While it is known first and foremost as an Italian creation, the history of Pizza can be traced back much further to the ancient lands of the Middle East, Greece and even Egypt. These cultures were among the first to create flat bread from their mud ovens. It is believed that flat bread became popular in the Greek-settlement of Naples as a fast and inexpensive food for the humblest citizens of the city.
Pizza begins to catch on in Italy
Like all famous Italian food, the story of pizza comes with its fair share of legend attached. It is said that the well-known variant Pizza Margherita got its name when the Italian Monarch Queen Margherita visited Naples and requested a sampling of the assortment of pizza dishes available there. Supposedly, she expressed a particular appreciation for the pizza topped with mozzarella and tomatoes, and her family name was for evermore bound up with the destiny of that particular pizza. Once it become known that the Queen herself had a taste for Neapolitan typical food, pizza started to spread throughout Italy like wildfire.
The tasty ingredients combine!
Pizza is made from a combination of ingredients that have developed together with pizza itself. Flour and yeast are combined to make the flat-bread base. A variety of cheeses can be used in pizza making, however, by far the most popular is mozzarella. This cheese was originally made from buffalo’s milk and, in certain parts of Italy, it still is. However, it is far more common nowadays to make the famous cheese from cow’s milk. The pizza sauce is made from pureed tomatoes, salt and olive oil. And then toppings are added into the mix.
So many toppings!
Pizza topping combinations now offer a kaleidoscope of tastes, from the very conservative, such as the aforementioned Margherita, to the most experimental ones. However, some classics still hold their own in terms of popularity. Salsiccia e funghi or ‘sausage and mushroom’ offers a salty and very tasty dish. Quattro formaggi or ‘four cheeses’ showcases exactly what can be done with liberal applications of tasty cheese. Pizza alla diavola generally incorporates spicy salami to leave you (literally) breathless!
The spectrum of pizza styles
Furthermore, there are many different styles of pizza. The original one is Pizza Napoletana. This flat bread with tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, salt and basil was the favourite of the city’s humblest citizens and it still is a dish favoured by many purists of pizza. The Pizza Romana differs in its cooking process and ingredients, in order to create a slimmer and crunchy style of pizza. And the Pizza al trancio (slice of pizza) is a rectangular thicker pizza usually sold by pizza makers in the streets: what makes it so special is the opportunity to choose different tastes and to eat it on the go, thanks to its easy handling.
Old-school artisan pizza from Eataly
At Eataly, we choose tradition every day. Though we love the way pizza has evolved and has spread its tasty goodness throughout the world, we still stick with the Neapolitan tradition of cooking. Following strict rules from the original home of modern pizza, our artisans craft pizza using stone ground flour, natural yeast and extra virgin olive oil. The result is a pizza with a tall and soft crust, which is left to rise for at least 24 hours, and then topped with high-quality seasonal ingredients according to typical Italian tradition. Our dedication to artisan pizza has even been rewarded with the 2014-2015 UAE Best Pizza Award: come and taste our original pizza!