How Has Pizza Evolved?
From birthday parties to family dinners, pizza is one of the most popular meals we can think of. People of all ages love to indulge in this warm, cheesy dish. While pizza variations can now be found all over the world, the original recipe — unsurprisingly — originated in Italy.
The History of Pizza in Italy
While some of today’s pizza ingredients can be quite exotic, this dish actually had very humble beginnings in Italy. There is some debate on where, specifically, the term “pizza” was first used — some claim Rome, while others claim Naples. Regardless of where the term was coined, during the 18th-century, pizza was a staple meal for impoverished Italians. The peasants, specifically those known as lazzaroni, discovered that this simple flatbread was a cost-effective meal that was quick and easy to prepare and eat.
In the late 1800s, Italian Queen Margherita and King Umberto I took a tour of their kingdom. As they toured through the peasant villages, Queen Margherita discovered their pizzas and fell in love with the simple flavors. She enjoyed this peasant meal so much that her own personal chef began preparing them for her.
Then, in 1889, Raffaele Esposito decided to pay homage to Queen Margherita’s visit to Naples. What better way was there to do that than by creating a pizza in her honor? Esposito took the flatbread and added toppings inspired by the colors of the Italian flag. He added red tomatoes, green basil and white mozzarella to create a dish that was just as visually appealing as it was delicious. The queen adored it, and this creation became known as a Margherita pizza.
How Pizza Changed Over Time and Eventually Came to America
When Italians began immigrating to America, they continued to make pizzas in their homes. Occasionally, they would also sell them in unlicensed venues.
In 1905, the first licensed pizzeria, Lombardi’s, was opened in America. This New York City pizzeria was popular with those Italian immigrants who craved the familiar flavors from their native country.
During World War II, the Allied soldiers discovered this dish when they were stationed in Italy. Once they returned home, they also craved pizzas, creating an increased demand for pizzerias in the United States. As more restaurants began opening up, the sliced version of the dish was created. Eventually, chain pizzerias started forming, increasing the availability of pizza all throughout the country.
What Are Traditional Italian Pizzas?
Pizzerias can be found in just about every city today, serving up everything from pepperoni pies to pineapple and ham pizza. While there are many options available, there are only two types of authentic Italian pizza — the Margherita and Marinara.
In fact, these pizzas must follow the guidelines by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, AVPN) to be considered authentic in Italy.
Treat Yourself to Traditional Italian Pizza at Allora Italian Restaurant
Here at Allora Italian Restaurant, we are passionate about creating Italian pizzas that combine the traditional background with modern techniques and seasonal ingredients. All the pizzas on our menu are made fresh in-house for the best taste imaginable.
To try some of our authentic Italian food, we invite you to make a reservation at our midtown Atlanta restaurant today.