Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grappelli's Pizza, Peterborough New Hampshire, Endorsed by US Senator

Grappelli's Pizza, in Peterborough, NH, is serious about ingredients, and most notably the crust. Our philosophy here at Pizza Quixote is that great pizza is defined by its crust, and Grappelli's is one of the very few pie slingers that has been able to articulate why their crust is different, and better.
US Senator Kelly Ayotte

How did a New Hampshire pizzeria get onto our radar? U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte tweeted in May that she "just had AWESOME authentic Italian Pizza at Grappelli's Pizza on Concord St in Peterborough. Thx to Steve the owner." First, the endorsement by a senator piqued my interest. When she cited that the pizza was "authentic," I had to learn more.

Pizza Quixote asked Senator Ayotte, "Details please: what makes Grappelli's pizza authentic? @PizzaQuixote wants to know for our pizza blog!" The senator reported that the "owner is Italian, [the pizza has a] thin, crispy crust, [and] fresh ingredients, including excellent mozzarella, Italian sausage, [and] homemade tomato sauce."

That was helpful; we went to Grappelli's website to learn more. Grappelli's tells us that it's not only technique, but the flour that matters.

"It takes 50 pounds of premium flour, 27 pounds of water, 8 ounces of olive oil, 8 ounces of sugar, salt and yeast-and then careful aging...

"A very high protein content is absolutely required to bake a great crust. Inferior flour doesn't have the gluten needed to support the gases that cause the crust to rise during baking. Poor cell structure results in limp (often soggy) pizza crust.

"Great tasting dough takes time to develop a complex taste. Like beer or even good wine, time is needed so the yeast can ferment and impart character to the dough. It's a symphony of the delicate interaction between yeast and sugar that makes a great tasting crust. That's why we age our dough."
Why is this pizza not cooked?  

The website for Grappelli's offers more information than most pizza sites, but I suspect their web design company is using generic stock pizza photos rather than images of actual Grappelli pie. The pics there show some ordinary looking pizza with woefully undercooked toppings. Other than the endorsement by Senator Ayotte, I found just one review for Grappelli's, from a thoughtful pizza blogger (A Slice of New Hampshire). That site sports a better picture of their pizza. The reviewer reports a good crust but weak sauce.

We have not had the chance to try this pizza, but we couldn't skim over the Senator's tweet. If you're in the region, send us your thoughts on Grappelli's.  


  1. Did you hear Marzano's has closed? Replaced by someone else claiming they have not changed the recipe at all. One look at Yelp says it has changed... for the worse. I think they now call themselves Montessi's. Best to get a re-review yourself huh?

  2. Btw, had Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza today. Very good pie, got it plain. good crust, nice cheese, sauce ok. This pie is not better than Totonno's, Coney Island.Just my opinion.

  3. Lou,

    I struggle with my pie rankings. After the top three, the next 10 or so are all wonderful and probably too different to compare fairly. Totonno's is magical, for sure.