Florina Wins Popular Vote in Second Annual Boston Pizza Festival

Florina Pizzeria and Paninioteca beat out 30 vendors to take first prize in the popular vote in the second annual Boston Pizza Festival at City Hall Plaza on July 7 and 8.

Florina Pizzeria and Paninioteca’s Steven Cucinatti, John Cucinatti, Tito Garcia and Barry Proctor are seen at City Hall Plaza during the second annual Boston Pizza Festival.

Barry Proctor, who co-owns the pizzeria at 16 Derne St. with John Cucinatti, said they churned out around 400 pizzas over the course of the festival, including cheese and peperoni slices, as well as a specialty white margarita pie consisting of fresh mozzarella, basil sliced Roma tomato and a dash of Peperoncino cheese. And while many vendors relied Italian-made, wood-fired ovens, or in some cases gas, Florina used an electric oven.

Proctor said Florina faced stiff competition in the festival, including Starita pizzeria of Naples, Italy, and Rina’s Pizzeria & Café, the North End eatery that took first place in last year’s popular vote.

Meanwhile, Proctor described the festival as a “learning experience” that highlights the universal appeal of pizza.

“Whether they’re rich or poor, everyone loves pizza,” he said.

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