Canadian Pizza Magazine

Masseria hosts ICCO pizza networking event Toronto

Toronto – On June 20, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario hosted an evening of networking, pizza sampling and beer sipping at Masseria on King Street West in Toronto.

Masseria, which means “farmhouse,” is the pizzeria opened by Pizza Nova president Domenic Primucci in 2016. Staff served house favourites like the Margherita and the Avocado – the latter on a “carbone” (activated charcoal) crust – along with Peroni beer compliments of Asahi Canada breweries. The theme of the evening, sponsored by the ICCO, Masseria and Asahi, was “Pizza and Beer: A Perfect Pairing.”

Canadian Pizza editor Colleen Cross moderated a relaxed panel featuring Primucci; Mark Cirillo, author of the ICCO’s book, Pizza Cultura; and Stephanie Nicholson, market development manager for Ontario for Asahi.

The discussion touched on the relationship of pizza to beer. Primucci described his early days with Pizza Nova working his dad – Sam Primucci, who was also in attendance – the Canadian National Exhibition, where as he recalled the drink of choice was Coke. “I wonder if it’s something in the carbonation that pairs well with pizza,” he theorized – which might help account for the popularity of beer, soft drinks and other carbonated drinks in combination with pizza.


Nicholson talked about what goes into the making of Asahi’s popular Peroni Italian beer. Peroni, the original brand, is made with barley malt, maize, hop pellets and hop extract, she said. Nastro Azzurro (“Blue Ribbon”), launched in 1963, is a pale lager.

Cirillo talked about Pizza Cultura, a book he was commissioned to write by the ICCO. The book celebrates pizza traditions and culture by highlighting well-known Toronto pizzerias, tools of the pizza trade and pizza recipes from prominent chefs. As part of the evening event, attendees enjoyed pizza, Peroni beer and a copy of the book for $30.

After the panel, the ICCO’s A Film About Pizza was screened, followed by much discussion of how best to eat pizza, with the crowd of about 50 seeming to favour eating with their hands over eating with a knife and fork.

Corrado Paina, executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, and chamber officials were on hand to visit with pizza lovers and member businesses. The ICCO is a private, independent, non-profit organization whose aim is to enhance and promote investments, trade, business and cultural relations between Canada and Italy. It is an arm of the Italian Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Rome, and two Canadian chambers in British Columbia and Montreal.