Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Italian: La Pizza

This Saturday in my Italian class, we made authentic pizza Napoletana. Pizza was first made in the city of Naples (Napoli), Italy. It started out as a flat bread the poor people of the Middle Ages ate with very simple flavorings on top.

The poor people in Naples started eating the flatbread with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on top. It was a tasty meal that they could carry and eat “on the go.”

Today, pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world. There are many, many different varieties, and many fast food places make pizza very differently from the original Italian pizza.

The best pizza is cooked at a very high temperature (over 500 degrees!) on a stone, or in a brick oven fueled by a wood fire.

Italian pizza is very simple. Never too much cheese or too doughy. The basic kind, Pizza Margherita, has tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. It is named for Queen Margherita, who was the queen of Italy in the late 1800s. She loved the pizza she tasted on a visit to Naples because of its flavor, and because the tomato, cheese and basil made the colors of the Italian flag, green white and red.

La regina Margherita mangiava la pizza con le dita!” and so can you!!

Words to remember:
POMODORO = tomato
FORMAGGIO = cheese
BASILICO = basil
FORNO = oven
CALDO = hot
MANGIA! = eat!
CIPOLLA [chee-pole-ah] = onion
AGLIO [ahl-yo] = garlic
OLIO D’OLIVA = olive oil
UN TAGLIO [tahl-yo] = a slice
BUONISSIMO! [bwon-eess-eemo] = very good!

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