Italian or American schools. white or red With or without pineapple. There are many controversies surrounding pizza. In Naples, however, there is one pizzeria everyone seems to agree on: Da Michele. So much so that after stealing the show from all its competitors, the small restaurant has taken on the world and opened a new branch in New York, another mecca of the genre.
Neapolitan pizza vs. the rest of the world
The origin of pizza remains obscure. Whether it is an inherited style of food Assyrians (people of northern Mesopotamia) -around 2000 BC, the Greeks and their pitas or simply made in Italy, Naples or Rome, a date marks the emergence of modern pizza: 1889.
The king and queen are then passing through Naples. There, the versions differ – again. The fact remains that it was the baker Rafael Esposito who originated a pizza in the colors of Italy that delighted the sovereign so much that he gave it his name, Margherita, immediately transforming this “dish of the poor”. It’s worthy of a restaurant menu.
It soon crossed the Atlantic at the same time as waves of immigration to the United States, gradually adopting similar variations (New York pizza with a thin crust and a crispy dough similar to today’s romaine) or additional interpretations (Chicago pizza, or deep hole(like its namesake, a version that’s roughly the thickness of a quiche).
Whatever the taste, Neapolitan pizza is the only one to be included in UNESCO World Heritage in 2017.
Antica Pizzeria da Michele: more than 150 years of tradition
The Conduro family’s tradition of pizza makers dates back to 1870, nearly 20 years before the Margherita was invented in Naples. Michel Conduro, on the other hand, opened his first restaurant shortly after the dish became national—perhaps surfing the royal trend.
In 1930, the pizzeria moved to meet the needs of the new hospital in Naples. He moved to Caesarea where he can still be found today.
Since then, five generations of Conduros have worked to perpetuate their patriarch Michel’s legacy. has been erected as “The Mecca of Pizza” by the New York Times, Antica Pizzeria da Michele remains one of Naples’ most haunted lines today.
The secret to this success? Simplicity There are only two recipes served, the marinara and, surprisingly, the margherita, traits inherited from the restaurant’s first opening. There are no side dishes or embellishments that would alter the purity of this perfectly leavened dough or the purity of the fresh and organic ingredients used in what has yet become an empire.
From Naples to Tokyo to New York: Da Michele to conquer the world
Like the Italians in exile in the United States who brandished pizza as a banner of their culture, Antica Pizzeria da Michele has given itself the mission of promoting Neapolitan pizza to the world. Since 2012, the family has, perhaps surprisingly, chosen Japan, and more precisely Tokyo, as their first country of exile.
With the help of the Balnibarbi group, a first franchise has opened its doors in the well-to-do district of Ebisu. It was a success: in 2015, Antica Pizzeria da Michele (“MITW”, the name of the entity that oversees these franchises) already had 32 addresses, including two new addresses in Japan (Fukuoka and Yokohama) and many in Italy (Salerno, Verona, Lecce, Palermo…). Each restaurant, although franchised, embraces the family’s original philosophy and its two historic recipes but is given the right to add pizzas to the menu to taste the local terroir.
Turin, Berlin, Hamburg, Manchester, Amsterdam and even Dubai have joined the list. Latest opening to date? of New York, in the Meatpacking District and Santa Barbara. On the other hand, we cannot explain the omission of Paris from this list…
Pizza knows no crisis: The statistics of a business that isn’t slowing down
The global pizza market was estimated at $146.8 billion in 2021. It has been growing steadily since 2016 with an average annual growth of 6.5%, except in 2020, logically slowed by Covid.
If, according to INSEE, in 2020, the turnover of restaurants was on average 42.9% lower than it would have been without a crisis situation, pizza was able to hold its own because it is the food most missed by the French at this time. Duration (Study for Le Fooding and Uber Eats, May 2020). Thus it maintains its status as the favorite food of the French and is the number 1 snack on delivery, ahead of burgers and sushi.
Despite everything, will Margherita, Marinas and other Hawaiians retain this title? Between 2018 and 2020, home delivery jumped 47% in France, according to expert agency Food Service Vision, a rate that is also explained by new practices during the pandemic. However, it also launched a new passion among the French: cooking. Along with it, it is better eaten, probably inherited from this time when France started making its own bread.
So, will homemade pizza become a trend again? Pizzerias will soon overtake restaurants Burger crumble Or neo-bistros offering food to share? In 2022, according to Kanta’s research on catering trends published on November 9 this year, pizza was still the most ordered food on delivery platforms… Why invite Antica Pizzeria da Michele to Paris?