That’s what happened to me when I first went to the pizzeria Made in South in Clapham. And there, I ate one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten in London.
However, I am not entirely honest: I had known the pizzeria for quite some time, and it was not new on my list of those to try. But for some reason that is now utterly obscure to me, I have always failed to visit her, even though she was not so far from where I live until it was just a friend of mine, who proposed to go and resume it from my oblivion.
Even the impact with the pizzeria at the entrance was different from the one I had depicted: I don’t know why but I was expecting a huge restaurant, and instead, these are just those little pizzerias with a few tables, as I like them. Even the decor amazed me with its imaginative touches: the chandeliers made with spoons, votapesce, and other wooden utensils are particularly original.
Without foreplay, we went straight to the pizzas. I took my timeless Bufalina, while my friend took what must be the pizza symbol of the place since it bears the name: the Made in South is a red pizza with friarielli, mushroom aubergines, sweet peppers and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
The first aspect that struck me is the size of the pizza, which is most satisfying; followed by the bright red color of the tomato sauce, poured in abundance, and the whiteness of the Buffalo, cut into large slices and melted at the right point. The perfect cooking is also denoted by a beautiful speck, composed of a couple of large bubbles and the rest of well-distributed bits. But it was the cut that I enjoyed: the soft cornice, bending under the knife, sizzled with that typical sound of the dough cooked very well between the sweet and the friable of those that only a wood oven can give you.
The alveolus test left no doubt as to the lightness of the dough, despite the thickness at the base of the disk. I noticed it at the first bite when the slice melted in my mouth in an explosion of taste. Excellent tomato sauce, naturally San Marzano, but it is the quality of the Bufala mozzarella that has prevailed. Tasting the Made in South, I could instead notice a perfect combination of flavors between the fried eggplant and the aroma of the broccoli, appropriately blended into the richness of the sauce.
After dinner, we chatted with Antonio Sarnelli: pizza maker, owner and sole manager of his pizzeria for four years. Since when, after various experiences in Italy and around the world, he decided to open a restaurant here in London. Since then he has carried out his small business consistently, maintaining a loyal clientele in the inhabitants of the area. Just as we talked, he showed me a burly English gentleman who had just entered, who comes to eat his pizza twice a week.
Antonio showed us his cereal dough, made with Caputo flour, which at that time had aged at 24 hours but, he says, generally also leads to longer leavening. We have been observing him in the drafting of his pizza, characterized precisely by a less marked cornice to avoid excessive swelling and maintain that friable effect that we noticed immediately.
I had a satisfying overall experience from Made in the South, and I think I’ll be back soon: on the other hand I have to make up for lost time in the last four years.