Pizza is a national Italian dish, which is a round open tortilla covered with melted cheese (usually mozzarella) and tomatoes. Cheese is by far the main ingredient in pizza. The remaining ingredients differ depending on the type of pizza. Today, pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the world.
The history of pizza
How did pizza come about?
Similar dishes already existed among the ancient Greeks and Romans. They were dishes laid out on slices of bread. Bread with additives of meat, cheese, olives, vegetables, dairy products was included in rations for Roman legionnaires. It was the food of both the patricians and the plebeians.
Roman Mark Apicius in the 1st century BC wrote a book in which recipes of the "ancestors" of modern pizza were given. Olive oil, cheese, pieces of chicken meat, mint, nuts, garlic, pepper were placed on the dough in various combinations. The word itself pizza close to words piazza (square) piatto (plate).
In 1522, tomatoes were brought to Europe and in Italy they began to cook almost classic pizza.
In the 17th century, special people appeared who cook pizza for peasants. They are called pizzaiolo (pizzaiolo). Once in 1772, King Ferdinand I incognito walked around Naples and got hungry. The monarch went to the institution of the Neapolitan pizza maker Antonio Testa. As the hunger was quenched, the king increasingly admired the taste and variety of dishes. Ferdinand I tried to introduce pizza into the royal kitchen, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
The wife was categorically against the food of commoners in the diet of monarchs.
Some time passed, and another king Ferdinand II, who also loved pizza, decided to change the attitude of the female part of the royal court to this dish. Ferdinand II convened the royal cooks for a secret meeting, which addressed the issue of gentrification pizza.
The main problem was that pizza dough kneading feet, and for the royal dish it was unacceptable!
A secondary task was to find a suitable tool for eating pizza, so as not to grease noble fingers. Gennaro Spadacchini was appointed responsible for solving the above problems. Moreover, a limited time was allotted for solving problems, the Neapolitan nobleman had to be in time before the Queen's birthday was celebrated.
Gennaro completed the order on time. The dough was now beaten with a bronze pestle in the shape of a man, and a four-tooth fork was used to absorb pizza. On the day of the 30th anniversary of Margarita of Savoy, a huge miracle pizza was prepared on the festive table prepared by a married couple of palace culinary specialists - Raffael Esposito and Rosina Brandi.
The pizza was named after the queen. From this day pizza "Margarita" became a popular dish among the royal court.
Also in the royal kitchen were allowed to cook "Marinara" and "Four Seasons". At the moment in Italy there are more than two thousand kinds of different pizza. And it can be argued that it was Naples that gave the world such a miracle as pizza. In the XIX century, thanks to Italian immigrants, pizza got to America. After World War II, the pizza delivery service became widespread in the USA, and the food industry began to produce semi-finished pizzas.
Types of pizza, composition and recipes:
Depending on the size of the pizza, the amount of dough and toppings changes, but the ratio of the ingredients remains approximately the same. Ingredients of Margarita pizza: pizza dough, tomatoes, cheese (mozzarella), tomato paste, olive oil, dry basil, parmesan, salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves.
Four Seasons Pizza is the most popular pizza in the world.
About the pizza "Four Seasons" ("Quattro staggioni") it is known that it existed in 1660. Then lived in Naples, one cook who cooked delicious pizza. One fine day, he had the idea to make pizza with a wide variety of ingredients. The culinary specialist selected his favorite foods: tomatoes, seafood, ham and mushrooms.
However, the question arose: how to put all this variety on a layer of dough, without making vinaigrette from pizza?
The culinary specialist found a way out of this situation. He divided the pizza circle into four sectors, each of which was individually covered with its filling. Visitors to the pizzeria really liked the new dish. Such a work of culinary art must necessarily have a name.
The chef associated this pizza with the seasons; as a result, pizza got the name "Four seasons". The mushrooms sector occupied the winter sector, the spring was reserved for seafood, the summer was given to the Italian sausage Salame, and the autumn was occupied by tomatoes.
Top pizza was served with sauce, sprinkled with herbs and mozzarella. Nowadays, the Four Seasons pizza is one of the most popular and is the sales leader. There are many options for combinations of fillings. In the traditional “Four Seasons”, three sectors (seasons) of the filling are occupied by seafood, and one by mushrooms. Ingredients: dough, mozzarella, tomatoes, salted mushrooms, boiled-frozen mussels, fresh or shell-frozen shrimps, olives, salted anchovy, parsley, garlic, orange, salt, sugar, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, fresh basil, parmesan .
Neapolitan pizza "Marinara"
“Marinara” as well as “Margarita” is considered Neapolitan pizza. The word itself is translated as marine or marine. However, this does not mean that pizza should be with seafood. Perhaps pizza was named after the fishermen who used it almost every morning.
In fact, “marinara” is also a sauce of tomato, onion, garlic and herbs.
Due to the preservative properties of tomato, this sauce could be stored for a long time, which the sailors could not help using. Therefore, there is a hypothesis that the name of pizza is associated with this sauce. Ingredients: dough, tomatoes, olives, garlic, parmesan, salt, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil.
Today, pizza has spread to the whole world. In different countries, people may prefer different cooking options for this dish. The main differences are observed in the filling, for example, in Brazil, green peas are added to pizza, in Japan - eel, and in Costa Rica - coconuts.
Even in Italy, there are differences between Neapolitan pizza and Roman pizza. The capital pizza has a crunchy base, while the Neapolitan one has a soft crumbly cake.
How to cook real Italian pizza?
So, we got to the most important thing: the recipe for how to cook real Italian pizza.
In 2004, a recipe for a real Neapolitan pizza was published in the official publication of an Italian government newspaper.
According to this recipe, real pizza should be thin-crusted. When cooking, only mozzarella cheese and special tomato varieties should be used. As additives, only basil, olive oil, oregano and garlic can be used.
If one of these rules was violated during manufacture, the resulting product is not a real Italian pizza.
It is also worth mentioning that real pizza is cooked on coals in a real Italian oven, where the temperature holds 485 degrees and pizza there baked in 2 minutes. However, today this rule is rarely followed.
The recipe and easy way to make Margarita pizza
For a good pizza, first you need to make a good dough.
- We take yeast (7 g.) And sugar (1 tbsp. Spoon), place them in a bowl and mix with water (4 tbsp. Tablespoons), leave for 15 minutes in a warm place. Mix the flour (350 gr.) With salt (1 tbsp. Spoon) and make a hole in the center, add olive oil (1 tbsp. Spoon), yeast mixture and 170-180 gr. hot water (60 degrees C).
- Knead the dough with a wooden spoon.
- Next, put the dough on the table and knead with your hands for about 5 minutes.
- Then the dough is returned to the bowl, covered and left for 30 minutes, so that it doubles.
- While the dough rises, you can do the filling.
- In a large skillet, put tomatoes (400 g canned in their own juice), garlic (2 cloves crushed), basil (2 tablespoons), olive oil (1 tablespoon), pepper and salt.
- The resulting sauce is stewed for 20 minutes until thickened, then tomato paste is added to it and the sauce is cooled.
- We approach the base by kneading it for a couple more minutes and spread it on a baking sheet.
- The dough is stretched by hands so that its thickness is no more than 6 mm, since it still rises in the oven.
- The base is spread with sauce, sprinkled with mozzarella (100 g.) And Parmesan (grated 2 tbsp. Tablespoons), and placed in a heated oven, where it is baked for 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees C.
Enjoy your meal!
And finally, we have prepared for you, dear readers, a video lesson on cooking real pizza from an Italian chef.