Another obvious and beloved culinary specialty of our country is the Italian pizza. No tourist has ever left Italy without trying the original pizza at least one time (or two or three, but who is counting?).
The Margherita: the birth of a star
The original Italian pizza, the Margherita pizza, was born in Naples in 1889 when Chef Raffaele Esposito decided to honour Queen Margherita of Savoy – hence Margherita pizza’s iconic name – with a never-seen-before dish. To create the Margherita pizza, he used three simple ingredients whose colours would bring to mind the Italian flag: tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil leaves.
A Pizza Party!
From there, Italian pizza’s fame grew in an almost uncontrollable manner, becoming one of the most appreciated and imitated dishes first in the rest of Italy and then in the whole world.
Pizza Margherita is still the most popular, even today, but throughout the years we have created many new kinds. Most of them share the same base, which is the same base of the Margherita pizza. Some of the most common are Capricciosa, Quattro Stagioni, Napoli (named after pizza’s hometown), Prosciutto e Funghi and Bufalina. In Naples, the fried pizza is also quite common.
Calzone, a filled Pizza
Another variant of Italian pizza that might not be as well known is the Calzone, a shell of pizza dough – essentially a folded pizza – baked in the oven or fried and filled with different ingredients.
Fun fact: the skill to make real Italian pizza is so unique and particular to our culture that UNESCO recognized it as a world heritage.
So, when you come to Italy, try to enjoy as many kinds of pizza as possible. Just remember not to ask the Pizzaiolo to put pineapple on it!