As I mentioned in my previous post most recently I spent 10 days in Naples/Italy. As a blooded gastronom I was really looking forward to discovering the best pizzeria/pizza of the town since the pizza is the most popular and best known creation of all Neapolitan cuisine. It soon became very popular among the people as well as barons or princes: it was even present in the Bourbon court. For instance King Ferdinand I experienced cooking pizza in Capodimonte’s porcelain ovens. After Italian unification, the new kings were also attracted by this southern food. The pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito created in 1889, in honour to queen Margherita of Savoy, is a nationalistic pizza, where the colours of the Italian flag were represented by the mozzarella (white), tomato (red) and basil (green). Since then this pizza is called the pizza Margherita.
Pizza can be cheap and nutritious, so it had great success very quickly. Sometimes pizza is made in home ovens, but the real Neapolitan pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven, hand-made by an able pizziaiolo who makes the dough disk thinner in the centre and thicker in the outer part; the ingredients and olive oil are rapidly spread on the disk, and with a quick movement the pizza is put on the shovel and then slid in the oven where it is turned around a few times for uniform cooking. I visited the three of the most famous restaurants:
Pizzeria da Matteo
It’s located at via Tribunale, zona Spaccanapoli. Long haunt of the rich and famous previous visitors include the Italian film star Marcello Mastroianni and more recently Clinton. Simple surroundings, tasty pizzas. Excellent prices and quick service. Mind you don’t bang your head going up the stars to the first floor.
Among the most famous pizzerias in Naples this is the most popular pizzeria. The decor is unpretentious and the main attraction is the excellent pizzas. Go armed with bags of patience-because queuing is part of the experience and almost obligatory.
Tradition has it that the mythical Margherita pizza was born here on 11 june 1889, so called in honour of Queen Margherita. One for the address book of all pizza connoisseurs. A good place to head for after a little light afternoon shopping since it is open from eight o’clock!