For many years the focus on the preparation of pizza has been on toppings with very little concern towards the quality of the crust. The conjecture is that a booming Metro New York and US retail/grocery frozen pizza industry put the focus on the diversity and quality of toppings rather than the crust. For one Italian baker, Gianluigi Furlan, that was simply unacceptable. His mission was to promote true, artisanal Italian pizza bases throughout the world and highlight their advantages over inauthentic, non-Italian, industrially produced imitations.
So with the creation of his Pizza Fellas line, restaurants and food service operators across North America could accomplish a pair of crucial goals. They would be able serve an authentic, 100% Italian-made pizza of the highest quality, without requiring a dedicated pizza chef. In addition to accomplishing that goal, the Pizza Fellas line brings the same breadth of selection to crust that has only been available with toppings.
“We have found that today’s more sophisticated palette, demands a higher quality crust,” noted Furlan. “In some cases it’s a reaction to a pizza they have seen prepared on the Food Network and often it’s the dining guest eating pizza more frequently and wanting a different experience.”
For almost 10 years, Pizza Fellas have been researching and exclusively marketing the best, highest-quality artisanal par baked pizza crusts rigorously Made in Italy. “We are the only Italian company to stock such a wide range of different types of pizza crusts, allowing us to meet every set of requirement,” Furlan pointed out. “We have developed our business through ongoing research into quality and the finest ingredients.”
Among the highlights of the Pizza Fellas line are the traditional Roma line and the Gold Par Baked Pizza Crust that features a fragrant outside and soft on the inside, with a subtle crust and a delicate aroma of flour that is evocative of homemade bread. It has become a favorite as it works perfectly with a variety of toppings that make it ideal for sharing.
Pizza Fellas has created a much talked about Prime Sourdough Par Baked Pizza Crust. After adding the toppings and baking, the pizza stands out for its exceptional lightness and crunchiness. The sourdough crust is prepared with large amounts of water and undergoes a full 24 hours of proofing, so that once baked it is light, crunchy and easy to digest.
The Italian manufacturer’s line also includes the “Primitiva” Whole-wheat Sourdough Pizza Crust. It is prepared with stone-ground 100% whole-wheat flour. The stone grinding of the flour keeps the original parts intact, delivering substantial advantages in terms of healthiness and goodness. This flour has a low glycemic index, reduces the absorption of fats and includes substantial quantities of mineral salts, vitamins and fibre.
“In our first three years in business, we carried out a great deal of product research and development geared toward satisfying the requirements of the Italian market, considering the end customer to be the best “critic” of the pizza product,” said Furlan. Pizza Fellas has invested heavily in the production of its crust line. They constantly monitor the quality of the production processes in collaboration with an external partner, which conducts periodic audits at the production labs. The objective of these inspections is to guarantee the consistent, artisanal quality of the product.
Pizza Fellas understands the emerging importance of ingredient transparency in the North American market place. They utilize GMO-free, stone-ground, non-reconstituted, whole-wheat flour, type 0 and type 1 flour and ancient Italian grains. “In all of our doughs we use our own natural yeasts and sourdough starters, which together with long proofing times of 24-48 hours, ensure that the crusts are light and easy to digest,” Furlan explained. “All of our artisanal par baked pizza crusts are strictly hand-kneaded and produced entirely in Italy.”
As a result, many restaurants and chefs are creating signature pies with Pizza Fellas. The “Ancient Grains” Sourdough Par Baked Pizza Crust uses type 1 flour, which in contrast to conventional flour is produced by grinding the entire grain of wheat. In combination with type 1 flour, the dough is also composed of flour made from ancient grains non-GMO including include re-ground “Senatore Cappelli” durum wheat.
Spelt Pizza crusts from Pizza Fellas are made using dough that, in turn, is made entirely from whole-wheat spelt flour. Spelt is a cereal that is easy to digest and has high levels of mineral salts and whole-wheat. “This has become very popular because it is low in fat, but given its high fiber content (accentuated by the fact that the flour used is whole-wheat) it makes you feel relatively full,” Furlan said. In addition to these properties, Pizza Fella’s spelt pizza crusts feature natural yeast obtained with spelt flour.
Expanding on their pizza crust lines, Pizza Fellas also offers a full line of delectable flatbreads. The Par Baked Flatbread (24 x 12 inch) is fragrant on the outside and soft on the inside, with a subtle crust and a delicate aroma of flour that is evocative of homemade bread. The 10 x 6″ flatbread features a crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside texture profile, with a subtle crust and a delicate aroma of flour that is evocative of homemade bread.
From an accounting standpoint, the Pizza Fellas line facilitates crucial savings with both equipment and labor. “We have eliminated the need for mixers, dough kneaders, proofing cabinets and the space needed for prep,” said Furlan. “Most importantly with the cost of labor in Metro New York, you don’t need a pizza specialist or the cost of additional prep help to make dough balls.”
“With our crusts, all the hard work of the pizza chef has already been done, so all you have to do is add your chosen toppings and cook the pizza in a normal pizza oven,” Furlan concluded. “It is simply the easiest, most cost-effective way to offer pizza on your menu without having to rely on a pizza chef and having to face the resultant increased running costs.”
For more information on the Pizza Fellas line, please visit their website.