The birth of this delicious dish , for some, dates back to the Neolithic period. It is only later, however, with the discovery of yeast by the Egyptians, that we begin to take steps forward towards the long path that leads to the real pizza we know today.
Evolution in shape and filling
It is thanks to the inclusion of yeast in the cereal doughs that were previously cooked on the stones, that these become, after cooking, soft and tasty: this is how the first types of bread are born. Thanks to the Roman peasants, on the other hand, we have the first type of round focaccia , which is considered an ancient ancestor of pizza. Bread, the basis of today's pizza, has had a huge spread.
In fact, there were not a few peoples who used to accompany other foods with bread discs: for example, the Greeks created bread discs called πλακοῦς and these were seasoned with aromas such as garlic and onion. Instead, it is rumored that Darius the Great, the King of the Persians, stuffed his bread discs with cheeses and dates. These ancient discs of bread were then improved over time and are still popular today in the form of Greek pita , piadina and focaccia . One of the first attestations of real pizza is found in the essay "Description of the ancient places of Naples" by the poet Benedetto Di Falco. It is precisely in this region, in fact, that different types of pizza are experimented, starting from the basic dough: the olive oil quickly replaces the lard, making the dough much lighter and more digestible. Then seasonings such as cheeses and aromatic herbs are added in order to satisfy every type of palate.
In this period the famous pizza called " mastunicola " was born: a pizza prepared and topped with lard, basil, cheese and black pepper. A few years later, tomatoes are discovered in America. Initially, in our country, the latter were used in the kitchen only in the form of sauce, seasoned with basil and salt. Later on, someone (the name is not known to date) had the brilliant idea of sprinkling a disc of bread with tomato , giving life to the current tomato pizza. In the South, pizza has a rapid spread both among the bourgeois people - in fact it is also served during the important receptions of the Bourbons - and among the so-called populace.
A popular food
It is a food that therefore unites all social classes. In 1889, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited the splendid city of Naples. During their walk, the kings were greeted by Raffaele Esposito, considered, at that time, the best Neapolitan pizza maker. Esposito created three types of pizzas for them: the Mastunicola pizza, the Marinara pizza topped with tomato, oregano, garlic and oil and, finally, the famous tomato and mozzarella pizza.
The latter was created in honor of the Queen who really liked it so much and even wanted to praise the pizza chef by putting it in writing. For his part, Esposito, could not help but thank the queen, giving her creation the very name of the latter. Thus was born the current Pizza Margherita . If initially pizza was more widespread in the southern areas of our country, immediately after the Second World War, this dish also spread to the north, in cities such as Milan, Genoa and Turin. In the Sixties, pizzerias also spread, initially based only in the South, while now they are spread all over the world.
This success led UNESCO , in 2017, to establish that Pizza and the art of the pizza maker were part of the Cultural Heritage to be safeguarded.
Some curiosities about pizza
Now let's see some nice curiosities about this dish that everyone really likes!
- In New York, the first pizzeria opened in 1905, thanks to Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian who emigrated to America. The success was great and, since that moment, pizza has spread to ... wildfire in the Big Apple!
- Contrary to popular belief, the most famous pizza in America is not the one with the pineapple on it, but the pepperoni. The name immediately suggests the presence of peppers, while on the pizza we find only large slices of spicy salami.
- In 1994, the Pizza Hut food chain opened the first e-commerce site where it was possible to order pizzas online.
- There is a pizza diet, really. This diet consists of eating only pizza, for lunch and dinner for a week. Obviously you have to choose light pizzas, without daring to be gourmet. Therefore, pizzas with grilled vegetables or without too many toppings should be eaten.
- There is the Pizza Theorem: a mathematical formula created by two scholars that allows you to cut the pizza into many slices of the same size.
- There are pizzas seasoned in a really absurd way: there are those who eat it even seasoned with slices of kiwi or strawberries.
- In Philadelphia there is the Pizza Museum, created by Brian Dwyer, the largest collector of objects and memorabilia all with a pizza theme.
- In the 1990s, the current creator of Google, Sergey Brin, created a system that made it possible to order pizzas over the internet via restaurant faxes. This project turned out to be a real failure.
- For years, NASA has been trying to develop a 3D printer that can print a pizza in space.