Margherita pizzas are considered by many to be the quintessential Italian food.
According to popular tradition, in 1889, 28 years after the unification of Italy, during a visit to Naples of Queen Margherita of Savoy, wife of King Umberto I, chef Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi and his wife created a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). They named it after the Queen – Pizza Margherita.
Descriptions of such a pizza recipe, however, can be traced back to at least 1866 in Francesco DeBouchard book “Customs and Traditions of Naples” – (Vol II, p.. 124). There he describes the most popular pizza toppings of the time which included one with cheese and basil, often topped with slices of mozzarella.
Whatever the real origins of this pizza recipe are, all we know for sure is that Raffaele Esposito’s version for Queen Margherita was the one that made it popular. Since then it has grown into one of the most recognisable symbol of Italian food culture in the world.
Picture and information from http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy-featured/recipes/pizza-margherita-history-and-recipe. Head over there for a recipe 🙂