Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens Made by Marra Forni



The ancestor of pizza is the focaccia, which was very popular in Roman times. They cooked
cakes of farro (spelt), a typical wheat often used by the Romans. In fact, the word  “farina”
(flour)  was derived from the word farro (spelt). The Romans took the farro and ground it to
powder from which the libum (flatbread) was made. It is believed that the word pizza, was
derived from the Latin word “pinsa”, past participle of the verb pinsére, which means to crush,
grind, or mash.

Pizza is one of the most widely-spread and popular dishes in the world. According to people
outside of Naples, pizza’s origins may have some not so defined theories and origin. Of course,
no one in Naples believes that. One thing is for certain for Neapolitans, and hopefully the rest
of the world,  that pizza reached its perfection in Naples.  Although today there are many different
kinds of pizza toppings, the original is the Neapolitan pizza which was created after the 18th century
when tomatoes were imported from America. Pizza making is considered a work of art, and Naples
has earned its authorship even if non-Neapolitans may be uncertain of its origin.

To make a great Neapolitan pizza, it requires a pizza artist which is called the “pizzaiolo” (pizza maker),
and “Il Forno” (the pizza oven). No pizzaiolo can create a great pizza without “Il Forno’. The first ancient
 forms of the forno  originated in ancient Egypt which were built in conical structures of brick and clay.
The ancient Greeks inherited from the Egyptians the art of building ovens and perfected the dome to
evolve to become a unique chamber.  The Romans learned from the Greeks and perfected to build ovens
which consisted of arched interior surrounded by a hollow cavity that acted as a thermal insulator.  From
ancient times until present day, there were many variations in the art of building ovens.

Today, I was lucky enough to discover a place in Beltsville, Maryland, where authentic Neapolitan pizza
ovens are imported from Naples, Italy. They are completed, customized and personalized by Marra Forni 
for restaurants, pizza shops and even pizza affectionatos.  It was like being transported to Naples, Italy.  Friendly and  warm greetings by fellow Neapolitans, the Marra family, which are owners of Euro Gourmet and Marra Wood-Fired Pizza Oven stores.  The Marra family took time out of their busy day to give me an  impressive tour of their facilities. If that wasn’t enough, they made authentic Margherita pizza and Pizza Marinara in their luxurious wood-fire oven demo room.  What a delicious and perfect pizza it was. Visit the Marra Forni on line site on www.marraforni.com to get information about purchasing wood-fired ovens,  and www.eurogourmet.biz for their gourmet products.

Above are some pictures of the kind of pizza these Marra ovens can bake in merely 2-3 minutes. Other foods such as fish, meats, and breads can also be cooked in these ovens. For many years, I have made lots of pizzas in my cooking classes and in my home, none can compare to  the texture and taste of the pizzas made from  these ovens today.   

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