Italians love pizza, like real, tasty, healthy pizza. You should already know that.But, what if we told you that pizza is not the same all over Italy? That every region and every city has its own way to cook dough and put mozzarella on it?
Here’s a guide to the different kinds of pizza. So that, from now on, you’ll not only know that Italians love pizza but you’ll also understand which version they truly can’t live without.
Pizza’s homeland: Naples
There are several controversies about where pizza was born, but we trust the number one theory that sees Naples as its birthplace. Especially because it has been recognized by the European Union as Guaranteed Traditional Speciality.
What makes it different? Not the dough, which is the same as every other region’s: flour, water, salt and yeast. The difference lays in the way the dough is stretched out: thinner on the inside and thicker on the outside, thus making the crust way tastier than the usual.
If you’re in Naples, we suggest you to have a pizza with mozzarella di Bufala, buffalo-milk mozzarella. Just a warning, though: you’ll never want to eat something else for your entire life!
Flatbread: the way Rome cooks its pizza
It dates back to the Roman Empire, to the time when ancient locals used to present it to the Gods as an offer. It was known as offa and it is nothing but a thin pizza, similar to flatbread: it tasted so good that it pleased the Gods too. And it still does. The dough is made with tougher wheat and more water, so that it can be stretched out and not loses its chewiness. The toppings are different according to the season the pizza is cooked: the capricciosa, for instance, is one of our favourites and comes with artichokes, ham and mushrooms.
Milan, the city of design, and its version of pizza
Milan, 1949: Mrs. Giuseppina Luini moved from Puglia to Milan with her family and took over a bakery in via S. Radegonda. Her will was to export a product typical of Apulia, the panzerotto, a fried piece of dough filled with cheese and tomato sauce. With the years, the panzerotto has become a true Milanese institution, although coming from Apulia. It’s like a tiny pizza, perfect to fit the models’ strict regime menus, especially if baked and not fried.
Don't forget about focaccia
Until now, we have explored the different types of pizza: what we haven't done is investigating about another version of pizza, the one known as focaccia. The difference lies in the toppings: mozzarella and tomato sauce go with pizzas, other ingredients create the focaccia.Let's have a look at the most peculiar ones:
Focaccia Genovese: it’s probably one of the most famous all around Italy. Thick and seasoned with olive oil and salt, it’s one of the things Liguria’s locals are most pride of. You’ll find it in any bakery of Genova and you can eat it whenever you want: some even like it at breakfast, with a steamy hot cappuccino.
Recco Focaccia: another pride of the Ligurian region, it is usually cooked in Recco, a wonderful, tiny city on the coast. Its specialty lies on the filling, which is basically made with tasty layers of cheese in between the layers of dough.
Bari Focaccia: it’s a variation of Apulia’s bread, made with durum wheat flour and tons of extra virgin olive oil. It usually comes with tomatoes and olives on top.
The Sfincione: it’s Sicily’s version of something in between pizza and focaccia, typical of the city of Palermo. It’s considered a street food, so you can buy it in bakeries and eat it while walking on the streets. You’ll particularly appreciate its salty flavour if walking near the Sicilian amazing sea coast!
These are some famous Italian pizzas, but there are always more to explore in this Kingdom of food. Maybe in a small town there, delicious pizzas are still awaiting to be discovered.