When we say Italian cuisines, we’re definitely talking about pizza. Nine out of ten people are thinking of pizza when they want to go out for Italian. Perhaps many countries own various national dishes, but only few of them become an international all-time favorite. For Italy, they have two popular dishes: pasta and of course pizza.
Pizza didn’t actually started in Italy, it began in the Middle East where pieces of flat bread were used to hold toppings or seasoned oil and eaten without using any plates or tableware. The Greeks called this early pizza plankuntos and it was basically used as an edible plate when eating stews or thick broth. It was not yet what we would call pizza today. There are numerous well-known varieties of pizza in Italy, but the Pizza Margherita have set the standard.
1. Pizza Margherita – this pizza was first made in 1899 when Queen Marghereta visited Napels to escape a cholera epidemic in the north of Italy. The ingredients used to make a Margherita pizza are, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, imitate the colors of the Italian flag.
2. Pizza Marinara – a traditional Neapolitan pizza that has oregano, anchovies and lots of garlic.
3. Pizza Alla Napoletana (Napoli) – based on tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies.
4. Pizza Capricciosa – a topping of mushrooms, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, olives and ½ a boiled egg.
5. Pizza Pugliese – makes use of the local capers and olives of the area. Topped with tomato, mozzarella and onions.
6. Pizza Veronese – has mushrooms and tender Prosciutto crudo.
7. Pizzas from Sicily – have numerous toppings ranging from green olives, seafood, hard-boiled eggs and peas.
8. Pizza Ai Quattro Formagi – uses a four cheese combination using fresh mozzarella and three local cheeses such as Gorgonzola, ricotta and parmigiano-reggiano.
9. Pizza Quattro Stagioni – based on tomato and divided in four sectors, one for each season: Spring: olives and artichokes; Summer: pepper; Autumn: tomato and mozzarella; Winter: mushrooms and boiled eggs. This makes a good sampler pizza with sections of artichokes, salami or Prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
10. Italian tuna – is packed in olive oil is also a popular topping along with other marine products like anchovies, shellfish and shrimp.
11. Pizza Ai Funghi e Salsicce (or boscaiola) – with mozzarella, mushrooms and sausages, with or without tomato.
12. Italian calzones – are smaller than their American cousins and are often filled with either meats or fresh vegetables, like spinach, and mozzarella.
13. Pomodoro Pachino and Rughetta – topped with cherry tomato and arugola.
14. Pizza al taglio – also known as Pizza rustica is sold everywhere in Italy, usually by weight and often piled with marinated mushrooms, onions or artichokes.
15. Pizza Focaccia – resembles the earliest pizzas being without tomatoes or cheese but covered in olive oil, caramelized onions and other savory toppings.
16. Sfincione – is a thick Sicilian sheet pizza that uses tomato sauce, anchovies (usually anchovy paste) breadcrumbs and caciocavallo (or another local variety) cheese.
17. Dessert pizzas – is a new trend that is gaining popularity. It often have flavor combinations such as Nutella, honey, fruit jam, yogurt, and even mustard and liquor.
18. Focaccia Al Rosmarino – based on rosemary and olive oil, sometime served with prosciutto. This pizza is usually served as an appetizer.
19. Pizza romana – has tomato, mozzarella, capperi and anchovy.
20. Liguria Pizzas – topped with basil pesto and no tomato sauce.