Saturday, 8 April 2017

neapoliatano or avoid the noid

Though the pedigree and provenance might not be as directly royal as this bit of apocrypha relates, there’s no reason to doubt the deliciousness of pizza, which via Mental Floss legend holds was first delivered in 1889. The king Umberto Ranieri Carlo Emanuele Giovanni Maria Fernando Eugenio di Savoia and the queen consort Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna of a newly united Italy were on a good-will mission, touring every region of their kingdom.
The couple who represented the continuation of the Savoy dynasty were on a hearts-and-minds stint in Naples, where he had survived an assassination attempt a decade prior, when the queen expressed a loss of appetite for their usually fancy French-influenced fare and longed for some authentic, local cuisine—which has some claim to the dish as a matter of national pride. The story goes that the most renowned local chef was commissioned to deliver to the royal residence a selection of what would appear on a peasant’s menu—for which three pizza-pies were prepared. The queen found the simple combination of white mozzarella, red tomatoes topped with green basil to be by far the most delicious—arranged purposefully with the colours of the banner of the united peninsula. The basic pizza, the margherita was supposedly named in her honour.