Whilst my keto diet has largely put paid to my bread based pleasures, being in Albania and so close to Italy when I have a cheat day it is to have REAL pizza. Not processed crap, not microwaved crap, but freshly made Italian style pizza.
I realize in America there is the whole Chicago/New York debate about what real pizza is, but I am European, real pizza is Italian.
Pizza or its variants were invented in the 6th century B.C. when people were first recorded to start adding stuff to baked bread to give it flavor.
The modern pizza was invented in the late 18th century in Naples, which is a (valid) reason Neapolitan pizza is considered to be the original and best pizza (let the real pizza debate begin).
The Margaretta Pizza was allegedly invented in 1889 in honour of Queen Margarita, and whilst this claim has not been verified, the pizza remains probably the most famous.
Real pizza should be cooked in a big brick oven (as per tradition), which is what gives its thick crunchiness when it arrives on your table.
Ingredients for traditional real pizza should always be fresh, should always include cheese, and depending on the dish the meat or fish that you crave.
Most iconic pizzas?
The 3 most famous or iconic pizzas are without a doubt the very simple Pizza Margareta (as previously mentioned), which consists of cheese and tomato sauce only. But the most authentic or real pizza is the pizza Napolitano, which consists of San Marzano tomatoes (grown on the plains of Mt. Vesuvius) and mozzarella di bufala cheese, which is made from milk made from buffalos gazing in Lazio or Campania. There are many copies, and variations, but that is the real and original pizza.
But of course things change, and people have their own tastes, and of course, pizza culture in America has very much taken on a mind of its own, and what’s the best pizza is very much depends on you.
For me, I’ll be sampling how the Albanians deal with Pizza and look forward to sharing my results!
Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.