The Guardian reports on the fuss in Naples, Italy, over ultra-pizzas, gourmet pizzas made with nontraditional ingredients like stilton, shrimp, and even licorice. While purists decry the divergence from orthodox pizza, the alternative pizzas have gained a strong following:
Enzo Coccia has an evangelical air as he discusses his spring pizza – piled with asparagus, buffalo mozzarella, sheep's cheese, lard and beans. "They may say I am a heretic, but I just want to experiment," says the controversial exponent of the Italian trend for what are being dubbed gourmet, or "ultra-pizzas".
The fashion for ultra-pizzas has spread throughout Italy. But as Coccia is constantly being reminded, this is Naples, the home of the tomato and mozzarella margherita. Since opening in 2010, Coccia's restaurant, La Notizia, has whipped up an almighty row, provoking an army of growling traditionalists to voice their contempt for Coccia's daring combination of salt cod with mozzarella, his use of figs and pesto and his €25 truffle oil pizza. His innovative – some would say sacrilegious – approach has divided a city.