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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

What do you know about Pizza?

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all...

Pizza pronoun as ‘pi:t-sa’ as how Italian would say it, some people from this region call it ‘pisa’ ‘pija’ or ‘piza’ or even pijaa, anyhow they would call it, as we know it is always referred as ‘Pizza’ – the world’s popular dish.

How much do you know about ‘Pizza’? Round bread with tomato and a lots of cheese as topping, ‘fast food’, originated in Italy, food for poor people? You could say whatever you want, whats important, pizza is Italian’s proud and that is the reason why ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’ (True Neapolitan Pizza Association founded in 1984) has set a very specific rules that must be followed for an Authentic Neapolitan Pizza.


Pizza is a world popular dish originated from the city of Naples, Italy.  In the 16th century it was a baker’s tool as dough used to verify oven’s temperature. It was sold in the street and dish for poor people.  Only later in that century it was covered by oil, cheese and tomato.  In June 1889, Chef Rafaelle Esposito (a chef working in ‘Pietro… e basta cosi’, today called ‘Pizzeria Brandi’) created three different kind of pizzas for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy.  The Queen’s favorite was a pizza evoking the colors of Italian flag – green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella) and red (tomatoes). The combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honour.

In the late 19th century, pizza was first sold on the streets of Italian neighborhoods in the United States.  It was introduced by a peddler who walked up and down at Taylor Streets in Chicago with a metal washtub of pizzas on his head, selling his wares at two cents a chew.  This was the way pizza used to be sold in Naples, in cooper cylindrical drums with false bottoms that were packed with charcoal from the oven to keep the pizzas hot.  It wasn’t long until small cafes and groceries began offering pizzas to their Italian-American communities.

In 1943, the modern pizza industry was born in the Midwestern United States, when Ric Ricardo pioneered what became known as the Chicago-style deep dish pizza in his joint venture with Ike Sewell Pizzeria Uno in Chicago opened. Others might argue that the ‘modern pizza industry’ begun with the birth of Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas in 1958.

Today, pizza has become an international food with many different topping but still using the same basic design with an exceptionally diverse choice of ingredients. 


Type of Pizza:
In Italy, authentic pizzas are made with local ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, which is made with water buffalo milk.  The dough itself consists of Italian wheat flour, natural Neopolitan yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt and water.

From all pizzas, the basic is always Pizza Margherita: dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. This pizza when added with different ingredients will create many different pizzas.  The most popular Italian pizza among Italian cuisine lovers are Margherita, Romana, Capricciosa, Quatro Stagioni, Quatro Formagi, Bianca and Calzone.

Pizza Marinara was never with seafood, it was said that the pizza was made by ‘la marinara’ the seaman’s wife, prepared the food for her seafaring husband when he returning home from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples

Around the world, different places offer different pizzas, for example in Australia, they called it Pizza Australiana (making it sounds very Italian?) which using additional ingredients like: bacon, egg and prawns.  In Brunei, Pizza hut claimed ‘Honey Garlic Chicken Pizza’ is very popular among Bruneian.


Baking methods:
Most restaurants with pizza in the menu are using oven with stone brick above the heat source. Some expensive restaurant even used a wood or coal-fired brick oven.  In home cooking, pizza can be cooked using trays, some people used pizza stone that are removable and used it when making pizzas.

Today pizza even pre-baked and sold frozen in supermarket (these are for lazy people.. lol) or even easier, call your nearest pizza delivery services, it is usually cooked per ordered, except in some places they pre-baked the dough.

Health issues:
Some pizzas can be high in saturated fat, salt and calories. In the UK, most pizza takeaway varieties are often loaded with high fat cheeses and fatty meats, a high intake of which can contribute to obesity, a risk factor for cancer.  (I don’t want to say this but sorry guys…) Pizza Hut has come under criticism for the high salt content of some of their meals which were found to contain more than twice the daily recommended amount of salt for an adult.


*The largest pizza was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Norwood Pick n Pay hypermarket. According to Guinness Book of Records, the pizza was 37.4 meters (122 feet 8 inches) in diameter and was made using 500kg of flour, 800kg of cheese and 900kg of tomato puree. This was accomplished on December 8, 1990.

*The most expensive pizza was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla, which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoke salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar. The pizza was sold at auction for charity for £2,150.

My specialty pizza: Pizza Chicken in Pesto with Chilies and Perilla


Info taken from Wikipediadotcom

I hope you enjoy reading... have a great Pizza day!!!

Regards, Chef Nash



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