September 29, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nick Anis 909-860-6914 or 888-584-5788, pager:
A Meal with a Plate Made of Bread
Pizza was considered a peasant's meal in Italy for centuries. Modern
Pizza is believed to have been invented to Raffaele Esposito a baker in Napes
aski (Napoli), in the Campania region of Italy.
According to published reports, in 1889 Esposito of Pizzeria di Pietro (now
called Pizzeria Brandi) baked pizza especially for the visit of Italian King
Umberto I and Queen Margherita. One of these pizzas embellished the classic
pizza alla marinara with mozzarella and basil.
According to historians this pizza was said to be very patriotic and because it "resembled the
Italian flag" with its colors of green (basil), white (mozzarella), and red
(tomatoes), and was favored by the Queen.
This pizza was named Pizza Margherita after the Queen of is believed to be
the origin of the pizza we have today. Many believe it also establishes
Naples as the pizza capitol of the world. If you visit Europe you'll find that what we call a Cheese Pizza is commonly
referred to as a Marghertia Pizza.
In 1830 what is believed to be "the world's first true pizzeria,"
Antica Pizzeria Port' Alba, opened. This pizzeria is still in business
today at Via Port'Alba 18 in Naples!
The general consensus is that the most authentic pizza is Pizza Napoletana
(Neapolitan Pizza) made with fresh mozzarella, home-made sauce from fresh vine
ripened tomatoes and fresh herbs, and the artistry of the pizzaioli, the pizza
Truly great pizza dough is made only with flour, natural yeast or brewers
yeast, salt and water. It must be kneaded by hand or mixers which do not cause
the dough to overheat, and the dough must be punched down and shaped by
The Original Pizza Was Probably not Italian
Pizza is basically a meal prepared in a plate made of bread. This idea
actually dates back to the 16 century Greeks who eat flat round bread (plankutos)
backed with an assortment of toppings.
Tomatoes, which was originally thought to be a poisonous ornamental plant,
came from Italy to Mexico and from Peru to Spain.
True mozzarella is actually made from the milk of the water buffalo and was
imported from India in the 7th century. It was not widely available as a
cheese product in Southern Italy and Campania until the second half of the
Pizza migrated to America with Italian immigrants in the latter half of the
19th century. By the turn of the century, Italians had begun to open their own
bakeries and were selling groceries as well as pizza. Gennaro Lombardi opened
the first true U.S. pizzeria in 1905 in New York City at 53 1/3 Spring Street
(Lombardi's is reopened today at 32 Spring Street).
But it wasn't until after World War II when returning GI's created a
nationwide demand for the pizza they had eaten and loved in Italy that pizza
In the 1950's packaged pizzas to prepare at home from Chef Boyardee hit the
market and Pizza Hut, Shakeys, and other mass production pizza parlors appeared
greatly expanding the market for pizza. Today, pizza is consistently
within the top 3 foods eaten by Americans and a staple of the American diet. Pizza
consumption in the United States is staggering. It's estimated that Americans
eat approximately 150 acres of pizza each day, or about 400 slices per second.
The pizza industry is estimated to gross more than $35 billion annually.
There are four main components of a basic pizza pie.
- 1. Crust
- 2. Sauce
- 3. Cheese
- 4. Toppings
These four basic pizza components should be in balance; contrary to popular
belief, too much cheese does not make a better pizza. Besides good quality
cheese in the right proportion, a good crust is also crucial. According to pizza
connoisseur, imperfections with the sauce or cheese will be overlooked if the
crust is exceptional.
If you thought there was lots of ways to prepare potatoes or eggs, Pizza has
even may variations. Pizza is a perfect dish for improvisation. For
example these days it's not just limited to the traditional flat round
Neapolitan type. There are also deep-dish pizzas, stuffed pizzas, stuffed crust
pizzas, pizza pockets, pizza turnovers, rolled pizzas, pizza-on-a-stick, pizza
wraps, toaster pizzas, grilled pizzas, etc.
The only limit on types of pizza with all those combinations of sauce,
cheese, and toppings seems to be one's creativity.
However, the best pizza still comes from the individual pizzaiolo, like
Brooklyn Pizza Works and Italian Restaurant, who prepares yeast dough and
ingredients daily and carefully heats the oven before baking the first
So drop into Brooklyn Pizza Works and Italian Restaurant for some award
winning Pizza Napoletana from their top notch pizzaiolos. Or try your hand
at preparing and baking your own. If you wish, be creative. But,
PLEASE, don't make one of those silly English Muffin or desert pizzas (smile).
For More Information Contact:
Brooklyn Pizza Works and Italian Restaurant
1235 East Imperial Highway
Placentia, CA 92870-1718
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