From disks of bread cooked on a stone in the inns of Naples, to the conquest of the whole world. A fascinating journey of the poor man’s food that has become increasingly rich in history, ingredients, flavors and glory.
Agriculture is born. In the Near East, men begin to cultivate selected plant species, emmer wheat and einkorn wheat, barley, legumes, and flax. Stone-baked polenta made of roasted and ground cereals or unleavened bread dates back to the Neolithic Age.
The ancient Egyptians discover yeast. The raising of dough made from crushed or ground cereals, makes it softer, lighter, more tasty and digestible after cooking. The eating of bread increases.
Today’s wheat comes from the Roman variety through selections and hybrids of different types of barley of the time. The word "flour" is derived from "far,” its Latin name. Farmers knead the flour of wheat grains milled with water, herbs and salt, and then put this round cake to cook on the stove, in the heat of hot ashes. The Romans sometimes use disks of bread dishes for dipping in food sauces.
With the Lombards, arrives a Germanic word for Italian (Gothic, Lombard): "bizzo-pizzo", from the German "bizzen." It means bite. From bite-sized morsel, a piece of bread, until cake is a logical path that linguists call a common process of metaphorical metonymic, a synecdoche chain.
In medieval Latin Codex Cajetanus Gaeta is for the first time called "pizza" a cake. It happens again in 1195 in a document of Penne in the Abruzzo region.
In medieval Latin of the Roman Curia reads "in panatteria, Scilicet guindalis, pizis, Caseo, LIGNIS" in a text and the Eagle of the fourteenth century "pissas fladonem quatuor et unum" (the fladone is a typical bakery product Abruzzo and Molise ). A "piczas casey, bread pizzas de" appears in a document of Celano of 1387-88. Rained claims from half of Italy, to the "piza panis" cancelleresco in Pesaro in 1531.
In his description of the ancient sites of Naples, the poet and essayist Benedetto Di Falco says that the "bun in Naples is called pizza."
The traditional cake of wheat flour kneaded and seasoned with garlic, lard and salt continues to meet the wishes of the people of the South, olive oil takes the place of the lard, add the cheese, gather herbs. At the dawn of the seventeenth century makes its appearance a recipe from the majestic aroma of basil, pizza "to Mastunicola" (in dialect, the teacher Nicholas). From here on, the basil becomes the basic ingredient of pizza and privileged.
It is only in the second half of the 700 that finally spreads in Italy the use of a berry exotic, imported from the Americas: the tomato.
The pizza is very popular among the common people, but not too proud barons, princes and rulers: it offers the facilities of the Bourbons, and Ferdinand IV, the cook in the ovens of Capodimonte, the same from which come the precious ceramics.
The first recipe of pizza as we know it today is probably stated in a treaty was printed in Naples in 1858, which describes the way in those years preparing the "true Neapolitan pizza." When the city was still the capital of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Francesco De Bourcard in Customs of Naples and contours described and paintings he even mention a sort of forerunner pizza Margherita, with mozzarella and basil: "Other (pizzas) are covered with grated cheese and seasoned lard neck, and there arises over a few basil leaves. It adds thin slices of mozzarella. "The tomato is optional, "sometimes you do use," writes the author of Neapolitan Swiss origin. Among other things, for the dressing you can use "what pops into your head."
Here's the pizza, "who makes and sells pizzas in Naples" says the dictionary Zingaretti 1922. Ce submit Matilde Serao, the first woman founder of a newspaper in Italy, including the evidence gathered in Naples since then written with Edward Scarfoglio "The pizzaiuolo who shop in the night, it makes a large number of these dunks round a thick paste, which burns out, but does not cook, full of almost raw tomatoes, garlic, pepper, oregano." always here, the Serao talks about the first attempt to leave the country of pizza. Failed. "Someday, an industrial Neapolitan had an idea. knowing that pizza is one of the Neapolitan cucinarie adoration, knowing that the Neapolitan colony in Rome is very large, he thought to open a pizzeria in Rome ... at first I noticed the crowd, then went dwindling. pizza, Neapolitan taken to its environment, it seemed a jarring and represented indigestion, his star paled and waned, in Rome, exotic plant, died in this Roman feast. "
"A Federico II, Naples around, liked those coarse foods, of which the Neapolitans are greedy: the cod, the sauce, caponata, mozzarella, pizza," writes Raffaele De Cesare in the historical essay The end of a kingdom. In Modern Dictionary published by Hoepli in 1905, known guide to the wilderness of neologisms that time, Alfredo Panzini puts it this way: "Pizza: common name of a popular Neapolitan dish. It consists in a sort of custard or pastry flour leavened much. Sprinkled with tomatoes, cheese, anchovies, etc.., At will of the customer, mettesi the oven where it bakes and swollen then and there. "What brought a dish so low lineage to become a symbol of Italian famous throughout the world, a planet where you eat 5 billion pizzas each year, it's a magic. Made of bread, tomato, mozzarella and basil.