How A 17th-Century Italian Queen Is Linked With Invention Of Your Favourite Margherita Pizza

Nothing can quite bring a room together as a box of one large pizza. Conversely, nothing can put old friendships to test as the last piece of the same pizza. Pizza, as we all know, traces its origins to modern-day Italy. But if historians and food experts are to be believed, flatbreads like pizza have been in existence since time immemorial. Some say, that Persian soldiers under King Darius the Great, baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle-shields back in 6th century BC! Another baked dish called plakous was also very popular in Ancient Greece. Much like modern-day pizza, this flatbread also comprised topping of cheese, herbs, onions and garlic. Moreover, a reference of a pizza-like dish can also be found in ancient classic texts like Aeniad.  

As it happens with all iconic dishes, pizza also evolved with time. Did you know you favourite margherita pizza came into existence much later in history, that too as a form of a tribute to the Queen of Italy and her flag?  

The Legend Has It... 

In 16th century Naples, pizza was more of a dish for the commonfolk and poor. It would sell like hotcakes on the streets, but the nobility would refrain from savouring it in public, since it ruled out use of cutlery. But times changed, pizza soon became more and more popular, new versions of the dish had appeared on to the scene with fresher toppings. With more and more foreign travelers coming in, fresh new ingredients were also added to the pizza, like tomato, oil and even fish. According to a popular legend, on June 11, 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, famous Neopolitam pizzamaker created the "Pizza Margherita”. A freshly baked pizza that was garnished with tomatoes mozerella and a sprig of basil. The red colour of tomato, white colour of mozerella and green of basil, supposedly represented the colours on the flag of Italy.  

All Hail The Queen.. 

Another popular legend states that the Queen was so tired of the French gourmet food, that she commissioned the Neopolitan pizzamaker to make 3 pizzas. The first two got rejected by the queen, the third pizza that was approved came to be known as the ‘Margherita Pizza’.  

Slurping already, aren’t you? Go ahead, order your favourite margherita pizza. We aren’t judging.