Discover the history of one of the world’s favorite dishes: the pizza!

A pizza is good at any time. But do you know the origin of this popular dish?

Historians confer a multiple nationality to this gastronomic marvel: the disc would have been invented in Egypt, around six thousand years before Christ. Others claim that the first ones were the Greeks, who made pasta from wheat flour, rice or chickpeas and baked them on hot bricks.

Produced from flour and water and opened to a very thin thickness, the disc was known as “Abraham’s Bread” or “Piscea”, which probably gave rise to the current name “Pizza”.

Around 300  b.C., the Phoenicians added meat and onion to the dough disk. Regional herbs and olive oil, common in the Middle East and Mediterranean, were also used. The story goes that it was the Turks, who were already delighted with the recipe, who took it to the port of Naples, in southern Italy, during the Crusades.

The arrival in the land of the boot

Pizza as we know it today has its origins in Italy. The Neapolitans added wheat in the dough and tomato sauce to the recipe, a fruit discovered in the Americas and taken to Europe by the Spaniards. The Napolitano flavor, also known as Marinara, is a tribute to the city that spread pizza as it is today. It takes a hearty base of tomato sauce, often with chunks, garlic, oregano, olive oil and nothing else.

Another very traditional flavor that has its origins in the southern Italian port is the Margherita pizza, which uses tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. The red of the tomato, the white of the cheese and the green of the basil are the colors of the Italian flag, and the name of the recipe pays homage to Queen Margherita of Savoy.

Controlled Origin and high quality standard

In the 20th century, the Association of the True Neapolitan Pizza was founded in Naples, with the mission to promote the cuisine and tradition of Neapolitan pizza, defending the original recipe from the changes that the dish has undergone throughout the planet.

The association works for Neapolitan pizza to be recognized by the Italian government as a “DOC” (Denominazione di Origine Controllata or Controlled Designation of Origin), a designation that regulates regional products, such as the famous Portuguese wines and French cheeses.

According to the association, the Verace Pizza Napoletana must be made with flour, natural yeast or brewer’s yeast, water and salt. The pizza must also be worked only with the hands or by some mixers duly approved by a committee of the organization. After resting, the dough must be stretched by hand, without the use of a roller or mechanical equipment. When baking, the pizza must be placed in a wood oven at 485 °C, and no other utensils must be placed on the oven surface.