27 June 2009
Pizza in Italy is not the pizza that most Americans are familiar with. Think of a crust about the thickness of a tortilla with a thin layer of toppings, these toppings may or may not include a tomato based sauce. The basic pizza is pizza margherita which is simply a crust with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil; much as espresso is the base of all coffee drinks in Italy, pizza margherita is the base of most pizzas in Italy. Toppings are applied thinly allowing each to be tasted but not enough to overpower each other. The best pizzas are cooked in wood burning ovens where the pizzas are slid in on a wood platter and cook in just a few minutes – presto!
Pizza is also frequently eaten with a knife and fork, none of the triangular slices. Pieces are cut into narrow strips and folded upon themselves to be eaten. Pizza is served in pizzerias that are sit-down establishments generally open only for dinner while a pizza tavola serves pizza by the slice at a walk up counter and are usually open before lunch and dinner.
Pizza originated in Napoli as pizza margherita and is an Italian tradition that is not duplicated with what American’s call “pizza”. In my opinion the original pizza is soooo much better.