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Porta Via Italian Kitchen in Nashville, Tenn. has achieved Vera Pizza Napoletana, or "True Neapolitan Pizza" certification.
According to the Nashville Scene, Porta Via opened in late 2009. It is the first restaurant in Tennessee to achieve VPN certification, and just the 47th in the country to do so.
To achieve strict Neapolitan standards, the pizza has to be certified by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association in Italy. Characteristics include quality ingredients, including tomatoes from Italy's Mount Vesuvius region, fresh mozzarella cheese and flour supplied directly from Naples, Italy.
Also, no mechanical methods are to be used to create or press the dough, and it has to be baked in a specially-crafted wood fire oven. The oven cooks the pizzas in 90 seconds at 750 degrees.
Porta Via's executive chef, Giovanni Giosa, is a certified master pizzaiolo.
To celebrate the designation, Porta Via is offering weeklong specials surrounding Italy's Liberation Day, which is April 25.
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