Here’s How Italy's Legendary Caprese Salad Came Into Being
Image Credit: Freepik | Here’s How Caprese Salad Came Into Being

There is no denying that Italy is one of the most sought-after food destinations of the world. Afterall, it is the birthplace of our favourite pizza, pasta and Tiramisu. The European country, jutting deep into the Mediterranean sea boasts of history like none other. From the roman civilisation to the renaissance, Italy has been at the centre of it all. 

After the first world war, when most of Europe was in shambles, Italy suffered a great deal too. Most young men were either dead or had returned home mangled. The economy was dwindling; dejection and despair had taken over the country. During these tough times, a stoneworker apparently combined a few veggies and cheese to make a humble salad, but it was not any random combination. He carefully picked the contents that were green, white and red, as a tribute to Italy’s national flag. Caprese Salad, traditionally comprises sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. Interestingly, Pizza Margherita also features the colours of Italian Flag, but the pizza was made in 1889, as a mark of honour for Queen Margherita of Savoy, Italy by a Neapolitan Pizza Maker. Both Pizza Margherita and Caprese Salad have now emerged as two of the most popular Italian delicacies.  

Caprese Salad is named after the island of Capri, where it is said to have been originated. Many also say that the salad was simply made to appease the royalty, or important politicos of 20th century, and that there is little to no substance in the legend of the patriotic stone-maker and his heartfelt homage. Either way, what we know for a fact is that it is indeed a 20th-century creation, which only grew more and more popular in the following years. The salad is usually served as an antipasto or starter and not as a side dish. It can be eaten any time of the day, for brunch or for dinner. Caprese Salad has also been reimagined and repurposed in many ways.  

When plated together, it is a salad, when the same ingredients are placed atop a pizza base, it becomes a Caprese Pizza. When the ingredients are used to rustle up a pasta, it becomes a Caprese Pasta and when the contents are slid on top of bread, it becomes a Caprese Sandwich.

Caprese Sandwich has its own fan-following across the world now, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is one of the most popular sandwiches. Small baguettes are usually the preferred breads to make these sandwiches, however, the sandwich can be made with other kinds of breads too.

Coming back to the salad, while the basic ingredients are just these three, you can spruce it up the way you want. Think balsamic, caviar and more. Have you ever tried caprese salad? Do let us know and do not forget to share the pictures too.