What's better than a crispy Pizza from the Tuscookany oven?
March 10, 2017
Learn about Pizzas, the history of flat breads and the famous Margherita. Come to Tuscookany and we will teach you to make the best Pizzas you will ever eat!
It is quite impossible to think about Italian cuisine without mentioning, thinking about or imagining the crunchiness of a well-made pizza. Even here, in Tuscany, far from Naples, the city associated with pizza worldwide, there is no escape: the deliciousness of this comforting dish has conquered the entire peninsula and has crossed the national borders to become one, if not THE, symbol of Italian food. But where does it come from? Is it really a creation of the resourceful people of Naples? And what about the toppings and the classic Margherita? Scratching under the surface of today’s "junk-food" landscape we discover that our beloved pizza is a dish with ancient roots, an international soul and a mix of ingredients that brings together the entire human race.
A Prehistoric Pleasure
Are you looking for some flat bread, baked to perfection and maybe flavoured with garlic, herbs or onions? What about some cheese and dates or olive oil? A long, long time ago, way before the pizza became the perfect tomato-mozzarella triumph, people enjoyed baking flatbreads and adding toppings to enhance the flavour.
Certainly we know that the Ancient Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Chinese, the Etruscans, the Catalans and the inhabitants of India all shared this guilty pleasure. It was a pure expression of the combination of local ingredients. Ingredients included cheese and dates for the Persians and olive oil, garlic and herbs for the Romans and Ancient Greeks.
The Food of the Poor
Since the 16th century, in Naples, the pizza with tomatoes has been the food of the poor. It was a flatbread sold on street corners and enriched by tomatoes, thanks to the "discovery" of the Americas. The word "pizza" seems to be even older. In fact, apparently the world pizza or pizea entered the Neapolitan dialect in around 1000 A.D. Truth be told, at that time, the word did not mean "pizza", it is something related to the operation through which you take something out of a hot oven.
Your Majesty Margherita
Then June 11 1889 came and the world was introduced to the "real" pizza. The Neapolitan maestro and legendary pizza maker Raffaele Esposito decided to cook a pizza to celebrate the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. He was apparently inspired by the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (buffalo mozzarella) and green (basil). The Pizza Margherita was conceived, it was a huge success and since then has become the embodiment of pizza.
The pizza in Naples has remained special. Someone says it’s the water they use to make the dough. Others swear the secret is the buffalo mozzarella, the thin crust or the fresh ingredients. You just have to try it to believe it. Today in Naples there are over 1000 wood fired ovens that cook pizza everyday. It is more than a tradition, it is a way of life, a symbol of joie de vivre.
We have authentic wood burning ovens at all three of our villas at Tuscookany and you will learn on your cooking lessons in Tuscany to make traditional pizza dough and add toppings of your choice and bake it yourself. We love it!
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