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gourmet pizza aims at combining surprising flavors while maintaining the visual delight that defines the essence of gourmet.


are not far from reality. For a dish to be considered gourmet it should be characterized by refined, elabo- rate preparation and served in a stunning display and


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have a balance of several contrasting, rich flavors. Gourmet pizza is no different. Pizza has been around


for thousands of years. Various ancient cultures produced flatbreads with toppings. The actual flat piece of bread was meant to act as an edible plate. The Greeks called this round, flat piece of bread a plakuntos, and it would often be topped or finished with olive oil, garlic, onion and herbs. At that time, pizza was a dish prepared for poor people and sold on the streets. It was not until the late eighteenth century that they began adding tomatoes to their flatbread creations, and the more modern version of the pizza began to take shape. The word pizza became popularized in the sixteenth


century in Naples when Esposito of Pizzeria di Pietro created a pizza topped with sliced tomato, basil, and mozzarella for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. The colors were considered patriotic and resembled the Italian flag. This pizza was named Pizza Margherita in honor of the Queen and set the standard for which pizza is created today. Pizza made its way to the United States in the late


nineteenth century with the arrival of Italian immigrants. Cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Saint Louis became famous for their amazing pizzas, as large pockets of Italians settled in the areas and began peddling pizza on the streets. They would wear large metal washtubs on their heads and peddle up and down the sidewalks, selling pizza at two cents a slice. While pizza began as a food sold on the streets for poor


The House & Home Magazine


hen we hear the word gourmet, we envision a culinary wonder, delightfully displayed on a plate. Our expectations


people, it quickly became a favorite among a broad range of people living in these cities and spanning financial classes. However, the boom in the pizza industry came after World War II, when returning GIs created a nationwide demand for the pizza they had eaten and loved in Italy. The most popular toppings for pizza have settled into


pepperoni, cheese, peppers, onions, anchovies, sausage, and mushrooms. Today, chefs have been taking an ancient dish and opening a whole new world of delicious possibilities. Gourmet pizza was created by high-end chefs for the


privileged. Their goal was to revive a common dish and create a new class of enjoyment for an old favorite. Because of its versatility, pizza is open to improvisation.


However, gourmet pizza aims at combining surprising flavors while maintaining the visual delight that defines the essence of gourmet. Gourmet pizza is gaining popularity throughout the country, and parlor style pizzerias are popping up in communities across America. Defining a gourmet pizza against a regular pizza


begins with the selection of ingredients. Only the freshest ingredients with the finest of quality are used. When using meats, they must be fresh and high quality as well. They should be organic and nitrate free to maintain purity of flavor. When it comes to cheese, fresh mozzarella is preferred and highly encouraged. Each bite of a gourmet pizza proves the quality of each chosen ingredient. Although created for the privileged, a gourmet pizza can


be created at home. With a little imagination and a solid determination to find high quality ingredients, you can become a gourmet pizza chef. Creating the perfect gourmet pizza that matches your taste buds and personal preferences takes experimentation and patience. However, finding a combination that takes an old favorite and makes it new is worth every minute. To help you find a new and exciting flavor, here are a few of our favorites. H


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