A chemist and a technician walk into a pizza bar. No, this isn’t a joke. The young guys behind mobile Italian vendor Southern Street take their process and their product very seriously.
Napoli-born Ettore Bertonati and Sicilian Matteo Cumbo speak with infectious enthusiasm about the rustic simplicity of the street food their native regions made famous. Now Adelaide locals, their business is driven by an ambition to replicate conventions of authentic Southern-Italian eating.
These Terrone (slang for southerners) prepare pizza dough using only water, organic flour, salt and minimal yeast. Rested for 24 hours, it bakes for 90 seconds in the wood-oven, maintained at exactly 450 degrees.
If that all sounds very technical, that’s because it is. Bertonati has a chemistry PhD and is dedicated to his process, which means understanding the reactions between ingredients, all of which are sourced locally in accordance with the seasons.
The pizza portafoglio (wallet pizza) is naturally vegan and typifies Southern Street’s traditionalist aspirations. The boys also serve-up a generous 250-gram arancini and homemade pastiera, all prepared from cherished family recipes. Catch them at markets and other events around town.