A Brief Overview of Italian Pizza
Pizza, the delicious baked focaccia crust with cheese and tomato, that is known in every corner of the globe. Origins of the first pizzas date back to the 18th century in Naples, Italy. The simple flatbread was sold as street food and was a poor man’s meal, until later on when Margherita Savoia, the queen of Italy, ‘created’ the Margherita pizza (tomato, mozzarella and basil) that also matched Italy’s flag. Slowly the idea of pizza as a plain disc of bread evolved into the classic food we know and love. Now in Italy, you can find many different types of pizza.
- Napoletana Pizza: the true and genuine Italian pizza marked by it’s light and al dente crust. Cooked for just a few minutes at a high temperature in a wood-fired oven, the mozzarella is melted & stringy and the tomato is juicy. This pizza will flop and bend if you pick up a piece with your hands. GNAMM. (Sidenote: The Art of Neopolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ was added to the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2017)
- Roman Pizza: On the contrary to the Napoletana-style pizza, this crust is crunchy, well cooked and can be easily eaten with your hands.
- Calzone: Out of Naples, this pizza is folded in half to create a half-moon shape. In essence it is a giant and drool worthy pizza pocket.
- Pizza al trancio: this pizza by the slice or by the square is another variation. Most times this pizza is cooked in an electric oven and not the classic wood fired oven. Great to-go option for hungry travellers.
- Fried Pizza: Yes, it is as gluttonous as it sounds. Another genius street food invention out of Naples. pizza fritta is basically a calzone filled with tomato, cheeses and/or salami, fried to perfection.
While the type of preparation may differ here, the ingredients and types of pizza are sacred. Some classics to choose from are Marinara ( tomato, garlic, oregano, oil), Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil), Capricciosa (tomato, mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, black olives, mushrooms) or Napoli ( tomato, capers, anchovies). You can find just about any combination of classic ingredients. However be warned: NO pineapple. NO pepperoni (unless you are ordering peppers). NO BBQ. Not on an Italian pizza anyway.
Pizza on the Farm
Speaking of the many alterations and cultures created around pizza. One thing I heard of recently that I found particularly interesting was the idea of “Pizza on the Farm”. In Wisconsin, and possibly in other states in the US, this novelty idea is becoming more and more popular. Even though I am a stickler for tradition, this idea is worthy of taking note because it brings the ingredients, the producers and the consumers in the same context.
So what is it? It is just that- Pizza on a farm. Numerous farmhouses across Wisconsin have begun doing pizza nights on the weekends. Many of these farms offer a unique experience of eating farm fresh, organic and locally produced food. They use organic meats and vegetables and cheeses produced on their farm, or sourced locally. While you wait you can visit the farm, try a brew produced on site or browse their artisan products. Once the pizza is out of the wood fired oven, grab a spot at the rustic family-style seating or on the lawn and enjoy!
Creating Food Communities
So, pizza has gone many places in it’s rich history. From the streets of Naples, to fast-food chains like Domino’s, to gourmet pizzas in chic city restaurants. Now on some Wisco farms, pizza has found its place among the fields and livestock that offer us the ingredients. It also offers a community that brings the farmers and the consumers together. Instead of sitting at home, watching TV and ordering pizza for delivery — tell the kids to get in the car and head out to the farm. We need any excuse to get kids (& let’s be honest- us adults too) disconnected from their technology and out of the house. Pizza on the farm is an exciting outing that not only offers good quality food, but brings us all back in touch with where the food is produced in the first place. What do you think? Have you ever experienced Pizza on the Farm?
Check it out!
Looking for a Pizza Farm? Here’s a few pizza farms across Wisconsin to choose from
- Stoney Acres Farm: located in Athens, Wisconsin. Every Friday & Saturday from April 20th-November 3rd.
- Grassway Organics: located in East Troy, Wisconsin. Every Saturday from May-October.
- Suncrest Gardens: located in Cochrane, Wisconsin. Every Friday & Saturday May-September, Saturdays in October.
Author: Ali @ Sustainable Psyche
My name is Ali. I am an American living in Italy. I am passionate about delicious food that is also ethical, healthy and sustainable. I love pasta and pizza, traveling, horseback riding and exploring the vibrant city of Milan that I call home.
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