Charcoal Pizza Debuts at Olivella in North Bergen

As the charcoal trend moves beyond black ice cream and cocktails – activated charcoal pizza, pasta and mozzarella have just debuted in New Jersey at Olivella in North Bergen from Naples-born pizza maker Salvatore Olivella.

Salvatore’s namesake restarurant has been operating since March and now guests can choose charcoal for the pizza crust on their pies, mozzarella cheese in their caprese salad, and for their pasta with a range of sauces. All options are an additional $2 per order.

Salvatore first encountered activated charcoal in Italy as some pizzamakers in the Naples area were adding it to their dough. He developed his own recipe over 6 months through much trial and error. Once he perfected the pizza dough, he moved on to charcoal pasta and even mozzarella. The key to activating the charcoal’s benefits is heat so when the pizza dough hits the oven or pasta is immersed in boiling water, the charcoal’s properties are unleashed. For cheese, the charcoal is activated early in the process when it is added to the milk and heated up.


Activated charcoal has been used to treat poisonings for years, but only recently has it been added to food, drinks and cosmetics. It is reputed to aid digestion, reduce gas and bloating and absorb toxins in the body. Some research also suggests that it may help lower cholesterol. It’s been used in everything from teeth whitening to beauty treatments to treating bites, as well as cocktails and ice cream– but not in pizza in the US to date.

7709 Bergenline Avenue
North Bergen,NJ

[photo source: Olivella]


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