Throughout history, mankind has searched for the perfect food to fill their stomachs and satisfy their hunger. The discovery of pizza was a momentous occasion in culinary evolution that brought ecstasy to any hungry person's taste buds.
Why Does your mouth get watery when you inmagine biting a hot slice of pizza? Let me take you on an exquisite journey through Italy and show you how we came across this sinful creation called "pizza."
Let’s forget about any best pizza blog and dig deeper to know a few secrets about this sinful creation.
Pizzas Back in History
A look at the history of pizza reveals that it can be traced back to 997 AD when a document from Gaeta mentioned flatbread flavored with fat or oil and herbs. Italy's first documented mention of pizza came in 16th century Naples, where we find street vendors offering dishes covered in fats-herbs-cheese as an economical dish for people on the go.
Around circa late 1800s tomatoes were added to make up one-half of what is now considered traditional Italian toppings. This addition of tomatoes was connected with a royal event. When Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889, three different types of pizza were created to honor her visit. One was a simple yet tasty dish with tomato sauce and cheese. This is the kind that eventually became known as Pizza Margherita because it’s named after the queen herself!
Why Italian Pizza Is So Special?
The question is like why Tea is so special in India or China? Well, it grows there in plenty and because of that local people know how to use them properly. Now think about pizza and Italy. The main ingredients like flour, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes are readily available and some of the best varieties of those found in Italy and adjacent states. Most of the pizza food blog will skip this connection.
As a result, Italian pizzas are made with some of the best ingredients required specifically for great pizzas. The term ‘Italian pizza’ is an umbrella term that covers almost every type made in Italy. However, you will see two major variations under that term.
Neapolitan pizza is the perfect example of how simple and elegant food can be. The base of a good Neapolitan pie is thin but still soft in texture, while at its edges are tall with crispy dough that adds to the mouth-feel rather than detracting from it like other pizzas.
Because there isn't anything heavy or stodgy about this kind of crust, you're never left feeling bloated after eating one! There's enough space for appetizers and desserts too - which makes me want to go out tonight just so I have more options when ordering!
Pizza from Rome
Pizza from Rome is actually a pretty light meal since it usually doesn't have any cheese. It's evenly thin and mostly friable, or at least the borders are. Bigger than any typical Neapolitan pizza, sometimes the pizza from Rome can be just as big as your plate! For variety, you might want to pair this kind of pizza with some pasta on the side for an authentic Italian experience.
White pizza is another delicacy from Rome. It is a deliciously crispy friend to the taste buds, no matter what you put on it. It’s usually served as an open-faced sandwich with cured meat and cheese inside, but white pizza tastes great with just about anything! Most of the pizza related blogs somehow skip this delicacy.
When you need a snack, there is nothing better than pizza al taglio! Not only are these pizzas available in an array of flavors and toppings, but they also come ready-to-eat as well. You can even get them to go so that you don't have any messy crusts all over the place. The difference between Pizzeria's round individual pie vs street food slices “al taglio” might seem subtle at first glance but it really does make for two very different experiences with equally excellent results.
Pizza Is the Bridge Between Tradition and Modernization
When you are having a bite on the cheese, plant-based pepperoni, mushrooms, or even extra virgin olive oil and relishing the flavor, You won’t feel good at all to tell yourself that these were never a part of the pizza. Different parts of the world improvised the pizza toppings and made their own version of pizza. Even in different parts of Italy, you will find unique toppings like pesto, courgette/zucchini flowers, and seafood.
However, if you want to taste the real and traditional flavor of Italian baking and hand craftsmanship, you need to be a bit conventional. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Italian pizza varieties.
- Margherita - made with San Marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufala, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Marinara - comes with garlic, tomato, oregano, and olive oil.
- Boscaiola - This is a white pizza without any tomato sauce on the topping. Boscaiola stands for ‘of the woods; and is made with mushrooms, sausage, and mozzarella cheese.
- Capricciosa - If you love both veggies and meat this is the best option. You can taste the flavor of Italian ham, tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, black olives, and artichokes.
- Quattro Stagioni- You will find all the ingredients of Capricciosa here but disposed and divided into four quarters on the crust. No wonder the name means ‘four seasons’.
- Mare e Monti- This is a pizza with a rare combination of veggies and seafood. That’s why the name suits it so much: sea and mountain. You will find shrimp, other seafood, garlic, parsley, tomato, mushrooms, and mozzarella.
- Ortolana/Vegetarian- This is one of the hearty pizzas with loads of veggies. You will find eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers along with tomato and mozzarella.
- Primavera- If you're a fan of fresh flavors, then this is the pizza for you. It's topped with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese before being sprinkled with rocket leaves and Italian ham slices—all delicately spiced up by Grana Padano shavings!
Pizza has been around for centuries, but you would never know it by looking at the modern incarnation of this classic dish. The pizza we eat today is vastly different from what our ancestors ate and even more so than was available to us just a few decades ago!
There are now all sorts of flavors that were unheard-of not too long ago: Pizza with spinach or pineapple as a topping? Yep, they exist. But which do you prefer - thin-crust or deep pan style? Even the best pizza blog won’t come to any help.
No matter which one you prefer, if you want to enjoy the real Italian taste it’s better to fly to Italy.
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