Italy’s symbol all over the world, pizza came into being a long time ago. However, not everyone knows its story. It is supposed to be already present, even though with different shapes and ingredients, in the Etruscan culinary tradition; however, we need to wait for the IX Century for the product to acquire the features that even today are untouched.
Indeed, initially it was a quite lowly dish: dough for making bread baked in a wood fired oven and dressed with a few and simple ingredients such as garlic, lard and salt. Then tomato sauce, imported from Peru after America’s discovery, was added.
It was in the summer of 1889 that the well-known pizza maker Gennaro Esposito, in honor of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita’s visit to Naples, prepared a special pizza which resembled the Italian flag’s colors. Tomato, mozzarella and basil were the ingredients of what was called “Pizza Margherita”, in honor of the Queen who was enthusiastic about it.
Actually, at the beginning of that Century we already have news of locals specialized in the production of pizzas in Naples; initially as ovens selling street food, later as pizzerias. The Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba is regarded as the oldest pizzeria in the city still existent; it began to make pizzas for peddlers in the VIII Century to then become a restaurant/pizzeria in 1830.
The Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (Neapolitan True Pizza Association), founded in 1984, recognizes as authentic Neapolitan pizza only two variations: the pizza Margherita and the Marinara. They are required to have the following characteristics: soft and elastic dough; round shape with a maximum diameter of 35 cm; pizza borders raised of 1-2 cm (called “cornicione”) and baking exclusively in wood fired ovens.
There is no place in the world where pizza is not known and loved, even though with variants relative to the culinary tradition of the place. That is why Refrattari Valoriani offers a wide range of professional ovens made of refractory materials that allow the pizza baking with all due respect to the real tradition. So that future generations may know that pizza, the real one, is made by hand, baked in a wood fired oven that enhances the food and so that it keeps on representing in the collective imagination the handmade dish par excellence.