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New VPN Sign at PPS Bridge Street #383

This past week, we added a new sign just above the front door at PPS Bridge. It’s our official VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) sign. Since June 2011, PPS has been the first and only certified VPN Pizzeria on Vancouver Island. Yes, it’s taken us some time to pull together such a little sign (PPS Cook Street’s is still in the works) but it’s been worth the wait. We couldn’t be more proud. Verace Pizza Napoletana

What makes a VPN Certified pizza?  Here are few of the criteria:

Wood-burning ovens – all pizzas must be cooked in a dome oven heated to approximately 800 degrees Fahrenheit using only wood. Ingredients – Must use Tipo 00 Flour (we use Molino Caputo’s milled in Naples, Italy), San Marzano Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, fresh basil and high quality olive oil.  It must be fresh and of the highest quality available. Technique – Dough must be rolled and shaped by hand and must use the “Neapolitan Slap” technique to stretch the dough. It should take only 90 seconds to cook in the oven, leaving it with perfect leoparding (black spots throughout the bottom of the pizza).…

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Vince DeCarolis & Patsy Grimaldi

Years ago, Geoffrey and I heard a story about Patsy Grimaldi. When he’d sold his famous (well, famous to us pizza lovers) pizzerias, he’d agreed to a non-compete clause. At the time of telling, Pasty would have been in his seventies. We laughed with awe and appreciation. The new owner was really worried Patsy would open another pizzeria? Yes, indeed.

A few years ago, my dad called from Brooklyn to report Juliana’s was opening next door to Grimaldi’s. Yes, indeed. The non-compete clause had ended. The lettering on the window proudly proclaims Founded by Patsy Grimaldi. Coal Fired New York Sired. Patsy’s in his 80’s now and still doing what he’s passionate about – making pizza. We are awed and inspired!

Here’s my dad’s note – along with a photo of the 2.

Me and Patsy Grimaldi at Juliana’s. He was very interested in Prima Strada. Went through your web site with me. I couldn’t answer all of his questions. You can when you’re here. Left him your card.

Needless to say, we are looking forward to our next trip to Brooklyn.

Vince DeCarolis and Patsy…

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Parla Italiano Returns

Buon giorno a tutti!  After a brief summer break, Parla Italiano returns on Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm.  Much like a traditional Italian family gathering, “students” meet over dinner at one of PPS Bridge’s communal tables.

After a brief summer break our Italian Speaking Night Returns.Dinner begins with a small plate of something special from Chef Alex followed by a selection of pizzas & gelato for $20.  In between courses “Professore” Gabriella leads the group through a short syllabus suitable for any level.  Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a born & raised Italian speaker – there’s a spot at the table for you.

Haven’t been able to attend any of our past “lessons?”  Have no fear – we have notes from previous “classes” for you to review.  To reserve your place at the table, email jesse@primastrada.com.

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Parla Italiano: Lesson 3

Ciao a tutti!  This past Tuesday was our third lesson with ‘Professor’ Gabriella.  We were lucky enough to have five Italians from five different regions join us – each with their own unique dialect & sayings.

For our third lesson, Gabriella focused on gender & articles.  Like many Latin based languages, most words have a specified gender and require an article.  But beware – there are many exceptions.  The common endings are –

If you follow the common endings you can usually figure out whether the word is masculine or feminine.  Once you determine whether the word is maschile or femminile you can add an article.

In Italian, there are two kinds of articles –  derterminativi  & indeterminativi.  When you are speaking about a specific noun (ex: the pizza I’m eating tastes delicious) you use the determinativi.  If you are just speaking about a topic without reference (ex: a pizza would be good for dinner) you use the indeterminativi.  The articles are –

                            Determinativi                        …

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Wine Time with Andrew – Vino Rosso

This week we continue our exploration of the new Southern Italian wine list with a closer look at two of our reds available by the glass – Nero d’Avola & Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Vino rosso by the glass at Pizzeria Prima Strada

Nero d’Avola – Nero is the grape first grafted in Avola, a town in Syracuse. Nero d’Avola is a late ripening grape that does well in the heat, making it perfect for Sicily’s scorching climate. There are many who suggest similarities to syrah, and often they are blended together. Either way, nero d’Avola is quickly becoming Sicily’s number one grape with many producers making excellent single vintage wines.  This wine is spicy, slightly jammy and full of great, new world fruit character.  If you typically drink merlot, cabernet or shiraz you will find this wine sufficiently plump and fruity.  The Nero d’Avola pairs wonderfully with the Diavola’s spicy calabrese salami.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo– Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a nostalgic Italian wine. It has a medium to light body, good tannins and that characteristic, old world, leather belt in a cedar…

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