This article, written by Sara Porro, appears on Food Republic.
Where to eat pizza in Naples, Italy, pizza’s spiritual home
San Gennaro, aka St. Januarius, is the patron saint of Naples, a coastal Italian city of 950,000 located 140 miles south of Rome. Twice a year — on Gennaro’s name day (September 19) and on the first Saturday of May — a glass vial containing what is allegedly his dried blood liquefies during a solemn ceremony in front of the crowd packing the city cathedral. Miracle! Of course, there’s a scientific explanation for that: The relic dates back to the Middle Ages, and it contains a substance that liquefies when stirred, before it returns to solid form. This is oddly similar to what happens with something that’s almost equally sacred for Neapolitans: pizza. Yes, maybe one can make sense of pizza just by science alone — the right flour, the right water-to-flour-to-yeast ratio, the right time and temperature to raise, the right oven. Yet the locals seem to think that the perfect pizza requires the sort of chemistry that is alchemic in nature. Pizza is magic!
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