A recent article appeared on San Francisco Magazine of December edition with the title:
Bona Fide, Yes. But Better?
The article is written by Josh Sens.
...................The question of what is "real" and whether it matters - comes to mind when considering Farian Pizza & Cucina Italiana in the Mission, the loudly, pround Italian spin-off of Farina, located just around the corner. Like the originals, whose website promises "authentic". Ligurian couisine, Farina Pizza presents itself as a bridge to the Old World. But rather than connect us to a single region, the new place spans Italy from north to south, with a repertoire of dishes that, we're told, challenges "our perception of what we knew: in this case, Italian cuisine". Here's one thing I do know about Italian cooking: There's a fair amount of it around 18th and Valencia street, where Farina Pizza opened in August. The neighborhood is rich in ragu' and thick with - crust pies. But not every nearby oupost is like Farina, where experienced pizzaiolos Antonio and Gennaro Langella - a father and son due freshly planted from Naples - work a pizza oven built with sand from Mount Vesuvius. I' ll give them this: Aside from the housemade sausages, which are rubbery andn overbearingly salty, the topping are beautiful, simple, and restrained - from San Marzano tomatoes that sustain the Marinara pizza to the anchovies that mingle, on the Romano, with mozzarella, oregano, and romano cheese. What didn't fancy was the dough itself, which was more chewy that charred, surprisingly sweet, and so floppy in the middle that my Margherita turned into tomato soup. "This is how they make them in Naples" a waiter assured me, challenging not only my perceptions, but also my memories of meals in Italy..........
Below my answer I sent to San Francisco Magazine:
I am writing in response to the article that appeared on San Francisco Magazine of December edition. I have to take issue with the reviewers comment about authenticity specifically the title is a tip-off to the gist of the article. Specifically the title declares: Authenticity is matter of taste. If that were true the world would be a very different place. New Yorkers could claim that the Washington Bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge.
My point is that authenticity is an objective matter rather than subjective one.
In comparison to its California-ized competitors Farina pizza uses fresh buffalo mozzarella cooked in wood burning stone oven. The dough is just flour, water and yeast. California-ized pizza includes other ingredients such as sugar,fat and they are cooked in the electric oven, which create more of cookie/crunch consistency.
We as Italians living in San Francisco are very proud to have a restaurant like Farina that makes authentic Neapolitan Pizza.
Antonio Massimo Massa