The History of Neapolitan Pizza!

It’s a known fact that pizza is an all-American favorite, but when, all-the-way-back-in-Italy, was the cheesy, tomato sauce covered flatbread born?

Back in the 1700s and early 1800s Naples, Italy (an original Greek settlement founded in 600 B.C.) was a beautiful and busy port city, and as with every working city comes the working class. These throngs of working poor, known as the lazzaroni, required inexpensive food that could be eaten quickly. Thus, combing local ingredients into an easy handheld meal, pizza was born. A tasty flatbread topped with an array of  ingredients was ideal to eat at any time of day and sold by the street vendors.

Pizza became popular around the country when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889 – 28 years after the unification of Italy in 1861. The King & Queen were tired of eating their fancy French cuisine, so they asked for an assortment of pizzas from Pizzeria Brandi
(founded in 1760). The Queen liked the pizza topped with mozzarella, red tomatoes and green basil the most, which was later dubbed the pizza Margherita.

The Italian pizza then made it’s debut in NYC in 1905 at G. Lombardi’s on Spring Street in Manhattan – the first restaurant licensed to sell pizza. The pizzeria still exists today using the original oven, but is not at it’s 1905 location.

Then, it boomed around the country especially after World War II when the Italian-American population moved into the suburbs and suddenly pizza became less of a foreign fair and more of a delicious fast-food for all Americans.

And now at Ports of Italy the Kennebunks which is home to our new Italian Wood Fired Pizza Oven for an authentic taste of Italy’s Neapolitan Pizza in the heart of Maine.

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