Why Is It Called Margherita Pizza?

Margherita pizza is a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who visited Naples in 1889 and was served a pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The queen was so impressed by the pizza that she gave it her royal seal of approval, and the pizza was subsequently named after her. Margherita pizza has since become one of the most popular types of pizza in the world.

History

Pizza has been a popular food in Naples for centuries. It was originally a simple flatbread that was topped with olive oil and garlic, and sometimes anchovies. In the 18th century, tomatoes were introduced to Italy from the Americas, and pizza makers began using them as a topping. Over time, other ingredients were added, such as cheese, herbs, and meats.

The margherita pizza is said to have been created in 1889 by Raffaele Esposito, a pizza maker from Naples. Esposito was asked to make a pizza for Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was visiting Naples with her husband, King Umberto I. Esposito made three pizzas, each with a different topping. The pizza that the queen liked the best was the one with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The colors of the ingredients – red, white, and green – were said to represent the colors of the Italian flag, and the queen was impressed by both the taste and the patriotic symbolism of the pizza. She gave it her royal seal of approval, and it became known as the “pizza Margherita.”

In 1905, the first pizzeria in the United States was opened in New York City by Gennaro Lombardi, a Neapolitan immigrant. Lombardi’s pizza was based on the traditional Neapolitan style, and it became very popular with the city’s Italian-American community. Over time, pizza spread across the United States and around the world, and the margherita pizza became a staple of pizzerias everywhere.

Ingredients

Margherita pizza is made with simple, fresh ingredients. The crust is made from flour, yeast, water, and salt, and is typically thin and crispy. The sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes, which are grown in the volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius and are known for their sweet, rich flavor. The cheese is mozzarella, which is made from the milk of water buffalo and has a soft, creamy texture. Finally, the pizza is topped with fresh basil leaves, which add a fragrant, herbal flavor.

Variations

While the traditional margherita pizza is made with only three ingredients – tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil – there are many variations of the pizza that incorporate other ingredients. For example, some pizzerias add garlic, onions, or olives to the sauce, or sprinkle the cheese with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Others top the pizza with vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, or artichokes, or with meats such as sausage or pepperoni. Still others make a “white” margherita pizza, which has no tomato sauce and is instead topped with olive oil, garlic, and cheese.

Conclusion

Margherita pizza is a classic Neapolitan dish that has become beloved all over the world. Named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was served the pizza in Naples in 1889, it is made with simple, fresh ingredients and has a rich history that spans over a century. Whether enjoyed as a traditional pie or as a creative variation, margherita pizza is a delicious and enduring symbol of Italian cuisine.

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