Your tongue starts salivating the moment you think about pizzas. Though pizzas are native to Italy, the delicious dish is popular throughout the world and feasted upon by millions every day. What is it about pizzas that make them so celebrated and feted upon? What goes into the making of a pizza? When was the first pizza rustled up? These are some of the questions that may have crossed your mind the last time you had a pizza.
Tracing the origin of pizzas
The humble flatbread, prepared from unleavened dough, is regarded as the earliest predecessor of the pizza. The origin of flatbreads can be traced back to the Neolithic age. However, it was the Egyptians who were the first to make bread from yeast and in due course of time, they added many ingredients to add to its deliciousness.
The pizza in its most primitive form was prepared out of wheat flour kneaded with olive oil and yeasted and thereafter flavored with toppings like cheese, dates, and herbs. The term ‘pizza’ was coined in circa 997AD, going by archived documents that mention Gaeta as the fare’s birthplace. Nevertheless, the modern version of the pizza that we’re familiar with owes its origin to Naples.
In the 16th century, pizzas started gaining popularity as a street food and gradually became the staple fare of the poor in Naples. However, with the passage of time, the nobility and aristocratic classes took to relishing pizzas that were enriched with more nutritious ingredients, prominent amongst them being tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, and marjoram.
The preparation of pizza in modern day Italy
Pizzas continue to be one of the most salient fares of Italy and each and every region in the Mediterranean country has its distinctive variety. Broadly speaking, there are two broad categories of pizza-the Neapolitan (Naples) and the Rome varieties. All the other variations can be grouped under any of the above two chief classifications. Pizzerias (restaurants exclusively serving pizza dishes) usually serve the rounded form whereas the ones served on the street are usually in slices.