all pizza lovers: you're going to want to see this.
Gabriele Bonci, AKA the "pizza hero" in Italy, stars in the new Netflix series Chef's Table: Pizza. This delicious show explores the art of pizza-making (swoon) and features fellow Italian pizza legend Franco Pepe.
Gabriele Bonci, from Rome's award-winning Pizzarium (ranked best pizza on the road by 50 Top Pizza 2022), is known for revolutionizing the Roman pizza slice, or 'pizza al taglio', both in Italy and abroad, with other outlets in Chicago and Miami. Anthony Bourdain was so impressed by Bonci's pizza at his first Pizzarium in Prati that he knew Bonci was destined for greatness.
“It’s amazing … You want it. You want it bad. Your life would be so much better if you have this right now. Leave your family. Abandon your children … You know you want it.”
-Anthony Bourdain while eating Bonci pizza on "The Layover" Season 1 Ep. 7
What is Pizza Al Taglio?
Pizza Al Taglio refers to the Roman way of selling pizza: “by the cut” or more popularly known as “by the slice.” Sure, New York could also technically claim this style of pizza, but traditionally Roman-style al taglio pizza is a hearty, rectangular pizza, with fermented dough and any array of toppings. This classic shape and unique texture of dough are what pizza al taglio is known for.
Born in the 1950’s in Rome, this street food is one of the younger dishes Italy has to offer, but has held its own among other extremely popular Italian foods such as the well-known Neapolitan pizza. In addition to the trademark square shape of the slices of al taglio pizza, other notable characteristics come from the dough. The higher water content of the dough provides the beautiful, signature bubbles that sourdough is known for.
And speaking of sourdough, did you know that the long fermentation process of the dough actually makes it easier to digest? As if we needed another reason to treat ourselves to that extra slice (or two)!
What is Blue Iron and Why Use it for Pizza?
You know the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We’re trusting the inventors of the pizza on this one, but allow us to explain why…
Blue iron metal comes from the same family of metals as cast iron, but with several key differences, the most noticeable one is that it is much lighter than cast iron.
Chef Julia Sullivan summed it up best when she said:
“Carbon steel is the best of both worlds. You get the lightweight properties of stainless steel…and the heat conductivity and retention you would with cast iron. It’s a thinner metal, which means it can heat up really quickly and conduct heat even better than cast iron.”
Although it has its place, it’s no secret that cast iron can be a bit high maintenance. Blue iron has easily become a fan favorite in the food scene due to its incredible versatility and dependability. You can expect consistent baking results without a ton of upkeep. This is a key factor when making pizza (especially al taglio pizza) where the star of the show is the crust.
Blue iron becomes naturally non-stick through the process of seasoning, which means you don’t have to worry about the toxic chemicals that could be leaching into your culinary masterpiece.
How to Find the Best Pan for Your Pizza Al Taglio
Luckily, you don’t have to *roam* (hehe) the streets of Italy to enjoy your very own Roman-style al taglio pizza (although if you wanted to, we won’t stop you)!
To get that classic, hearty, crispy crust that pizza al taglio is known for, you need to use the right pan.
First, the non-negotiable requirement for your pizza tray is a rectangular shape. After that, you’re looking for a tray that cooks evenly,
Also, you're looking for a non-stick because you've worked too hard on that sourdough crust for it to stick to the pan in the final hour.
We recommend this Roman Style Pizza Al Taglio Pan, the original Roman Style Pizza tray. You can't go wrong with this pan.
Although Roman tool used mostly at a professional level (for ovens that reach well beyond the threshold of 400 ° F), having a blue iron pan will become the ace-in-the-hole for churning out well-celled, dry and crispy pizzas.
Looking for other Pizza tools? Read our blog post here.