A glance at our history
Al Taglio wasn't made in a day...
We need to go back a bit, to the end of the middle ages actually, to see how the word ‘pizza’ appeared. Etymologists attribute its origin to either the High German word ‘bizzo’ meaning ‘piece of bread’, or ‘pitta’ from the Greek. What is clear is that when the tomato arrived in Europe from South America in the 16th century, things started happening. The tomato settled in Madrid first, and then moved onto Naples–the birthplace of the modern pizza.
The first pizzeria in the world, Port Alba, opens in Naples. Napolitanos start having animated discussions about the different ways of preparing a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies. Port Alba, an institution, is still operating today.
Just after the unification of Italy, Queen Marguerite visits Naples. In her honor, the chef Raffaele Esposito, of the celebrated Pizzeria de la Salita Sant’Anna di Palazzo– re-babtized as Pizzeria Brandi as it’s still known today–created the Margherita, a pizza garnished with mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes. Gloriously representing the green, white and red of the Italian flag, this pizza still retains an exalted status.
In Rome, artisan bakers looking to attract a new clientele invent pizza “al taglio” (literally “to size”). It’s pizza that comes in squares that are priced by weight. Cooked on a rectangular pan, the crust is light, tasty and crunchy. Buonissimo!
Birth of Olivier Papillon, the creator of the Al Taglio pizzerias in Paris. Bambino, he spends every vacation at the home of his grandparents amongst the wheat fields of a small village deep in Seine-et-Marne. This is where he has come to appreciate great bread and exceptional local products.
After 25 years in the journalism world as art director for publications like Globe Magazine, Nova Mag, Biba and Philosophie Magazine, Olivier Papillon answers an inner calling to take a new path, getting his master baker diploma (CAP) in 2007. It’s the start of a new life. Not la dolce vita, but almost.
Al Taglio Popincourt opens its doors at 2 bis, rue Neuve-Popincourt. In December, Le Fooding gives it the “best little luxury” award for our potato and truffle cream pizza.
Farniente is something Al Taglio leaves to its customers. This year, Olivier Papillon doubles up, opening a second store in Paris at 27, rue de Saintonge, in the heart of the Marais. Quality, authenticity, originality and savoir-faire are always on the menu. Buon appetito !
AL TAGLIO SAVOIR-FAIRE
Choose, taste, share
Al Taglio means rectangular sections of pizza garnished with fresh, authentic products of quality imported from various regions of Italy. The savoir-faire of our Pizzaioli is regularly enhanced by Italian master bakers who share their latest techniques.
You won’t find the standard round Neapolitan pizza at our place. Here, you choose which pizza you want, and how big a piece of it you’d like. Then, it’s cut, weighed and served on a wooden platter. It’s about getting a taste of each pizza that appeals to you.
The array of fresh pizzas on display is meant to be tempting. Choose according to your tastes and appetite, and then eat at large tables in a convivial atmosphere.
Throughout the evening, fresh pizzas emerge, inviting you to sample to your heart’s delight, ranging from the classics to some of our more original pizzas with a French touch. Choose, taste, share. La bella vita, no?
Toppings of Quality
All the savoir-faire of Italy in Paris
Without fresh, high-quality toppings brought in from Italy, the savoir-faire of a Pizzaiolo is lost. Al Taglio brings all the right things together in one place.
Our first priority is freshness, and it’s no problemo. Our fruits and vegetables come directly from Rungis every three days.
The entire Italian boot regularly contributes to our transalpine product selection. The north offers up cheeses of incomparable quality like the Talegggio Lombard, creamy as a dream. Sliced meats are produced and aged in Emilia-Romagna, close to Parma. The south distinguishes itself with its premium flour and a mozza di bufala that speaks for itself. High-end items like black truffle cream also make the trip across the Alps to bring you authentic pizza.
How does one produce a top shelf Prosciutto di Parma? With lots of care and attention, a good amount of perfectionism, and time. Lots of time. To guarantee all these qualities go into its Prosciutto, Al Taglio uses a Prosciutto di Parma that is certified authentic and guaranteed 100% natural. No conservatives or artificial fermentation. Just pure quality.
A unique case in the history of prepared meats, monks in a monastery in the hills near the capital of Emilia created this specialty in the 16th century. Easy to digest due to it’s low level of saturated fats, our Mortadella comes from the Emilia-Romagna region, close to Bologna. It’s made from pork of the highest quality.
A product of the Abruzzo and Molise regions, the Ventriccina sausage brings together morsels of red pepper and fennel seeds. A delightful combination. It’s made in Sienna where it’s matured for 90 days. This sausage was invented thanks to a little piglet that was bought about a year before it reached maturity, and put with other animals being fattened with barley and corn. Turns out that makes for good sausage. A happy surprise.
Mozzarella di Bufala
A symbol of Italia. Very fresh and possessing an enchanting odor, our milk of buffalo cheese is brought in from Campania in the south of Italy. It, and its legendary liquid interior is essential to our pizzas. The name of these highly coveted little spheres comes from the verb ‘mozzare’ which means to cut—between the thumb and forefinger, naturally. This cheese is a true artisan product.
Parmigiano Reggiano, the best of the Italian cheeses, is now a household name. Protected by an AOP certification limited to the Emilia-Romagna region, it’s a hard, granular cheese that is cooked and pressed. Made from the milk of Reggiana cows–hence the name–these lucky cows are nourished with a rare grass and hay, giving the cheese its unique fruity, zingy flavor.
The cheese of the millennium. Al Taglio uses a certified AOP Taleggio from Lombardy in the Taleggio valley close to Bergamo. This soft cheese has a thin crust that is washed weekly as it matures. It’s creamy interior is the color of ivory. A bit of history: this cheese originated in the 10th or 11th century with the purpose of conserving the local milk. The natural caves of Valsassina at Leco still serve as ideal maturing rooms.
Black Truffle Cream
This is the ingredient that generated the initial buzz around Al Taglio. The power and nobility of the black truffle takes any dish to a new level. Specially chosen, this refined cream possesses a strong aroma of black truffles that challenges the traditional pizzas of old. It would be a shame to miss this culinary stunner.
Cream of Squash
Imported from Italy, this cream is made from fresh squash selected for their firm and sweet pulp. It’s the ideal ingredient for Halloween, and it remains ideal all year long. Al Taglio marries its gentle flavor with the smoky bacon taste of Pancetta. This combination will leave you speechless. No need to talk, let your hands speak for you.
Like their friends the cherry tomatoes, they always show up at our door fresh and pretty. Then, they reveal their unique charm in two stages: First, their chlorophyll green decorates our pizzas with striking contrast. Next comes the gustatory explosion they generously provide. This is when your taste buds say ‘grazie mille.’ And, a word to you gourmets out there: asparagus is better in springtime.
There’s no room for has-been toppings chez Al Taglio. Round and bursting with sunshine, these high-quality little zingers are carefully selected. Sweeter and cuter than their big sisters, these babies are the cherry on top of pizzas of character like the Paccino pichante or the Gamberetti.
The essence of a pizza is its dough, and the essence of dough is flour. To avoid ever hitting any false notes, Al Taglio plays with only the Stradivarius of pizza flour. It’s produced at an Italian mill in a little village between Rome and Naples—the nerve center of the pizza universe. This premium flour is THE flour for every self-respecting Pizzaiolo. A must.
Our trio of wines
Short but excellent, our wine menu offers an elegant bubbly white, Prosecco Rustico, from the family vineyards of Nino Franco in the heart of valleys of Valdobbiadene. Our rosé, Vipra, is dry and fruity with a strong finish and comes from Umbria. And finally, our red, Cappellaccio Aglianico, from the Pouilles region and has lots of character. Salute!