No cheesy gimmicks with authentic pizza

No cheesy gimmicks with authentic pizza »Play Video
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EUGENE, Ore. - You won't find stuffed crust pizza or any other cheesy gimmicks at La Perla restaurant in downtown Eugene.

"We always felt that Eugene needed a true Italian pizzeria," said owner Gianni Barofsky.

Barofsky has applied to have his place certified as Verace Pizza Napolitana, or true Neapolitan pizza. Fewer than 30 restaurants in the US have made the grade because it requires a lot of effort.

"We're importing Caputo flour from Naples, Italy," he said. "We're importing San Marzano tomatoes from Naples."

It also takes a bunch of cash.

"There is an increase in cost," Barofsky said. "The products are a little bit more expensive."

Foodies love the idea of using premium, Protected Designation of Origin products, which can come only from certain regions and be made in certain ways.

However, some restaurants are moving away from products shipped from overseas and toward local ones.

"All in all we've been trying to get away from that simply because the increased cost of shipping," said Dave Lucht, the chef de cuisine at Cafe Zenon in Eugene. "Also the decreased Dollar versus the Euro, it's just going to get more expensive for us. So we've been finding quality local goods that actually work just as well for all of our products."

Lucht said our area makes it easy.

"The Pacific Northwest is beautiful for this," he said. "Anything you could want that grows here."

Lucht said no one has complained about the recent change, which he said the restaurant has phased in over the past year.

Barofsky said imported is worth it.

"It would be easy for me not to strive for the certification or to just find out which flour is going to be the cheapest on this day and just use that," he said. "But what I'm looking for is a consistently good product."

He's happy to spend some extra dough for, well, better dough.