Ferrarelle, an Italian brand of sparkling mineral water, has been named the official worldwide sponsor of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), which certifies authentic Neapolitan pizzerias.
Ferrarelle will join with AVPN to ensure that Neapolitan pizza is enjoyed with quality, consistent ingredients, and will support all activities to safeguard and protect the integrity of the culinary heritage of Naples.
In 1998, the Italian government formally recognized Neapolitan pizza as a traditional food worthy of preservation and granted it D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) status, which specifies the legally permitted ingredients and methods for its production. Currently in the U.S., more than 300 AVPN certified pizzerias serve Ferrarelle and Natia (the still version of Ferrarelle), to stay authentic.
Ferrarelle's naturally sparkling mineral water is bottled straight from the source in Riardo − near Caserta in the region of Campania − where the rich volcanic soil from the Roccamonfina volcano imparts minerals to the water, including calcium, magnesium, fluoride and potassium. Subject to very strict quality controls, Ferrarelle mineral water is tested 615 times per day and its quality is guaranteed by major international certifications including the ISF.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) is a non-profit organization founded in June 1984 in Naples to preserve all things Neapolitan. Its mission is to promote and protect in Italy and worldwide the "true Neapolitan pizza" ("verace pizza napoletana"), i.e. the typical product made in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, the Italian Government and The European Union. The association also is involved in the promotion and protection of the affiliated pizzerias and products in the USA and worldwide that adhere to the strict regulations of the VPN pizza-making activities.
The pizzerias must use specific wood-fired pizza ovens from Italy to create the AVPN-certified pizza, as well as San Marzano tomatoes that are grown and harvested around the base of Mount Vesuvius in Naples, and fior di latte mozzarella cheese. Most importantly, the dough must be made from "00" flour daily and AVPN recommends but does not mandate using Ferrarelle's Natia brand still/flat mineral water.
One of the first AVPN certified pizzerias in the USA to use Ferrarelle's Natia was Massimos Pizzeria & Cucina Napoletana in Mercer County, N.J.
"Right off the bat we chose to use Ferrarelle to make our authentic Neapolitan pizza," said Vinnie Mazzella, owner of Massimo's. "This certification is a true symbol of the pride we have for our culinary heritage and using Ferrarelle truly makes the best pizza this side of Naples."
Ferrarelle USA launched in the U.S. last year.
"Establishing this relationship with AVPN marks an important step for Ferrarelle" said Ron Salerno, director of Ferrarelle USA. "In Italy, the pizzaiolis drink Ferrarelle while working in front of 1,500 degree ovens. We are bringing the same kind of commitment to protect and promote the integrity of the Neapolitan culture and values which Ferrarelle prides itself on being an important symbol of."
Authentic Neapolitan Pizza options are increasing swiftly throughout the United States. Although only about 50 pizzerias across the country have been VPN certified since the organization began operating in 1998, 10 of those certifications have happened in the last six months.
Read more about food and beverage.