Since the time to have dinner outdoors is coming along spring and summer, today we will talk about the different types of Italian pizza. As you know, at least in most Italian regions, pizza is the most likely meal for dinner. Using it as breakfast (like a dinner leftover) or even lunch tends to be out of the question.
As you must know, nowadays, there are several Italian pizza types. It may look like the words pizza and Italian should be synonyms -and some could be questioning why we are talking about “Italian pizza”, considering that the word pizza should be self-explanatory as to its national origin.
However, this is not as clear-cut as it seems: it is important to note that in antiquity several cultures made basic flatbreads with various toppings.
Over time, pizza has also become one of the most popular dishes worldwide and even if Italian pizza is probably the most famous one, there are many other types of pizzas in the world.
For example, some of them are the Chicago style pizza, the Argentinian fugazza, the Spanish coca, or the French tarte flambée.
Here we will focus on the strictly Italian pizza varieties, which will shorten our path -maybe fortunately, unless you are really curious about all kinds of pizza.
KINDS OF ITALIAN PIZZA
Pizza napoletana (Neapolitan pizza)
The quintessential pizza, as it is most widely accepted that Naples is the cradle of pizza.
Its most basic version, pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889 by Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza-maker) Raffaele Esposito as a treat for the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy -who, by the way, found it extremely delicious, helping boost Esposito’s business and fame.
Basically, it is made of San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, inspired by the colors of the Italian flag. In 2017, the Neapolitan pizza was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
Pizza romana (Roman pizza)
One of the types of Italian pizza, not as regarded or protected as the Neapolitan, it tends to be thinner and crunchier than the Neapolitan type of pizza when eaten at sit-down restaurants (pizza tonda or round pizza).
Also, there is the pizza al taglio, which instead comes in a thicker crust but is cut into square pieces. Pizze al taglio are popular takeway meals.
Pizza fritta (Deep-fried pizza)
As well as other kinds of Italian pizza, pizza fritta is originally from Naples.
Firstly, its invention was due to the need, scarcity, or total lack of regular Margherita pizza ingredients and ovens to prepare pizza. Since a fair number of these had been destroyed during the war.
Thus, fried pizza was stuffed with ricotta cheese and cicoli or ciccioli -which are made of pressed cakes of not very lean pork.
Later, when the situation went back to normal, the pizza fritta (also called pizza del popolo or people’s pizza) became quite popular and is especially remembered because you could buy and eat it today and pay for it eight days later (a oggi a otto).
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the pinsa romana. It is made with different types of flour (wheat, soy, rice), it is particular because of external crunchiness and internal softness.
Additionally, there is still debate about pinsa as one of the types of Italian pizza; many are adamant about not accepting pinsa even as a distant relative and consider it a meal apart.
Also, pinsa is not as historically relevant as pizza since it is a 2001 trademark. Differences are rather noticeable even when it comes to their shape: pizza is round, while pinsa is somewhat oblong or oval. Pinsa has become pretty much a fad nowadays.
ITALIAN PIZZA CRUST TYPES AND TYPICAL FLAVOURS
As you might witness, there are different types of pizza in terms of size, flavour, and crust. For example, pizza’s crust can be thin, as in most Roman-style pizzas, or thick, as in Neapolitan types.
Apart from the Margherita, there are other Italian pizzas deserving a quick mention.
Kinds of Italian pizza
|Quattro stagioni||Artichokes, mushrooms, ham, tomatoes. They are separated into quarters and each ingredient represents a season of the year.|
|Capricciosa||A Quattro Stagioni with the ingredients mixed rather than separated in quarters.|
|Quattro formaggi||Containing mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and two other types of cheese which vary according to the region where the pizza is.|
|Marinara||One of the oldest expressions of pizza, it is prepared with Tomato sauce, olive oil, oregano, and garlic. Cheese is a notable absence.|
We hope this article provides you with a historical landscape of pizza. And also, stimulates your curiosity… and appetite. Buon appettito!