Hi there guys!!!
Sorry for having been a little bit off, I have been travelling for a couple of weeks, but I am back again. Get in touch as in the next week I will make a post about the places I have visited, I really enjoyed them and it was so refreshing to catch up some warm weather.
Meanwhile, I am going to share with you a food post, related with something delicious that we all fancy. Something you can´t just miss when meeting with friends, to catch up, watch a movie, a match, a TV program, or just after a night out with friends before going home. Pizza!!!!
Since a couple of years, I have been lucky of having worked for Italian restaurants with Italian people. I owe them so much. Over this time I tried to learn not only about cooking, but also about culture, and its history. What I ant to share with you guys is a little bit of pizza´s history.
What I first found out was surprising, the origin of pizza lead us to… Greece… Apparently during the high society meetings was common a dish named focaccia, a flatbread with oil, herbs and dates.
It was introduced in Italy, in the southernmost area buy the Greek population that immigrated to Italy in search of a prosper place where to work. The south of Italy where industry and fishery where blossoming, was a great place where to settle and find a future. The area grew with a humble population of workers. Focaccia become quite popular, and even essential, as people was in need of cheap, fast, fulfilling food.
It wasn’t until the 1600 that the traditional focaccia evolve to the form and name, as we know it now. Tomato in Europe had been introduced from the newly discovered continent, America, but its consumption was not spread. Its color and taste was not at all trusted between the old minded Europeans. However, in Napoli, they introduced it for its reduced cost and flavor, which enhanced their main plates, pasta and focaccia, the latter turned then into pizza as we know today.
About the word pizza, there are two theories:
- The first, claims that the word pizza is nothing but a derivation of the Italian word ‘pinsa’ which means smash, press, push, which is the way to prepare dough.
- Others think that comes from the German word ‘bizzopizzo’, which means bite, slice of bread. That in the 13th century turned into ‘pizzo’ what was a soft, round shaped bread.
In Napoli pizza was little by little turning into the base of their diet, that much that streets where starting to get full of outside pizza stores, where workers could just pass through and grab a slice on the go.
Ingredients at that time were merely tomato, cheese, oil and garlic.
The explosion of pizza was in 1889. Kings Umberto I and Margherita were recognizing their territories all over Italy, when eventually they reach to Napoli. When they were passing through the streets, something caught Queen Margherita’s attention, something all the laborers were eating from small stores at the streets. Curious about that popular food, she made one of his guards to bring her a slice. Wealthy people were taken aback for her eating on the street same as humble people was eating. Surprisingly, Margherita found that new food delicious and immediately loved it.
Was so her delight with pizza, that she made call the best pizza maker of the city to prepare a special sample of pizza for her. The best at that time was considered to be Raffaele Esposito, who accepted honored the claims of the queen.
Master Esposito prepared 3 different pizzas for the queen:
- Pizza a la Mastunicola, made with laird, cheese and basil.
- Pizza alla Marinara, with tomato, garlic, oil and oregano.
- Pizza Pomodoro e Mozzarella, with tomato, mozzarella and basil.
Margherita’s favorite was the third one, which for its ingredients resembled the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella), and green (basil). She even sent a letter to Master Esposito congratulating him for his great pizzas. As a greeting for the queens words, he named after her the pizza, known ever since as Pizza Margarita, same we call today.
Thanks to the Queen intervention, pizza consumption boosted, even between wealthy people and other European countries. The great flux of Italian people moving abroad to other European countries, America, Asia and Oceania made the rest to spread world wide pizza. Nowadays you can find pizza everywhere and everybody knows about it.
Even though, many countries have adopted and created their own sort of pizza, its in Napoli where pizza keeps been the main flag, more than just food, is tradition, culture, and they respect it as it is.
Pizza for Napoli is important to the point that there is an association whose aim is to promote and maintain the standards and quality of the original Neapolitan Pizza, the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Neapoletana). They established strict standards to follow to prepare the original Neapolitan pizza, from the ingredients and measure to the cooking method, all is defined to ensure the best result.
Only those restaurants that follow their standards count with their certification.I worked in Pizza Pomodoro in Wellington, and I know how strict is the procedure, of course the result is worth it. Today the number is 706, all over the world. You can check the closest to your place here:
To finish the post I want to créate a Little bit of contrioversy about the topic. We all know concur in the fact that we love pizza, ok, but what is your point about pizza pineapple? Are you in favor, opposite? My choice would be the same as my beloved Neapolitan friends, pineapple in pizza… no please… hahaha what´s your choice?
Hope you enjoyed and learn something new guys, thanks for Reading the post and just keep in tuch for the next one. By the way, Saturday… what are your plans… do you fancy some pizza? Go for it!!!!
Kisses for ladies, hugs for gentlemans!!!