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A word on Neapolitan pizza!

An organization exists in Napoli named the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana that oversees the creation of authentic Neapolitan pizza. There are a number of specific characteristics that the pizza must have, to be labelled ‘Neapolitan’. The dough must be hand pressed with Italian flour and the precise amount of water. The tomatoes are always Italian, usually San Marzano. And the mozzarella cheese (Buffalo Mozzarella) is that from water buffalo in the region between Napoli and Roma. These are the ingredients, with practised hands and the special high-temperature wood-burning oven that make truly authentic Neapolitan pizzas.

The Italian tradition of pizza dates back almost 200 years when pizza was baked in wood-burning fireplaces. The first Italian pizza, dating to 1830, was simply a basic round of bread with tomatoes baked in a wood-burning oven or “Forno a legna”. It was in 1890 when Queen Regina Margherita found out about Raffaele Esposito’s talents as a pizzaiolo in Port’Alba, Napoli that she made it a point to visit. Upon her arrival, il Signor Esposito created a special pizza for the queen, adding mozzarella to the basic tomato pizza. The resulting creation was dubbed the “Margherita” pizza named for her majesty.