…With the Benefit of Hindsight

‘How the street swarms with curious figures !
I stand aside in the opening of a side lane, and
there goes past me a man carrying in one hand a
pail of steaming water, while on his other arm he
has a flat basket, containing the sliced feelers of an
octopus, and a tray of rusks. At the low price
of a soldo you may choose your own portion of
the hideous dainty, warm it in the water and devour
it on the spot. Close upon his heels, bawling out
his contribution to the deafening noises of the
streets, comes the ” pizzajuolo,” purveyor of a dainty
which for centuries has been unknown elsewhere.
” Pizza ” may be seen in every street in Naples.
It is a kind of biscuit, crisp and flavoured with
cheese, recognisable at a glance by the little fish,
like whitebait, which are embedded in its brown
surface, dusted over with green chopped herbs.
I cannot recommend the dainty from personal
knowledge, but Neapolitan tradition is strongly in
its favour.’
— Arthur Norway, Naples Past and Present

Strangely enough those strange “dainties” turned out to be quite popular after all.


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