Few ingredients (flour, water, salt, oil, yeast, tomato, mozzarella fior di latte and basil) are the basis of a food that carries the colours of the Italian flag around the world: the Pizza Margherita.
Since ancient Greece was used as a dish a disc of dough seasoned at will, as told by Virgil in the Aeneid.
In 997, on a lease of a mill on the river Garigliano (between Lazio and Campania) appears for the first time the term pizza. The agreement provides that, at Christmas and Eastern in addition to the rent the lessee shall pay to the mill owner 12 pizzas.
Over the centuries this circular disc continues to be used and after the Discovery of America, tomatoes also become one of the ingredients used.
In 1830 in the book “Naples, side dishes and surroundings” Riccio describes a dough seasoned with mozzarella and basil, where tomato was put on top of all other ingredients.
In 1858 Francesco de Boucard in the book “Described and painted habits and customs of Naples and surroundings” writes of various combinations of seasoning including the one with tomato, mozzarella and basil.
But the episode that is surely etched in collective memory is that related to June 1889, when the king Umberto I of Italy and queen Margherita visit the Palace of Capodimonte, they commissioned three pizzas to the pizza maker Raffaele Esposito of the pizzeria Brandi. Among them the queen found the one with tomato, mozzarella and basil the tastiest and asked the pizza maker what its name was, cleverly in honor of the Queen of Italy, he answered “Pizza Margherita“.
Since February 5, 2010, the Pizza Margherita is recognized as a Guaranteed Traditional Speciality by the European Union and since 2017 the UNESCO commission nominated “the Art of Neapolitan Pizza Makers”, this is an ancient culinary practise that involves various stages, including: the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker.
If reading this article made your mouth watering we invite you to eat a pizza with us in one of the best pizzerias in Naples in the tour View on the Gulf.