Noshing Around

Limited Edition Pizza

Here's an Arizona first, coming to the Swan Road/Camp Lowell Drive corridor: Soon-to-open Vero Amore will soon be a member of the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association, which promotes the authenticity of Neopolitan pizza. Until 1998, Neopolitan pizza was only made in Naples, Italy (much like champagne's made only in the Champagne region of France, while the rest of bubbly beverages are considered sparkling wine). Since then, the association has certified Neopolitan pizza for 12 restaurants in the United States and a limited number throughout the world.

The VPN has rules, like using a wood-burning oven. Owner Aric Mussman, a native Tucsonan, said permits required extra ventilation and fire protection, as a campfire will fuel the Rosito Bisani wood-burning oven. Ingredients must include 00 flour and San Marzano plum tomatoes imported from Italy; all-natural mozzarella will be made on the premises; fresh basil, salt and yeast will be used. No processed ingredients are ever acceptable. The restaurant must pay travel and hotel expenses for a certifier to come, observe and grant permission for a VPN designation. Vero Amore is expected to open in February. To learn more, check out the VPN website.

Year of the Dog

The 17th Street Market kicks off Chinese New Year a week early, with festivities on Saturday, Jan. 21, beginning with bargains, local music performances, cooking demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and free food tasting. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 810 E. 17th St.; 792-2588.

Better Than Junior Mints

How civilized: Eat-in-the-theater-friendly sandwiches and salads prepared by Feast are now available at the Loft Cinema, Thursdays through Sundays. Don't worry: The usual popcorn and upgraded junk food still prevails for us movie-munching traditionalists.

Culinary Quirks

A gift idea for restaurant personnel: Local chef Jamie Castro has worked in the culinary field for more than 20 years. Another creative side is her sale of cartoon drawings, by Elaine Sutton, that show actual food-service situations displayed on calendars, aprons, posters, cards, thongs (!) and more at Culinary Quirks.

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