The pizza margherita is recognized by all as the queen of pizzas, and right by a queen takes its name.
How pizza margherita is born, according to tradition
According to tradition, pizza margherita was created in 1889 by Raffaele Esposito of the pizzeria “Pietro… e basta così” (today Pizzeria Brandi) for Queen Margherita of Savoy, at the time queen of Italy. In June of that year, Raffaele Esposito was called as a chef by a royal house official in the Capodimonte palace, to cook for King Umberto I and his wife, Queen Margherita. Esposito created three pizzas and the queen said to appreciate one in particular, to which it was then given her name. The ingredients of pizza margherita – tomato, mozzarella and basil – were a tribute to the Italian flag.
From that day, every time the Queen visited Naples, Mr. Esposito – became in the meanwhile the most famous pizza chef in the city – was invited by the sovereign to cook the so appreciated pizza.
Historical origins of pizza margherita
According to recent studies, however, the origin of the pizza mentioned above is only a legend, because pizza margherita was born in Naples almost a century before, between 1796 and 1810.
In 1858, philologist Emanuele Rocco wrote various combinations of pizza ingredients, including tomato, basil and mozzarella.
A few years later, Francesco de Boucard, in a step in his work, describes the three classic pizzas of the Neapolitan tradition: margherita, marinara and calzone.
Therefore, Raffaele Espoosito’s genius has to be find not in the creation of this pizza, but in the fact that it named it in honor of the queen. Furthermore, Queen Margherita discovered this new food thanks to him, because until that moment pizza was known only in the Parthenopean area.