Pizza became famous in Italy after the 18th century, but its origins go back to the Later, in the 1st century CE, Italians flavored this plain bread with salt and spices like pepper, as well as herbs like parsley or mint. They called this new, tasty bread ‘focaccia’.
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This was a very handy kind of food because it could be made and eaten easily and quickly. It was baked in ovens made with lava stones from a volcano. Focaccia could be topped with scraps of food and onions. Yet, the people of Naples were the first to put tomatoes on focaccia in the 1700s, which formed the beginning of today’s pizza.
The first pizzerias, with wood-burning brick ovens, opened first in Naples, too. The taste of pizza, which was only eaten by the poor people, was unknown to the nobility until 1889, when Queen Margherita and her husband King Umberto I visited Naples. The Queen had heard about the delicious pizzas of the most famous chef in town, Raffaele.
When she wanted to taste his specialties Raffaele made a special pizza for her with the colors of the Italian flag.He used mozzarella cheese (white), basil (green), and tomatoes (red). As it was unusual for queens and kings to eat with the public, Raffaele’s pizza was delivered to the Queen’s palace. The Queen liked this pizza so much that she sent Raffaele a thank you letter. Raffaele named the pizza “Pizza Margherita in honor of the Queen. After this, mozzarella and tomatoes became standard ingredients for pizza.