10K80 by Mos Neammanee December 7, 2021
During the weeks under lockdown, Gabriele Lamonaca created his one-of-a-kind pizzas in his apartment, today you can buy or barter for a slice of Unregular Pizza, at his store by Union Square.
Lamonaca has made a name for himself on Instagram for bartering his homemade Roman-style pizza with New Yorkers during the pandemic.
Topped with a whole ball of burrata cheese and other uncommon garnishes, Lamonaca’s out-of-the-ordinary pizzas are more than just good looks.
From the very moment, you take your first bite, the pizza melts into your mouth. The savory sauce paired with the bold burrata cheese taste was satisfying.
Lamonaca decided to bring Roman-style pizza to New York because he believed that this is what the big apple needed. Instead of challenging the already established New York-style pizza, he managed to do his own thing by adding a personal flavor of his childhood and sharing Roman-style pizza.
What sets Roman-style pizza apart from New York Style pizza is two things. The first is the dough, Roman-style pizza at Unregular Pizza is leavened for 72 hours to create a crispy crust. The second characteristic is the creative and insane amount of delicious toppings you wouldn’t find at any other pizzeria in New York.
Bored and in need of a creative outlet, Lamonaca experimented with different ingredients to create pizzas and after several DM’s from his friends, he began making them per order. The more he posted, the more people were asking him to sell them his pizzas, however, money isn’t what he wanted.
“The barter is made so people can share what they want to express or they can share what they’re good at,” said Lamonaca. “So what we want to return is not money. It’s an experience or it is worth something too, you know, something that makes me experience the background of the culture.”
The bartering system dates back decades, before Unregular Pizza’s founding. People from all walks of life across the globe have participated in the bartering system, especially Lamonacas’s Grandmother who would bake bread and exchange that for eggs with the neighbors who owned chickens.
“That was a practice that really held up small communities,” said Lamonaca. “It’s amazing to see that practice like that came back in a different form in a different formate, but it went from a very small village in southern Italy to a very big city, a cosmopolitan city that is New York.”
In the very short time since his first barter, Lamonaca and Unregular pizza have done about 600 barters. Each New York City barter would be unique from the other, but all remained to give Lamonaca an enriching learning experience.
Unregular Pizza and Gabriele Lamonaca have received so many different material objects, however, it’s the experiences that are the most interesting, such as a horseback riding lesson or a night in a penthouse in downtown manhattan.
“It’s like traveling 600 different times,” said Lominica.
“That’s the beauty of New York, that’s why it works so well here because here there’s so much to learn from the community around you.”– Gabriele Lamonaca, Unregular Pizza Owner