World Pizza Day – The most famous and loved Italian food in the world
January 17th is World Pizza Day, which since 2017 has been awarded the official title of World Heritage by the UNESCO Committee for Immaterial Cultural Protection. The symbolic dish of Italian gastronomy is one of the most popular and widespread foods in the world: in Italy about 8 million of them are baked every day!
Italians’ favorite fillings are the classic and timeless ones like Margherita, Napoletana, Marinara and Capricciosa; but maybe not everyone knows when and how the famous stuffed disc was born.
Let’s discover it together!
How was the pizza born?
One of the oldest foods (the first proofs date back to the Neolithic period) is bread.
Over the centuries and in different regions of the Mediterranean, from Greece to Sardinia, there are several re-working of bread: the ancient Greeks, for example, prepared a flattened bread, called πλακοῦς (plakous) while according to scholars the Sardinians already knew 3,000 years ago the use of yeast. But the real and original combination of dough and tomato, which created quite a lot of mistrust at the beginning, dates back to the mid-18th century in the Kingdom of Naples.
It took little time to go from initial distrust to the success of this new Neapolitan gastronomic creation: pizza has conquered everyone, from the poorest classes to the court of the Bourbon sovereigns, up to the Royal family of the House of Savoy.
It was in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy that in 1889 the pizza chef Raffaele Esposito, from the Brandi pizzeria in Naples, created the timeless myth of “Pizza Margherita”! A true tricolor gastronomic banner: the white of mozzarella, the red of tomato and the green of basil. Until the early ‘900 pizza and pizzerias remained a Neapolitan peculiarity only and only afterwards, gradually began to spread throughout the Italian territory.
The Italians who emigrated did the rest, bringing pizza all over the world.
Some curiosities you don’t know about pizza:
Why does everybody like pizza?
La composizione e gli ingredienti combinati insieme sono un concentrato di sostanze che stimolano non solo il gusto ma anche numerosi centro del piacere. Bisogna ammettere che l’unione di carboidrati, pomodoro, fiordilatte e altri ingredienti è senza dubbio ECCEZIONALE!
The Pizza effect
In sociology it is called Pizza Effect, a local phenomenon that first has success abroad (and is instead ignored in the country of origin) and only then returns to the forefront in the place of origin.
Pizza in America
According to U.S. statistics the favorite pizza of the Americans is the now famous Pizza Pepperoni. But do not be confused by the name, in fact it is not seasoned with vegetables, but with spicy salami (the name Pepperoni was just this particular cold cuts).
That’s why in America pizza is drawn with red dots (the slices of salami).
Pizza printed in 3D
NASA funded the creation of a robot, called BeeHex, to print 3D food and accompany astronauts into space. Pizza is one of the first printed foods and will surely fly with the astronauts on their next mission to Mars.
Before Google there was pizza
One of the inventors of Google, Sergey Brin, before he started creating the world’s most famous search engine, tried to set up the first home pizza service ordered by fax. Fortunately, it was a complete failure!
The longest pizza in the world
Who could this world record belong to if not the Italians? The inventor country of pizza in 2015 presented a pizza of almost 1,600 meters and about 5 tons of weight. 5 ovens, 200 volunteers, 80 members of the Italian Pizzaioli National Team, 40 people in charge of moving the ovens and 3 minutes for every single meter of pizza.
Our mouths are watering! We could really have a nice pizza right now 😉
So we decided to give you the recipe (signed Chef Cuokka) to make a perfect homemade pizza in your home kitchen and celebrate World Pizza Day.
Good pizza to everyone!
Very good homemade PIZZA
Ingredients for 3 / 4 dough for pizza:
- 450 gr of flour
- 250 ml of water
- 12 gr of salt
- 1 gr of brewer’s yeast
Ingredienti per farcitura classica margherita
- 400 gr of peeled tomatoes
- 300 gr of perfectly drained mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil
- extra virgin olive oil
1) Measure the water in a bowl and take a small amount of water from two different cups: dissolve the salt in one cup and the brewer’s yeast in the other.
2) Pour the water into a larger bowl and add the small glass with the brewer’s yeast.
3) Start adding gradually and slowly the sifted flour separately, incorporating it gradually into the water, then when the flour is finished add the salt dissolved in water.
4) Mix until you reach the “dough point”. The procedural guideline says that this phase must last about 10 minutes.
5) Overturn on the worktop and work for 20 minutes. Do not underestimate this time: it is extremely necessary to obtain a non-sticky, soft and elastic dough and a soft and dry pizza. Fold and crush repeatedly, then as the 20 minutes approach the dough will become soft and more and more yielding and finally it will have a silky appearance.
6) At this point place it in a glass or porcelain bowl, cover with film and leave to rise for 2 hours.
7) After 2 hours, cut the dough by hand. The procedural guideline recommends that you to obtain doughs weighing between 180 and 250 g (I had 3 of them weighing 240 g).
8) Put them on a non-floured cloth and leave them to rise for another 4/6 hours at a temperature of 25°C.
9) Almost at the end of leavening proceed with the preparation of the filling: blend the peeled tomatoes with an immersion blender, add salt, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of oil. Turn well to amalgamate everything. Cut the mozzarella, squeeze it in a cloth (even better to make it drain the night before) to avoid water on the pizza during cooking and set aside
10) Once the doughs have risen, roll them out one at a time on a shelf, this time the wood is fine too, sprinkled with semolina flour, without using the rolling pin but widening it with your hands, from the center towards the edge.
11) Take the mold out of the oven, transfer the pizza disc, without oiling… Now you can season it.
12) The pizza should be baked in a hot oven at 220 degrees for about 20 minutes.
The trick for a perfect Margherita? Add the mozzarella halfway through 😉