It’s a commonly held belief that the comfort food we call “pizza” originated in Italy. Although that may be contested by some, there is no question that this delicacy finds its home and comfort with the Italians.
It may be hard to believe today, but at one point pizza existed as seasoned flat-breads with no toppings. Since pizza required very little ingredients, it was inexpensive and was sold mainly to peasants.
One Italian queen in the late 1880s, now famous in the culinary realm because of her contribution, changed all of this. Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni is said to have loved the simple flat-breads dearly. Her delight with the simple treat didn’t extend to all of those in the royal court, though.
It was decided that it was not proper for Queen Margherita to eat a food most common among the peasants, so the town baker was called to action. Chef Raffaele Esposito created a few forms that deviated from the usual flat-bread recipe for the Queen to try. The most famous of these creations became known as the pizza margherita. This flat-bread boasted the colors of the Italian flag using tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella — a pizza truly fit for a queen.
It’s no question why Queen Margherita fell in love with this mouthwatering creation. The individual notes of flavor blend to form a harmony of taste in your mouth. Many different American manufacturers have adopted, and adapted, this art form even though their success may be questionable. Despite the fact that Italy may not be able to pride itself on being the only origin of pizza, perhaps they can settle for being the home and origin of the pizza margherita, which most will agree is a melt-in-your-mouth indulgence.
Nicole Zygmont is a senior at West Chester University. An English major with a minor in Secondary Education, Nicole is an avid reader and loves to write. This rookie chef loves to experiment with new dishes – Italian cuisine being her favorite. Hungry for knowledge, she is excited to learn more about her favorite culture and foods.