Sorry there’s been so long between posts, work has been completely mad recently and I just haven’t had time to think. When you’re in a rush, you end up eating fast food, and in Italy that can mean only one thing: pizza!
Credit: Free photos from acobox.com
I did take my own picture of the pizza I ordered last night, but it was rubbish because I was so hungry that I rushed it.
I’m really lucky. This (Campania) is the absolute best region in the entire country, and ergo the world, to eat pizza in. It was invented in Naples after all! But where did the idea of pizza come from?
Well, the word pizza itself comes from “pinsa”, a Latin word meaning “squashed” or “flattened” . It was originally used as a mere tool to test the temperature of wood ovens in Naples and the surrounding area, and was considered a dish of the poor, to be sold on the streets. Little by little, people began to experiment, adding sauces and condiments to the pizza, which was still considered to be little more than a conveniently edible “plate” at the time.
The tremendous variety in the toppings used on pizzas was noted by many, including people of some importance such as the writer Alexandre Dumas Snr. Interest in pizza was sparked, and when the royal couple, Umberto and Mergherita Savoia, visited Naples, one of the city’s chefs, Raffaele Esposito, presented them with a selction of three pizzas to try.
One of these pizzas was inspired by the colours of the Italian flag (do you see where I’m going with this yet?), topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Queen Margherita liked this pizza enormously, and it became known as… you guessed it, the pizza margherita.
Obviously now that the King and Queen had eaten pizza it became “the done thing” and richer folks stopped looking down their noses at it and tried it. The pizza has gone on to do what very few regional dishes have managed to do – it has conquered most of the known world.
Hopefully you enjoyed this morsel of history as much as I enjoyed my pizza last night. Funny enough, it was a margherita! Stay tuned for more information about types of pizza later!