When Naples-born Edouard Freda moved to New York as an adolescent, he was perplexed to discover that Neapolitan-style pizza was not exactly as ubiquitous as he’d hoped. “In Italy, it’s on every street corner,” says Freda, now 26, who managed to graduate from Georgetown University on a steady diet of Domino’s. But his unwavering passion for the Margherita remained, and while working in the marketing department at Chanel, Freda found his fate forever altered when he toured his uncle’s new pizzificio in Naples. The ambition there was no less than to create the world’s most delicious—and exportable—Neapolitan pizza. Freda joined the team, and the Talia di Napoli brand was born.
“Who is Berta? The Cow!”
But there were a few requirements—each pie must be handmade by master pizzaioli using local ingredients and devoid of preservatives, additives, and G.M.O.’s. “If you source some of the ingredients from the North of Italy, people in Naples wouldn’t consider you legitimate, because all the farmers know one another, and they know what you’re buying,” says Freda. “We only work with small, local farms. On some mornings in the early days, the mozzarella would show up, and it would only be 60 percent of what we ordered. They’d say, ‘Oh, Berta is sick.’ Who is Berta? The cow!”