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Pizza: the recipe to make it at home

The pizza, symbol of Italy worldwide, is much more than just a dish: it's culture, tradition, and passion all rolled into one. With its leavened dough base, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, pizza embodies the essence of Italian cuisine and has won over the taste buds of millions worldwide. But behind this beloved dish lies a fascinating history and a wide array of variations that reflect the cultural diversity of Italian regions and the international taste for gastronomic innovation.

A bit of history

Pizza's history traces back to antiquity, when ancient Greeks and Romans prepared similar flatbread dishes topped with olive oil, herbs, and cheese.

It wasn't until the 18th century in Naples that pizza began to take the form we know today. Initially considered a food for the poor, pizza soon became popular among all social classes, including the wealthiest. In fact, the name of the most classic and well-known pizza, the one with tomato and mozzarella, has a royal origin. In 1889, pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito created the "Margherita" pizza in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy's visit to Naples: the pizza was topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, whose colors—red, white, and green—mirrored those of the Italian flag.

The pizza conquers the world

Since then, the Margherita pizza has become a symbol of Italy and an iconic dish appreciated worldwide: from a local phenomenon, pizzerias have spread from Southern to Northern Italy and abroad, also thanks to Italian migrants who brought a taste of their culinary traditions to new continents.

In 2017, the art of the Neapolitan pizzaiolo was declared by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The recipe of Margherita pizza

After talking so much about pizza, perhaps you feel like trying your hand at baking a fragrant pizza comfortably at home. Below, we offer you the recipe from our Cesarina Emanuela to prepare a tasty Margherita pizza.

Pizza and pizzas

Well, now that you know how to make a true Margherita pizza, let's continue our pizza story... Or should we say "pizzas"? Yes, because besides the Neapolitan pizza with its soft and fluffy base, considered the most authentic and traditional, there are many others with very different characteristics, so that everyone can find the one that best suits their taste. There's the Roman pizza characterized by a crispy and thin base; the Palermitan one (the "sfincione"), with a thick and soft base with breadcrumbs, onion, caciocavallo cheese, and tomato preserve; then there's the typical Sicilian pizza, a fried calzone with soft dough filled with cheese and desalted anchovies; and still the Genoese, Pisan, Marchigiana pizzas, just to name a few.

Pizzaiolo kneading flour and water

There are also international variations, which often make conservative Italians wrinkle their noses. The most vilified is surely the Hawaiian pizza, whose effect on traditional pizza lovers is comparable to that of garlic on vampires. Born in Canada (yes, Hawaii has nothing to do with it) by the Greek cook Sotirios Panopoulos, the unusual combination of cooked ham, pineapple, and mozzarella creates a sweet-savory mix that divides pizza lovers into two sharply opposing factions. This clash will probably never end, as Hawaiian pizza remains popular in many countries. Much to the chagrin of traditionalists.

The United States also gave birth to several pizza variations, such as the New York style pizza, a pizza with a crispy crust but a soft and thin enough dough to be folded in half and eaten 'on the go'; or the Chicago style pizza (deep-dish pizza) with very high edges and baked in a pan.

But the variations don't end there. Japan, for example, has also contributed: in the Land of the Rising Sun, it is common to find Margherita pizzas with locally flavored toppings, such as teriyaki chicken.

Hawaiian pizza and Chicago-style pizza seen from above

In short, pizza, with its rich history and its almost infinite varieties, is and will continue to be one of the most beloved dishes in the world, and its ability to adapt to local traditions is a tangible sign of the unifying power of cuisine, capable of crossing cultures and generations.

The Cesarine experiences dedicated to pizza

Discover the experiences we have prepared for you, all dedicated to pizza: between cooking classes and menus where pizza is the protagonist, you'll be spoiled for choice!

View experiences

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