Though we don’t exactly know how old pizza is, historians speculate that pizza-like foods were found as early as 6th century BC and the first document of the word pizza was in 997 AD in central Italy (the Campania region). From there, Italians continued eating and perfecting their pizza craft.
The Beginning of Neapolitan Pizza and Pizza Margherita
Around the 16th -18th century pizza began to take form as the dough and tomato version we know today. During WW2 pizza became a popular meal for allied troops stationed in Italy and spread from to the rest of the world. Today, many versions of pizza exist, but to pizza purists there are only 2 true forms of pizza, Pizza Marinara and Pizza Margherita.
Pizza Marinara comes from the Italian word for the “seafarer’s wife” and this was the way she would prepare the pizza for the seaman as they returned home; a simple and delicious tomato sauce atop a crust.
Pizza Margherita comes from the famous baker Raffaele Esposito of Naples when he made 3 pizzas to present to King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The pizza most loved by the Queen had the colors of the Italian flag, red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil. With deep roots in the Campania region of Italy, the Pizza Margherita was born in her honor and has become a highly competitive pizza around the globe as chefs and connoisseurs unite to find the best.
Neapolitan pizza is named for its origin in Naples, the regional capital of Campania. It has to follow specific guidelines (as determined by the 30-year tradition of the EU) to be a true, Neapolitan Pizza. These include:
- Dough: Must be made with a strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer’s yeast, salt and water. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine, and may be no more than 3 millimeters (0.12 in) thick.
- Baking: The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) wood fire oven.
- Texture: When cooked, it should be soft, elastic, tender and fragrant.
Though neapolitan pizza can vary in toppings, the original is the famed, Pizza Margherita.
DOP is a distinction of true authenticity and flavor of Italian ingredients. Requiring such ingredients to be locally grown and packaged according to traditional methods, the certification equates to the highest quality. Pizza Margherita DOP uses the most specific and truest ingredients for Pizza Margherita and follows the guidelines that It must be made with either San Marzano tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, which grow on the volcanic plains to the south of Mount Vesuvius, and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, a made with the milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania, basil and olive oil.
Are you ready to take the challenge of finding the best Pizza Margherita?
Try our Pizza Margherita DOP along with our other classic Neapolitan pizzas at Campania today!