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It's Amore

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August 27, 2017 By Special Advertising Feature

There are not many nations that can say their national dish has become an international phenomenon. Italy has two such dishes, pasta and, of course, pizza. This year, 63 restaurants have been nominated for Best Pizza. Only three will be named the Best for 2017.

In America pizza usually falls into two categories: thick and cheesy Chicago style or thin and more traditional New York pizza. In Italy pizza also falls into two distinct categories: Italian pizza and the rest of the world. It might seem silly considering the basic ingredients, but one taste of a true Italian pizza and that's it. You will never feel the same about this simple and delicious food again.

The word "pizza" is thought to have come from the Latin word pinsa, meaning flatbread (although there is much debate about the origin of the word).

A legend suggests that Roman soldiers gained a taste for Jewish Matzoth while stationed in Roman occupied Palestine and developed a similar food after returning home. However a recent archeological discovery has found a preserved Bronze Age pizza in the Veneto region. By the Middle Ages, these early pizzas started to take on a more modern look and taste. The peasantry of the time used what few ingredients they could get their hands on to produce the modern pizza dough and topped it with olive oil and herbs. The introduction of the Indian Water Buffalo gave pizza another dimension with the production of mozzarella cheese. Even today, the use of fresh mozzarella di buffalo in Italian pizza cannot be substituted. While other cheeses have made their way onto pizza (usually in conjunction with fresh mozzarella), no Italian Pizzeria would ever use the dried shredded type used on so many American pizzas.

The introduction of tomatoes to Italian cuisine in the 18th and early 19th centuries finally gave us the true modern Italian pizza. Even though tomatoes reached Italy by the 1530's it was widely thought that they were poisonous and were grown only for decoration. However the innovative (and probably starving) peasants of Naples started using the supposedly deadly fruit in many of their foods, including their early pizzas. Since that fateful day the world of Italian cuisine would never be the same, however it took some time for the rest of society to accept this crude peasant food. Once members of the local aristocracy tried pizza they couldn't get enough of it, which by this time was being sold on the streets of Naples for every meal. As pizza popularity increased, street vendors gave way to actual shops where people could order a custom pizza with many different toppings. By 1830 the "Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba" of Naples had become the first true pizzeria and this venerable institution is still producing masterpieces.

One thing to keep in mind when ordering pizza in an Italian pizzeria is that the product is personal size. Each person at a table should order their own individual pizza - one bite will explain why. In certain areas outside Italy, there are a few piazzioli who keep to their homeland traditions as best as they can with the ingredients they have, but it really isn't the same. In the end there is no going back once you try a real Italian pizza, no delivery or frozen product will ever stimulate your taste buds the way a real pizza will.

 

Who will you choose as best?

Click here to start voting now!

Nominated for Best Pizza

800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

Akropolis Gyro & Pizza

Amore Taste of Chicago

Angelina's Pizzeria

Anna Marie's Italian Cuisine

Aurelio's Pizza

Bambino's East Coast Pizzeria

Blaze Pizza

BRIO Tuscan Grille

Broadway Pizzeria

Cafe Verdi Rebel Pizza

Carmine's Pizza Kitchen

Costco

David Monte's NY Pizzeria

DiFara Pizza

Dom Demarco's Pizzeria

Domino's Pizza

E-String

Enzo's Pizza

Evel Pie

Flour & Barley

Giordano's

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Home Plate Grill & Bar

Jesse's Pizza

Joey's NY Pizza

Johnny Mac's

Little Caesars

Magura Pizza

Marco's Pizza

Mercato della Pescheria

Metro Pizza

Naked City Pizza

Napoli Pizza

New York Pizza & Pasta

Niko's Pizza Las Vegas

North End Pizza

Novecento Pizzeria

Papa Murphy's

Pin-Up Pizza

Pizza 9

Pizza Forte

Pizza Hut

Pizza My Dear

Pizza Rock

Pizzalicious

PizzaRev

Pizzeria Francesco's at TI

Plantone's Italian Market

Pop Up Pizza

Rocco's NY Pizza and Pasta

Rosati's Pizza

Russo's Pizza Kitchen

Sal's Pizza

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

Secret Pizza

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana

Siena Italian Authentic Trattoria and Deli

University Medical Center Cafe

Verdi Cafe

Verrazano Pizza

Villa Pizza Durango

Windy City Beefs N Pizza

 

Click here to start voting now!


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