There is something intensely agreeable with a pizza that cuts across social and cultural divides. Generations of families, students, late night revelers, and executives around the globe have been fuelled by this wheel-shaped meal. It’s easy to eat, tasty and comes in enough guises to satisfy every palette. In short, we like pizza!
Now most of us, when asked who invented the pizza, would immediately thank the Italians. Beware! You are embarking on a contentious subject that is hotter than a Mexican pizza. The Babylonians, Egyptians and other ancient Middle Eastern cultures were eating flat, un-leaven bread before the Italian had written “oh sole mio”. But bread is a far cry from what we recognize as a pizza. For one, where’s the topping? It was the Etruscans who hit on the idea of seasoning bread after it was cooked. A few hundred years later the Greeks had an eureka moment and started baking the flavorings directly on the bread. As fate would have it, the Greeks colonized the southern part of Italy and thus brought the concept to the Romans. Cato, a Roman statesman and writer, wrote sometime between 234 and 149 BC about “flat rounds of dough dressed with olive oil, herbs and honey baked on stones”. Well, dough and olive oil are definitely two major ingredients of pizza.
By the 17th century, pizza had achieved local popularity among visitors to Naples who would venture into the poorer sections of town to taste this peasant dish made by men called PIZZAIOLI. By 1830 the first pizzeria had opened its door in Naples.
Five decades later a defining moment happened for pizza. It was 1889 and news of pizza had reached the ears of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. Naturally, the King and the Queen could not be seen in a humble pizzeria, so they ordered in. The owner of the famous “Pietro il Pizzaiolo” assembled three pizzas and went off to do the first recorded pizza delivery. That man besides being the word’s first pizza delivery man was also a shrewd marketer. One of his pizzas, made with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil, just happened to represent the red, white and green of the Italian flag. The Queen swayed by good taste and patriotism, declared this pizza her favorite, and thus the Margherita pizza was born.
In the age before supermodels, rock stars and TV, it was royalty who were the trendsetters. And if pizza was good enough for the King and the Queen of Savoy, than it was good enough for everyone. The pizza’s future in Europe had been assured.
After the end of World War II, the dish received a huge popularity everywhere in the World. Today it is our pleasure to offer this simple and much loved gourmet meal in Nuova Zelanda. AL Volo pizzas are made respecting the tradition of an ancient recipe; they are made with only the finest ingredients available and are cooked on stone in a wood fire oven to ensure the up most qualityand unique taste. We hope you will enjoy your meal.
Luca & Michaiah