With pizza Naples has become world famous thanks to two decidedly non native ingredients: mozzarella and tomatoes. The former was the merit of the Longobards who, after the fall of the Roman Empire, brought the buffalo to Lazio and Campania (it is from the milk of these beasts that mozzarella came into being). The latter was imported from far away Peru, via the Spanish conquistadores, to Italy. After a shaky start, the exotic tomato triumphantly entered the Italian kitchen, and especially, Neapolitan cuisine.
The very first pizza was the marinara – tomato, olive oil, garlic and oregano. The margarita pizza came into being in 1889 on the occasion of a visit to Naples by the royal Savoy family. Queen Margaret liked it so much that she permitted its inventor, the pizza maker Raffaele Esposito, to use her name for this specialty rich in delicious stringy melted cheese. From then on it has become a planetary triumph: you can eat pizza from New York to Beijing and from Sydney to Moscow. It will not always be a Neapolitan pizza, with that wonderfully thin crust with its crunchy frame, but a thicker, higher and perhaps a bit chewy version, as the Americans like it, and loaded with ingredients of all sorts (cold cuts, pickles, vegetables, cheeses, even fruit!)… But it is, and always will be, Pizza, which makes your heart skip a beat each time and your mouth water.
Now that the rage of the wood fired oven has finally abated a bit and thanks to the electric oven with lava rock, the risk of burning pizza has been banished. Even less expert pizza makers manage to create a perfectly delicious smoking pizza every time.