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“When the pizza wants to show white dough”, the wheat and the chaff

“As my grandmother used to say, to have a good pizza, the dough must rest more than the pizza maker. ” Like his baker’s nun in Sicily, Bartolo Calderone was born in the breadbasket of Italy and cultivates his own strain of sourdough. Today, the 30-something organizes bread-making workshops for amateurs and professionals alike and delights the people of Bordeaux in his small establishment near the Saint-Pierre church. Olive oil, mozzarella and cold meats come from its native country, but for the rest, it adapts to the seasonal production of market gardeners and early vegetables in Aquitaine. Virtuous from one end of the chain to the other, the young Sicilian is part of this new generation of pizza entrepreneurs who have been revolutionizing pizza for a few years.

“It’s the McDonald’s of the 21st century”

In restaurant jargon, we speak of “gourmet” or “premium” pizza. In France, the second largest consumer country after the United States and ahead of Italy – we devour 1 billion a year – pizzerias are multiplying like hot cakes to everyone’s happiness. Exit the industrial American pizza: the quality of the ingredients has greatly improved and it is now the dough that makes the difference. Bartolo Calderone’s is kneaded with ancient wheat made in Lot-et-Garonne and without baking powder. In his establishment, which is always full, he limits himself to a hundred pizzas per service.

The sequel after the advertisement

Others are less observant. The more refined the flours, the more gluten they contain, which is conducive to the elasticity of the dough. Their ease of use and low cost allow entrepreneurs to generate high margins. The Big Mamma group, which owes its success to smart and fashionable marketing, has opened its fourteenth restaurant in Bordeaux and around ten “dark kitchens”, “ghost kitchens” intended exclusively for delivery. How to sell pizza by the kilometer without this miraculous but indigestible gluten flour? “It’s the McDonald’s of the 21st century,” comments an expert in this in-depth and highly instructive investigation which will allow amateurs to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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“When the pizza wants to show white dough” – France 5

Tuesday November 23 at 8:55 pm on France 5. Documentary by Anne-Fleur Delaistre (2021). 52 min. (Available in replay on

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