Pizza a Portafoglio (Wallet Pizza) in Naples: What is It, It’s History and Where to Eat It

"Pizza a portafoglio," pronounced "peet-sah ah por-tah-foh-lee-oh," is a traditional Neapolitan street food. This wallet-shaped pizza is folded for easy eating on the go, retaining warmth and convenience. Originating from old pizzerias in Naples using leftover dough, it embodies a blend of culinary innovation and tradition. Enjoy it authentically in Naples or its inspired versions globally.

By Cookist

Have you ever heard of "pizza a portafoglio"? Pronounced as "peet-sah ah por-tah-foh-lee-oh" in English, this unique style of pizza, also known as "wallet pizza," is a traditional street food from Naples, Italy, offering a delicious solution for busy people on the go who don't want to compromise on quality.

What is Pizza a Portafoglio and How to Eat It

Pizza a portafoglio is essentially a full-sized Neapolitan pizza that's been folded into quarters to resemble the shape of a wallet, hence its name. This method not only keeps the pizza warm but also makes it easy to handle and eat while walking. To enjoy pizza a portafoglio the authentic way, you simply hold it by the crust, with the point of the slice tucked inside the folds, and eat from the outside in. This style of eating allows you to savor the pizza without losing any of the toppings, making it the perfect fast food for those on the move.


The Origins of Pizza a Portafoglio

In the bustling streets of Naples, the birthplace of pizza, "pizza a portafoglio" has a humble beginning. This type of pizza originated in the old pizzerias of the city, where nothing went to waste. Pizzaiolos would make use of leftover dough scraps to craft these smaller pizzas. They were then sold for just a few cents, making them accessible to everyone. The name "wallet pizza" comes from the way it is served; folded up like a wallet, this style of pizza is designed to stay warm and be easily portable, perfect for eating on the move.

A Staple of Neapolitan Street Food

"Pizza a portafoglio" is a testament to Neapolitan ingenuity, turning simple ingredients into a meal with a practical twist. Traditionally, it's made quickly by folding a full-sized pizza in four, creating a portable dish that can be eaten out of hand without the need for plates or utensils. This makes it a fast food in the truest sense but crafted with the high-quality ingredients that Neapolitan pizza is famous for: San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and local olive oil.


Where to Eat Pizza a Portafoglio in Naples

If you find yourself in Naples, experiencing "pizza a portafoglio" is a must. Some of the city's most famous pizzerias, like "Da Michele" or "Di Matteo," offer this type of pizza, providing an authentic taste of local cuisine that you can enjoy while wandering the ancient streets. These pizzerias are landmarks of the city, drawing both locals and tourists eager to taste a piece of Neapolitan heritage.

Pizza a Portafoglio Beyond Italy

While "pizza a portafoglio" is quintessentially Neapolitan, its concept has inspired similar street food offerings in other countries. In New York City, for instance, the "folded slice" is a common sight, reflecting the city's own take on portable pizza. However, the true "pizza a portafoglio" remains a unique feature of Naples, tied intrinsically to its culture and history.

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