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The History of Pizza

Gastronomy tips

La Historia de la Pizza

The history of pizza is linked to mankind's bread consumption. In ancient Egypt the discovery of yeast led to the preparation of a type of bread in the shape and color of the sun, made of flour, water and honey. In ancient Greece this bread evolved and fat, spices, garlic and onion were added. In the time of Darius the Great, Persian soldiers added melted cheese and dates to bread. In Italy it was known as "pizza bianca" made with bread, fat, herbs, garlic, onions, olives... ingredients available in the most humble homes, it was a dish eaten by many.

With the arrival of the tomato in Europe from America, this dish took an unexpected turn. And it was in Naples in 16th century when tomatoes were first consumed as food, whilst in the rest of Europe they were not consumed until 18th century.

At first the tomato was considered poisonous and was only used in gardening in a decorative way, it was not considered as food, until one day a Neapolitan peasant who was desperate to eat something, accompanied his bread with a tomato and he loved it. As he survived word spread and from that moment the poor Neapolitan people began to eat tomatoes with their dry bread. Turning this combination of bread and tomato into a highly valued dish in the region of Naples. As the dish was mainly consumed by poor people, most of whom did not own an oven of their own, they prepared the dough at home and took it to the baker to bake it. Over time, due to the great demand, the Neapolitan pizza makers created their own guild, separate from the classic bakers, preparing the dough themselves and baking it, becoming a popular dish among the people who would take it home or eat it in the street, and street sellers of this delicacy also began to appear.

It was in the seventeenth century in Italy, in Naples to be precise, when the pizza appeared as the popular dish we know and love today.

The first pizzeria opened in the year 1830 "Port' Alba," which was predicted to have a short future and yet remains open to this day.

In June 1889, Raffaele Esposito, a well-known pizza maker from Naples, owner of the "Pietro il Pizzaiolo" pizzeria, known today as "Pizzeria Brandi", was commissioned to prepare some pizzas for the King and Queen of Italy, Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy, who were in Naples and wished to try that very famous dish eaten by the poor people of the city, requesting they be taken to the royal residence. Raffaele Esposito baked three different pizzas and sent them to their majesties: the first, "Mastunicola", made with lard, cheese and basil; the second, called "Marinara", seasoned with garlic, oil and tomatoes; and the third, which he named "Monarca", with which he wished to honor the King and Queen by drawing the colors of the Italian national flag (red, white and green) with the ingredients tomato, mozzarella and basil. The latter being the queen's favorite, so it was renamed by Raffaele Esposito as "Pizza Margherita".

From that moment everyone wanted to try the queen's favorite pizza, so it spread throughout Italy quickly becoming the gastronomic symbol of the whole country and a unifying element as everyone from the Queen to the humblest peasant could eat it.

It was not long before the pizza was known and appreciated beyond Italy and it would eventually conquer the whole world.

The history of pizza has reached our time thanks to a queen and a pizza maker, so if you want to enjoy like a king or a queen do not forget to try our Pizzas Originale, with 8 delicious recipes for all tastes.

And you? Which pizza do you like best?

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