Naples' tastes: the history of Pizza

Naples' tastes: the history of Pizza

Pizza is more than just a good traditional dish. Besides being the best food in the world, Neapolitan pizza is a
combination of taste, history, culture and creativity.
Round, with a soft and thin dough but with high edges, pizza has been recognized as a guaranteed traditional
specialty of the European Union since 5 February 2010, and since 2017 it has become an intangible heritage
of humanity for UNESCO
But what are the true origins of pizza?

The history of pizza

The origins of pizza as we know it today are a mixture of history and legend. Some archaeological finds
suggest that this Italian delicacy has very ancient roots, even dating back to the Paleolithic. Primitive men
used to eat an ancestor of modern pizza, consisting of grains and roots crumbled and then cooked on a hot
Thanks to the Egyptians, then, and to their discoveries regarding the use of yeast, we arrived at a pizza dough
similar to that of our days, with a consistency reminiscent of the focaccia one.
In Italy, pizza was eaten in Naples around the year 1000. It was a round disk of oven-baked pasta, covered
with various other ingredients and called “picea”. This term is thought to come from the Arabic language and
from the Saracen domination in the Campania territories, where the word "pita" was used to indicate a food
such as bread or focaccia.

The discovery of the tomato

Modern pizza arrives on our tables only after the discovery of the tomato, imported from Peru after the
colonization of America.
For the first time, the tomato plant was mainly used as a decoration, as it was thought that its fruit was
poisonous, until a brave farmer decided to try his luck and taste this strange golden apple.
The cook and philosopher Vincenzo Corrado testified in one of his treatises to the huge spread of pizza in
Naples between 1700 and 1800, when there were already small shops with wood-burning ovens that sold
pizzas in the streets of the city. In these times, the pizza was seasoned with garlic, lard and coarse salt, or
with basil and caciocavallo.

The birth of Pizza Margherita

The famous pizza Margherita with tomato and mozzarella, loved all over the world, was born in 1800.
The story tells that in 1889 the sovereigns of Italy Umberto I and Queen Margherita came to visit Naples and
that the latter was very curious to taste the famous and delicious pizza typical of Campania.
For this reason, the best pizza chef in Naples was hired, Raffaele Esposito, who paid homage to the royals
with three pizzas: pizza alla Mastunicola, with lard, basil and cheese, pizza alla Marinara, with tomato,
garlic, oil and oregano and a tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza, with colors that deliberately recalled the
Italian tricolor.
The queen fell madly in love with pizza with tomato and mozzarella and decided to thank the pizza chef in
So it was that Raffaele Esposito, to thank the queen, decided to call Margherita the pizza so loved by the

Do you want to taste the wonderful Neapolitan pizza too?  Contact us, and we will let you discover the
beauties of this city!

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