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BENVENUTI! Pizza! The Choice of Kings & Queens

It’s 1889. Te Italian King Umberto I and his wife, the be- loved Queen Margherita of Savoy, were visiting their subjects in Naples. Te story goes that while in Naples, the Queen tired of French food and sum- moned Naples’ most famous pizza maker, Raffaele Esposito, to bake her three pizzas.

As history has recorded it, she didn’t like the mari- nara with garlic nor the Napoli with anchovies, but loved the pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and so it was named in her honor, Pizza Mar- gherita…the red, white and green ingredients coin- cidentally being the colors of the Italian flag.

Tere is some dispute as to the historical accuracy of this account, but who’s quibbling? It’s a good story!

Te basic recipe usually entails a flat, round base of dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese before baking to perfection. Meats and vegetables can be added to create any number of combinations. Te recipes for modern pizza, including the Margherita, were brought to the United States by Italian immigrants, and first appeared in geographical areas where Italians lived and worked. Te coun- try’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, opened in Little Italy in New York City in 1905. Still going strong, Lombardi’s recently celebrated its 100th anniversary!

Today, food surveys of U.S. eating habits indicate that 13 percent of Americans eat pizza on any given day… and it’s no wonder. Tere’s probably not a town in America that doesn’t have a pizza restaurant, chain or supermarket that doesn’t sell it in one form or another.

By the way, here’s a trivia question: What’s the origin of the word “pizza?” It apparently first appeared in a Latin text from the Southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD. It stated, “A tenant of certain property is to give Gaeta’s Bishop twelve pizzas every Christmas and Easter.”

A great way to pay the rent or mortgage.

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| Winter 2016 |

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