The Margherita Marvel: 1889, A Queen Rises
She has reigned for over a hundred years. She survived two pandemics, as well as a few revolutions, and sang more than her fair share of city folk to sleep at 2 AM. All hail, she who sits at the pizza throne – the Margherita. Always stewarded by her trustworthy servant and longtime friend, the pizza shop.
Being a pizzaiolo (pizza maker) is a calling, really. Some hear her soft, crispy calls at a tender age, while others answer one late Tuesday afternoon from the office on the sixteenth floor. I’m coming home, Margherita! But pizza makers have their dough cut out for them, with some bending the knee to her in life-long service.
This you know: when a pizza joint can pull off a seriously sumptuous Margherita pizza, they’re solid. Everyone knows their name. Their status is sealed (with cheese, obviously). They officially join the ranks and are welcomed into the Pizzadom, where they are knighted by Margherita herself. In fact, that’s where we’re writing from at the moment – true story.
Is there a map to the Pizzadom? Why, yes. Yes, there is.
Dough’s Mountains Are Tall & Stretch Wide
The iconic Margherita captures the essence of simplicity and was born from royalty – pizza royalty, Raffaele Esposito, and Italian royalty, Queen Margherita of Savoy.
The story goes like this… In the 19th century, Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito was asked to prepare a special dish for Queen Margherita to commemorate a visit. Inspired by the Italian flag, he crafted a pizza that celebrated simplicity and the finest local ingredients, using tomatoes (red), mozzarella (white), and basil (green). It’s fair to say that what we know as a Margherita pizza today was a hit with Queen Margherita of Savoy, solidifying its royal inheritance.
Raffaele knew that his first stop was definitely Doughville. He knew Neapolitan Pizza and Neapolitan Pizza knew him. It was, in retrospect, the best match for such a humble Italian food staple affair. Bubbly, slightly golden, and crisp-as-ever, the perfect Neapolitan Pizza base would soon become part of more than one legacy.