Pizza is a traditional Italian food and Lake Como is a great place to learn how to make pizza and also to taste it. Pizza can be found in different variations and it is so appreciated that in 2017 it has become a UNESCO heritage. It is interesting to learn about the real history of pizza: it is said that it was invented by the chef Esposito in 1889 for the visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy. The originality of the pizza was that it looked like the Italian flag with red made of tomatoes, white from mozzarella and green of basil and it was named in honor of the Queen Margherita. However, pizza appears also before in 1866 in the book “Customs and Traditions of Naples” from De Bouchard, and it is said that it was invented for the working class, who required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly but it was the Esposito’s version that made it popular and symbol of Italian food culture.
Nowadays, there are many versions of pizza form the cheapest ones to the most expensive ones like the one invented by the pizzaiolo Renato Viola, named Luigi XII, which is worth 8,300 euros. The ingredients are biological certified flour and Australian pink salt, three types of caviar, red prawns, lobster, sea cicada, fish eggs and Cognac Louis XII Remy Martin. Moreover, it is also served with a champagne bottle. Another version of pizza very famous in Naples is the fried pizza, which was born after the war as a response of the Neapolitan people. In fact, after the world war, eating pizza was expensive not only because of the ingredients but also because bombings destroyed the ovens. The dough of fried pizza is the same, the only difference is that instead of being cooked in an oven, it is soaked in red-hot oil.
Since 2009, Pizza Margherita was given the Traditional Guaranteed Speciality EU label together with other two pizzas’ types: Pizza Marinara with garlic and oregano, and Margherita Extra made of mozzarella di Bufala DOP, tomatoes and basil.
These pizzas are certified because in order to make them it is necessary to use quality ingredients and a special procedure: first of all, 3 mm thick disk of dough with 1-2 cm of crust are needed. Moreover, the pizza should be made by hand without machinery and the pizza needs to be cooked in a wood-brick oven at 485°C for about 90 seconds.
Here it is the original Pizza Margherita recipe registered in the “Disciplinare di Produzione della Specialità Tradizionale Garantita Pizza Napoletana”. To make the dough you have to mix flour, salt, water and yeast and it should be smooth and extensible. After letting the dough to rest for 2 hours it should be divided in portions of 180 grams each and let them rise for other 4-6 hours. After this, when the dough is ready, you need to roll it until it becomes 3 mm thick and has 1-2 cm edge. For the filling, take 70 g chopped tomatoes and put and spread them in the center of the disk of dough. Then, add DOP mozzarella and some basil leaves. At the end, put some extra virgin olive oil and cook at a temperature between 450C° to 480C°. pay attention to change the position of the pizza frequently so that the heat is spread.
Slow Lake Como organizes unique cooking classes in the Lake Como area. How to make pizza is one of our most appreciated experiences. The philosophy behind is that food is not only nutrition but also culture, history, and passion. With the teacher, you will make your own pizza and of course taste it is the perfect way to finish the class.
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- Lake Como cooking classes: homemade pasta, homemade pizza, how to make risotto
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