When I was in Chicago as a student trainee many, many years ago, an engineer who “Western Electric Company"Asked the amazing question:"Do you have pizza in Italy?„
The question would have been: "Do you have Pizza Salami in Italy?", I would have with a clear conscience with a clear"No“Can answer.
Today I wouldn't be so sure anymore. Since that distant time there has been a proliferation of types of pizza that is terrifying to a traditionalist like me.
Pino Daniele: „Fatte 'na pizza c'a pummarola' ncoppa, vedrai che il mondo poi ti sorriderà."(" Make yourself a pizza with tomato sauce on it and you will see that the world will smile at you. ")
Charles Pierce: „The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 a.m."(" The perfect lover is the one who turns into a pizza at four o'clock in the morning. ")
Totò: „Ti offro una bella pizza… i soldi ce li hai?"(" I'll take you out for a pizza. Do you have any money with you? ")
„Qualcuno ha detto che i soldi non fanno la felicità. Ma con cosa si compra la pizza?"(" Someone said that money doesn't make you happy. But what do you use to buy a pizza? ")
„L’amore senza bacio è come la pizza senza formaggio."(" Love without kisses is like pizza without cheese. ")
Pizza is a spicy flatbread from the Italian cuisine baked in a wood-fired oven and made from a simple yeast dough.
No other dish became so popular in the post-war period as pizza, or as the dishes that are called pizza. In 1948 they hardly existed outside Italy. It was food for the poor: some yeast dough, a few tomatoes, that was all.
Although pizza is now at home all over the world, it is still considered a typical Italian, if not Neapolitan dish.
The true origin of the Pizza is in Italy an issue. Since the pizza is a flatbread in the broadest sense, there are many variants that have different names or properties depending on the area, and have been known throughout the Mediterranean since ancient times. Even the Greeks baked pastry flatbreads. In Italy, for example, the "Focaccia". Except for the invention of the pizza Naples other Italian cities also claim. One of the first pizzas, ultimately a topped focaccia, is said to be in Genoa Have been prepared: The Pissa d'Andrea was built around 1490 in honor of Andrea D'Oria, the big one Genoese admiral, prepared.
The innovation that gives us the special kind of Focaccia that we today "Pizza“Call was the use of tomatoes as a topping. It was that Pizza from Naplesthat made this decisive difference to other filled dough cakes: the pummarola. (Tomato or tomato sauce in Neapolitan). Various sources prove that the Neapolitans were the first to top their flatbreads with tomatoes. In 1830 a bakery on Port’Alba sold the first pizzas, and in 1858 the first written recipe appeared. Ultimately, the Neapolitan pizza established itself as “the” pizza and conquered the whole world under this name.
The pizza napoletana was on February 9, 2005 as a trademark within the European Union registered and the permitted ingredients specified. Making a verace pizza napoletana artigianale (real handmade Neapolitan pizza) as specialità tradizionale garantita (STG, guaranteed traditional specialty) is laid down in the Italian standard UNI 10791: 98.
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana has regulated the production of pizza down to the last detail. An excerpt from the standard of Pizza Napoletana STG „ ... a circular baked product with a maximum diameter of 35 cm with a raised dough edge and an interior covered with a topping. The inside is 0.4 cm thick, with a tolerance of ± 10%, the edge of the dough is 1-2 cm thick ..." "... the inside has a layer on which the red of the tomato perfectly mixed with the oil and, depending on the ingredients used, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic catch the eye; also the white of the mozzarella in more or less closely spaced spots and the more or less dark green of the basil leaves due to the cooking ...„
In the narrowest sense of the tradition of Neapolitan cuisine, only two variants are provided for the topping: Pizza marinara: with tomatoes, garlic, oregano and olive oil. Pizza Margherita: with tomatoes, Mozzarella STG,Mozzarella di bufala campana DOP (real, EU-wide protected buffalo mozzarella) or Fior di latte (made from cow's milk), basil and olive oil.
The original Italian pizza dough consists exclusively of four ingredients: flour, water, salt and very little yeast. The small amount of yeast is the secret of good taste.
Ingredients for 6-7 pizzas (30 cm)
1 liter of lukewarm water, 1800 g flour type 00 (similar to the German 405), 50-55 g sea salt, 3 g fresh yeast.
Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with 100 ml of lukewarm water and add about 50 g of flour. Stir the yeast mixture until it is homogeneous and thick. Let rise for about ten minutes. Put the rest of the flour on the work surface and make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture, salt and the remaining water into the well and knead everything well (at least 10 minutes).
Cover the dough with a damp cloth, place on a work surface and let rise at room temperature for at least two hours. After this time, form smaller balls of dough (200 g, enough for a pizza tray 30 cm in diameter) and let them rise for another four to six hours at room temperature. Then the dough balls are ready. They should be used for pizza preparation within the next six hours.
If you have less time, increase the amount of yeast to 30 to 40 g. Then you only have to let the dough rest for two to three hours. But the taste suffers.
Depending on the recipe, the pizza dough is not too lavishly topped with various ingredients. Usually a layer of peeled or strained tomatoes (also from the can, the so-called "pelati") comes first, which is seasoned with oregano, basil and other things. This is followed, if provided, by cheese (traditionally only Mozzarella, by no means Parmesan) and other ingredients, finally some olive oil.
The baking process
The pizza should be baked briefly at the highest possible temperature of 400 - 500 ° C for a few minutes, and this in the lowest possible chamber. Because temperatures above 250 ° C are usually hardly possible in household ovens, the baking time is longer and the result is not optimal. Using a preheated pizza stone instead of a baking sheet will give better results because the stone keeps the heat more even and prevents condensation.
Types of pizzas
In addition to the margherita and marinara mentioned above, there is a whole range of pizzas from the "first hour" that have established themselves as traditional pizzas.
Capricciosa: Tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms and artichokes in olive oil, cooked ham, black olives, hard egg.
Quattro stagioni: the same ingredients as for the Pizza capricciosawhich are placed separately on a quarter of the pizza.
Quattro formaggi: tomatoes (optional), mozzarella, other cheeses, basil. In Naples they are made “white” (without tomatoes). In general, especially in northern Italy, one of the cheeses is gorgonzola.
Prosciutto funghi e prosciutto: tomatoes, mozzarella, boiled ham, mushrooms pickled in olive oil.
Il pizaiolo del presidente
Pizza al taglio
The pizza al taglio (Pizza in pieces) is a variant of pizza that is primarily intended for street sales. This pizza is baked in large rectangular baking trays and then cut into pieces and sold over the counter by weight. It is sold in many bakeries, but also in specially designed pizza and focaccia shops. Because this type of pizza is not necessarily sold (and eaten) immediately after it is made, it needs a much moister batter to prevent it from drying out too quickly. This is the "pizza al taglio“Not as thin and crispy as the restaurant pizza, but much more juicy.
The worldwide spread of pizza
As a result of Italian emigrants, pizza found its way to the USA at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century. After the Second World War, it became known in Europe outside of Italy. And with the geographical spread there was also one miraculous increase in pizzas took place, initially abroad, where the pizza was partially adapted to local tastes, later also in Italy, where currently almost a war is being fought between supporters of the "traditional pizza"- and the “Gourmet pizza„.
The main thing is that it tastes good! But in view of some non-Italian “creations”, doubts are allowed as to whether the result should still be called “pizza”. With a pizza Hawaii, pizza meat loaf or pizza sausage you can really ask yourself this question. And although it is in Calabria There is also a “Pizza al salame piccante” on which there are black olives as well as spicy salami pieces, one may wonder why three out of four frozen pizzas sold in Germany are “Pizza Salami”. Especially since the types of salami used, with their smoked taste, almost form a counterpoint to Mediterranean cuisine.
When I'm with a Pizza-Quattro-Stagioni-Read the recipe "Edelsüß- Paprika" on the Internet or at one of them Pizza capricciosa the word "cream", then the (culinary) world is no longer okay with me. For me as a traditionalist, that would be like trying to sprinkle a Bavarian roast pork with Parmesan cheese.
Unthinkable for a long time - pizza ai frutti di mare
Interesting things about pizza
There are currently 183,000 pizzerias in Italy. Alone in the province Rome there are more than 15,000, followed by Milan with 9,250 pizzerias. Naples, the city where pizza was invented, there are only 8,200 pizzerias.
Originally was Pizza a poor man's meal, the ingredients are simple and inexpensive. In the meantime, star chefs cavort in this field in Italy and there is bitter opposition between the traditionalists and the gourmet chefs. For Salvatore di Matteo, prominent pizza maker Naples, is "the fashion of gourmet pizza like a cold because it will pass quickly”. One shouldn't speak of pizza, he says, but of a covered one Focaccia or from "Yeast dough flatbread with topping”. Antonio Starita on the other hand says: "I've seen the use of whipped cream, can there be anything worse? ”What are they talking about? In which Gourmet pizza makerSimone Padoan is there (1) Pizza with scaloppina made from foie gras, bacon, buffalo mozzarella, wafer-thin strips of peel made from pink grapefruit, wild herbs and roasted hazelnuts. Another gourmet pizza from Padoan (2) is topped with fat-boiled hake, pea puree, strawberries, basil mayonnaise and charcoal crumbs. Gabriele Bonci however, amazes its guests with its (3) LSD pizza, with Licorice, salsiccia and dates is occupied.
In October 2012 there was an outrage Naples: The renowned restaurant guide "Gambero rosso"claimed that the best pizza is not in Naples but in Verona to be found. For the Neapolitans who invented pizza, this was an affront. According to the public opinion, the fact that, according to the travel guide, no pizzeria deserves to be recognized in the whole of Naples borders on culinary racism.
Italy submitted an application to UNESCO in 2016 to make pizza a World Heritage Site. The art of pizza making is a symbol of Italy around the world, said Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina. The traditions of Italian food should be protected.
The pizzeria Brandi in Naples boasts with a marble tablet that it invented the pizza margherita on June 11, 1889. The owner Raffaele EspositoAccording to legend, it was in the Palazzo of Capodimonte called where King Umberto I.of Savoy with his wife Margherita stayed for a visit. The royal couple wanted a local specialty and were offered three pizza variants, one with ingredients in the colors of the Italian tricolor: tomato, Mozzarella and basil was topped. The Queen liked this pizza best. The pizza maker named his creation in her honor Margherita. Unfortunately, the legend does not correspond to the historical truth. The Queen had previously commissioned several pizza makers and selected from a list of 35 toppings. Messenger then brought her eight different pizzas to the palace.
The same pizzeria Brandi sued Google in June 2016 because its search engine called the famous pizzeria “finally closed“Stated. Despite the error being reported to Google, nothing changed in this search result for ten days. The pizzeria sued Google for damages of one million euros.
Hardly less famous than the pizzeria where the Pizza Margherita has been invented according to legend, is the proven since 1870 "Antica pizzeria da Michele"- especially since Julia Roberts had her ultimate pizza experience here in the film" Eat, Pray, Love ".
Master Class Crusty Bake non-stick pizza tray / crispy tray, steel, gray, 32 x 32 x 1.4
Pizza: 30 light and varied recipes
As with the Caffè sospeso Has Naples also set a sign of solidarity with the pizza and invented the pizza sospesa ("floating" pizza). This is how the church organizes Comunità di Sant'Egidio (Community of Sant’Egidio) the free distribution of 100 pizzas for the benefit of poor citizens of the city, as is the case with food banks for the needy. It is financed by pizza makers and private individuals from Naples.
The most expensive pizza in the world is that Saint Louis XIII for two people, which costs 8,300 euros. It is delivered to your home and accompanied by champagne, brandy and cognac. The topping consists of Buffalo mozzarella DOP and different types of caviar, lobster, crab and lobster.
Who would have thought? Germans eat more pizzas than Italians, at least as far as ready-made pizzas are concerned, which are also on the rise in the home country of this dish. On average, Italians eat just one and a half frozen pizzas a year, Germans more than ten.
April 2017: Danger from America? The US chain Pizza Hut (Pizzahütte) comes to Italy! Will the Italians then have to / want to be content with pizzas that are topped with pineapple rings?