Taralli ’nzogna e pepe, pizza “a portafoglio”, zeppole and panzarotti. Who was born and raised under the shadow of Vesuvius knows well these treaties that can be found in the dedalus of streets of the historical centre, into the kiosks of Mergellina, or into the restaurants of Lungomare, where street traders or grills prepare these tasty titbits. Their inviting scent can be smelled from afar and it is part of “made in Naples” tradition.
Zeppole, also called pastecrisciute in dialect, are simple fritters made with water, flour and yeast. They like like a small ball and need to be eaten hot.
Panzarotti are similar to crocché (croquette), but they are smaller and without ham and mozzarella. They are prepared with yellow potatoes and need to be eaten very hot, just like zeppole. They are the perfect example of an ante litteram fast food. A tip for the foodies: try to combine them, putting a panzarotto inside a zeppola, really tasty! Taralli are another delicacy made in Naples! The story tells that they were born during the 1700s, when the bakers did not throw away the dough with which they prepared bread. Instead, they used to add a little “nzogna” (in Italian “sugna”, lard) and a lot of pepper, and give to this dough the shape of a doughnut. During the 1800s the tarallo was enriched with another ingredient, almonds. Just try a tarallo and you will be delighted by the unique mixture that can be found only under the shadow of Vesuvius, right here in Naples.
Another must try is pizza “a portafoglio” (wallet pizza). Many people would not imagine that the most famous of the Neapolitan dishes can be eaten on the go, folded in two. It is an authentic explosion of taste, but… be careful because hot mozzarella and tomato could drip all over you, but nonetheless the small risk is worth to give pizza a portafoglio a try.
One of the newest trends of Neapolitan street food is the fried fish on the go. Prawns, anchovies, squids and other fishes fried in scalding oil can be savoured from a funnel-shaped cornet, the typically Neapolitan “cuoppo”, just like zeppole and panzarotti. A lot of fish shop have today fried-food corners and small tables. Let’s enjoy the newest Neapolitan trend near the sea of the Gulf, emptying the “cuoppo” one piece after the other, savouring fully its incomparable taste.