The History of Italian Pizza
Pizza is one Italian food that has been around in one form or another for centuries. It has a long history in the Mediterranean where it began as a seasoned flatbread that was used more as an edible plate to hold other food, rather than as a food by itself. However, these earlier pizzas established a name for Italian food very early on and were eaten in Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Babylon and were emphatically praised by many historians of the day.
It was in the Middle Ages that pizza began to take a form that would be more familiar to Italian food lovers today. Pizza started out being just a dough topped with herbs and olive oil. Once mozzarella cheese began to be produced from Indian Water Buffalo it quickly became a signature aspect of pizza. Today at any true Italian food eatery this fresh mozzarella di buffalo is nonnegotiable. The dried shredded mozzarella that is often associated with Italian food would actually never be used on a pizza made by a true Italian food chef.
It wouldn’t be until the tomato became popular in Italian food in the 18th century that we would see modern pizza. During this time pizza began to take an even more prominent role in Italian food. In Naples pizza was sold on the streets for every meal. This once peasant food was quickly taking hold of all of society, including the upper class. In fact, by 1830 the first ever pizzeria was opened in Naples. Ever since this time pizzerias have been found all over the world converting people to the love of Italian food.
Traditional Italian pizza is cooked in a wood fired oven. The reason American pizza is often not thought of as a true Italian food is because the large restaurant chains that specialize in pizza do not cook it in a wood fired oven. Pizzas featured in authentic Italian restaurants use only the freshest ingredients.
In Italy, pizzas change with the seasons as fresh ingredients become available. The great thing about pizza that has made it so popular is the fact that it can be topped with a vast array of toppings. Each region of Italy has its own particular style of pizza that they specialize in, making use of the ingredients most readily available to them.
So, for real Italian pizza it is necessary to step out of the confining ideas of just a few types of pizza and open your mind to the different possibilities. Visit Piccola Italia Pizza and Restaurant to try some of our amazing pizza varieties. We’re conveniently located in the Cameron Village Shopping Center.
423 Woodburn RdCameron VillageRaleigh, NC 27605-1323