Food for Thought: The Story Behind the Margherita Pizza
We eat them, we drink them, we savour them and they make our mouths water, but where exactly did they get their name?
There are hundreds of foods and drinks out there with a title attached to them but did you ever wonder about its history?
This week we’re bringing you the story behind the much-loved Margherita Pizza.
When it comes to pizza, Italians are famed for their love of thin and crispy crust and the Margherita Pizza is a favourite across the world.
Back in the 16th century, flatbread was known as a pizza. It was seen as dish of the poor and was sold in the streets. For a long time, it was rare to see it even considered as a kitchen recipe staple.
But that changed in the 1800’s.
In June 1889, the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, and her husband King Umbero I, noticed peasants eating large, flat breads with various and colourful toppings.
Curious as to what they tasted like, the queen asked to bring forth one of the pizza breads.
The Queen fell in love with the bread and its taste and would regularly eat it in court (though it was seen as a peasant food).
In her honour, legendary Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the "Pizza Margherita" for the Queen.
The pizza was garnished fittingly with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil – the colours to represent the Italian flag.
And so, the Margherita Pizza was born.
Though there are varying reports from old recipe books with mentions of pizzas with the same toppings, there is no doubt that the story with Queen Margherita is the one that made the topping so popular.