Did You Know We’re New Mexico’s Only Certified Neapolitan Pizzeria?
Here at Amore, we’re proud to be the only certified Neapolitan pizzeria in the entire Land of Enchantment. We’re part of an elite group nationwide: There are around 200 certified Neapolitan pizzerias in the United States, with more of them concentrated on the East Coast.
Aside from that, though, we have another, spicier distinction.
“As traditional as we are, we’re very proud to be New Mexican in what we do,” Amore’s owner Gabriel Amador says. “We were the first certified pizzeria in the world to have green chile on our menu all the time.”
How Does a Pizzeria Get Neapolitan Certified?
The process of certification began shortly after Gabriel and his wife Kimberly first decided to learn to make a true pizza Napoletana. After being introduced to world-renowned pizza chef Roberto Caporuscio, president of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (APN) — “in the typical Italian way that you meet people, through somebody who knew somebody” — Gabriel began pestering Caporuscio to train him.
“I sent him a bunch of emails, five, six, seven, 10 maybe, before he replied. He actually called me and asked me why I wanted to make pizza.”
Somehow, whatever Gabriel said made the cut! In 2012, the Amadors traveled to New York City to train under Caporuscio at his Greenwich Village restaurant, Kesté Pizza & Vino. Gabriel fondly remembers early mornings spent trekking through untouched city snowdrifts, heading to Kesté to make dough.
Amore needed to master three steps to get an official certification.
- We had to learn Caporuscio’s dough, then adjust the preparations for New Mexico’s climate and altitude. Being almost a mile high here, along with the lack of humidity, makes a huge difference.
- There was also the matter of the cheese, which we make fresh every morning. It’s an idiosyncratic, personal process, and practice makes perfect. “Everyone has to adapt their own style to it. It’s something that takes a lot of time to learn,” Gabriel said.
- Finally, we had to learn how to work a wood-fired oven, to control its temperature and figure out just how it cooks the pizza. We cook at 900 degrees for about 90 seconds. You have to have the right flour and the right dough to be able to withstand that heat, the right toppings, everything else. Everything must come together.
How do you recognize a true Neapolitan pizza on the spot? Any certified Neapolitan pizzeria in America is churning out 11- to 13-inch crisp, slightly charred beauties cooked with either fiore di latte cheese or mozzarella di bufala. That thin, crispy crust is still light, airy, and doughy on the inside, even in the thin parts.
New Oven, Same Delectable Taste
And here’s another news flash: Amore is now using gas instead of wood-fired ovens. Our decision was influenced by the recent banning of wood-fired ovens in new establishments in Italy and New York, which was motivated by environmental concerns.
We agonized over the switch until we realized that new technology could duplicate the flame you get from burning wood — we can raise a flame lower and higher. We’ve put it to the test and sampled our gas-fired pizza next to a wood-fired pizza. You can’t tell the difference; both are extremely delicious (if we do say so ourselves).