Anatomy of a Pizzeria

At Naples’ Pizzeria Starita, the men who prepare the pizza include:

THE MOSTO E DONDERO

The man who keeps the trains running on time, the mosto e dondero is in charge of managing incoming and outgoing orders, making sure everyone’s working in sync, and plating (or boxing) pizzas fresh from the oven.

THE FRIGGITORE

Neapolitan pizzerias are known not just for their pizzas but also for their angioletti fritti (fried dough strips), frittatine di pasta (pasta fritters), and other fried specialties, all prepared by this guy.

THE FORNINO

The baker of the pizzeria, the fornino wields a long-handled peel to transfer the pizza to the oven. As it cooks, he moves and rotates it a few times to ensure an even char, lifting it toward the flame-licked oven roof at the end of the process so the toppings emerge bubbling hot. A good fornino will cook a pizza to perfection in less than two minutes.

THE PIZZAIOLO

The executive chef of the Neapolitan pizzeria, this man flips and stretches and shapes the dough, adds all the toppings, and gives the finished product a final form-perfecting tug before pulling it onto the peel.

THE ASSISTANT PIZZAIOLO

Given the job of prying the dough off the baking sheet, then flipping it in semolina before handing it to the pizzaiolo, this understudy—often a pizzaiolo in training—takes over when the lead guy needs a break.

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