Behind the Brand
Welcome to the last two generations of Forni Aversa. Nonno preserved our artisan tradition for over half century. Although Nonno is no longer with us, Grandson Attilio has mastered the tricks of the trade.
Attilio MassaThe Boss
A Sorrentino and Neapolitan Tradition * Authentically Made in Italy * Over 300 years of Quality Craftmanship
About Forni Aversa
Originating on the Sorrento Peninsula, in a little village called Maiano, is a type of masonry brick called “Biscotto di Sorrento”. A unique product dating back to the 15th century and famed for its use as the base of the most prestigious and sought after woodfire pizza ovens in the world.
In order to keep the name alive, of one of Sorrento’s oldest and only manufacturers of Biscotto di Sorrento currently operating, Attilio Massa followed in his grandfather’s footsteps. In December 2015, he was awarded the title of "Artisan Master", an award that gives thanks to the quality of this ancient product and to the wood fired ovens made with the famous brick of Maiano – Reknown as “Biscotto di Sorrento”.
We are now one of only two functioning kilns and Biscotto di Sorrento producers in the world. Only 60 years ago there used to be seven of us, providing employment to dozens of families, making it one of the most productive sectors in the Sorrento Peninsula. Today, the bricks and oven bases (Biscotto di Sorrento) that are produced by the craftsmen of Forni Aversa are used to build wood fired ovens for bakeries and pizzerias all around the world. Our bricks and Biscotto di Sorrento can be found in every continent, in over 100 countries. Each year our artisan kiln generates thousands of bricks for the construction of woodfired ovens, both in Italy and around the world.
Why Biscotto di Sorrento?
- The Clay – A clayey rich soil with volcanic silicon and pumice, a particular characteristic beneath Sorrento’s famed citrus orchards.
- Porous – This clay makes our Biscotto di Sorrento very porous. An oven base needs to be porous to both warm up early and maintain the heat for a long time, releasing this heat nice and evenly. The essential difference between Biscotto di Sorrento and the main other type of brick materials on the market is that it does not burn the bottom of a pizza, absorbing moisture from the dough.
- Artisan Manufacturing– Here at Forni Aversa, we strictly abide by the following ancient tradition of manufacturing:
After manual extraction, the clay is carefully sifted and mixed with water in grinders and mixers.
The clay is then put into wooden moulds. These are different depending on the product needed (bricks, oven bases, tiles, etc).
These bricks are then dried naturally for a period of about thirty days, with a second step of natural drying of 10 days in a stacked position.
As soon as the bricks acquire a light grey colour, they are ready to be stacked in the kiln, to dry for another seven days.
Finally, the kiln’s opening is bricked and closed and the natural firing phase is carried out. This involves the continuous burning of wood for seven hours.
After four days of baking, the bricks are ready and by this time, have acquired a natural red colour.