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When we hear the word “Pizza”, ITALY is immediately associated with it and comes into our minds, but to tell you the truth, this is not the land in which this food was originated. Its history goes back to Greece, country of flat breads, where lower-class people were looking to eat something consistent, delicious and cheap. Dough made of wheat and several spices combined in it, gave a different flavor to the already mentioned breads and that is how pizza was born. Later on, this crisp dough was served in the ancient Greece squares to satisfy everyone, who was looking to please their appetite. If we go back in time, we can find that the ingredient, that changed the history of cooking books about pizza forever, was the tomato. This key ingredient was originally from America (fruit that the Europeans considered poisonous and with magic powers) and over time, we see that tomato became a basic ingredient to prepare the sauce, which harmoniously forms the perfect flavor that we all like and enjoy when we eat a pizza slice. As Greece and Italy are relatively close and thanks to the constant trips of traders, this flat bread found a way to move to Naples, a city in southern Italy where the very first pizzas were made. The combination of flat breads with the now called tomato sauce and other natural ingredients, such as onions, garlic and melted cheese became very popular among the people and were sold in markets and streets. But how pizza became the most popular food in the world? It is a very peculiar story that helped pizza to become the most known, most eaten and most sold food over the years. One day, Queen Margherita of Italy went with her husband on an inspection trip in their Kingdom, when she suddenly noticed a lot of people eating an unusual type of bread and asked her guards to bring her some to try. She loved it and asked a very famous Italian chef to prepare this dish for her, which he did. Words were spread that the Queen‟s favorite dish was the pizza and soon became everybody‟s choice. It was sold for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that is how the tradition in Italy started. Pizza again found its way to move and spread to France, Spain and the United Kingdom and went around the globe with the first Italian immigrants to the United States. All kinds of variations and extra ingredients were added with the years to the original pizza, but who can complain when we have a lot of varieties that suits our demands? Today, pizza is an Italian trademark; it holds a record in the Guinness book of Records and we even have an international Pizza Day, which is celebrated every February 9th.
Thanks to new research, we have some good news for pizza lovers who are on a diet. It is true, that most people before ordering a pizza think about their weight gain and high cholesterol levels, but “don‟t worry be happy” as a song says and just enjoy it, just be careful, „cause pizza as any other food has to be consumed in moderation. When you order a pizza you don´t take into account the kind of ingredients that it has, so it is difficult to know how many calories you will have to get rid of in your morning walk. That is why; we have included a nice table with some nutritional facts for you to get an idea on what is in one pizza slice. Nutritionists recommend that when you want a pizza, it is better to prepare it at home in a healthy way, for example: buying light cheese and using olive oil, which besides its delicious taste, helps us to control cholesterol. Vegetables are very important too as they have to be fresh as these give us the iron that our body needs. If you were going to prepare the pizza dough yourself, it is sensible to use whole wheat flour and milk instead of water. Milk is the touch of calcium that contributes to the growth and strengthening of our skeletal system, which is ideal for children and on the other hand, flour stops our desire to eat. Therefore, there are no excuses for not eating pizza, because it is a perfect and healthy snack. We just have to understand that food is not divided into good or bad food, because they are all good. The bad thing about it, is how we choose to eat it and how much we eat of it.
Although, pizza looks like a dish that is easy to eat, it is not that simple. It sounds funny, but pizza has a whole set of rules and norms for eating it. Let's start with the preparation, the selection of fresh and natural ingredients is very important and is the core of the delicious taste and presentation of it. This followed by the right “pizza cut” with a special tool called pizza wheel (don‟t worry if you are at home and you don´t have it, because a sharp knife works as well) that keeps the ingredients from falling apart and from having a poor distribution, which will look bad when it is served. The traditional or the right way to serve pizza is with a triangular cut and this is because most of the pizzas are round, but there are some restaurants in Italy that instead of a round pizza prepare a rectangle one and obviously the shape of the cut will be different too. It is a non-spoken general rule to eat with your hands, but in some places it is served with a piece of cardboard in the same way of the shape of the slice of your pizza, which will prevent you from burning or getting your hands dirty. There are also restaurants where some people eat pizza with silverware (knife and fork) to avoid spilling or burning, but this form of eating is not that common especially if you are with your friends enjoying a nice lunch or snack at your local pizzeria. To finish these serving tips, I can say that it is always better to eat your pizza hot than to eat it when it is cold. Why?? Simply because you will prevent the cheese from being spoiled and without a doubt you will miss the perfect melting cheese experience in your mouth, which you definitely don‟t want to skip. And if you didn‟t finish it all, don´t forget that you should keep your pizza leftovers in the fridge. If they don´t have any meat or fish on it, you can consume them within one or two days maximum. If the pizza has any type of meat in it, they should be consumed in no more than half a day after its preparation to avoid any complications. Take your time to enjoy eating pizza, to taste its flavor and its ingredients. It is absolutely a superb eating experience.
Two traditional Italian pizzas are recognized as classic in Italy, which are: pizza Marinara and pizza Margherita. The first one consists of oregano, tomato, basil and extra virgin oil. It is named after the fishermen‟s wives, who used to prepare it for their men, when they came back home. The second one, Margherita, consists of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, which for its colors resembles the Italian flag. It is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, an Italian queen. There are some standards that Italian restaurants have to meet to be able to claim that they sell classic pizzas in their establishments. These standards were set by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association. Some of their requirements are that the pizzas should be hand kneaded only, must not be bigger than 35 centimeters and must be cooked in wood fire for not longer than 60 to 90 seconds. Through the years, the options have increased and they have formed part of what we call the classic menu, which consists of a group of delicious pizzas that are the most popular in restaurants. In this page you will find the ingredients of what are considered classic pizzas and some nice images that might make you want to pick up the phone and just order one or two, who knows? Enjoy the view and the info. Bon appétit!
Loads of pepperoni, onions, green peppers and extra cheese.
Tomatoes, onions, artichokes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, a pinch of sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
With five veggies, fresh
All meat pizza
All types of meat that you can imagine… this choice is ideal for meat lovers like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tomatoes, mushrooms, red
onions, green peppers, and black olives.
It consists of cheese and tomato base with a lot of ham and
Chicken, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes, and salad dressing.
PIZZA DOUGH Learn how to make pizza dough Ingredients: 3 cups of strong white bread flour or 2 ½ cups of strong white bread flour, plus ½ cup of finely ground semolina flour 2 level teaspoons of fine sea salt 1 sachet of dried yeast ¼ cup of golden caster sugar 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 1 ½ cups of warm water Preparation: First, mix all the dried ingredients together and combine them with the liquid ones. Keep stirring until it is smooth and elastic. Next, place the mixture into a deep bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled its size. Then, on a flour-dusted space take the air of the dough by simply kneading with your hands for a few minutes. Once this is done, roll the pizza to your desired thickness, shape and size (this dough is enough for a 35 centimeters pizza). After that, add the sauce and toppings that you want in your pizza. Finally, spray a non-stick cooking spray on a baking tray and place the dough on it, put it into the oven for about 25-35 minutes (This will depend on the thickness of your dough). PIZZA SAUCE Ingredients: 1 pound of crushed tomatoes 1 garlic clove, chopped 4 ounces of tomato paste 1 teaspoon of sugar 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped basil 1 tablespoon of chopped onion 1 tablespoon of olive oil ½ teaspoon of chilli powder 1 teaspoon of oregano salt and black pepper to taste Preparation: First, fry the garlic and onion in the olive oil, until is soft and golden. Then, add all the ingredients except the basil. Cook the sauce for about 15 to 20 minutes. And finally, add the basil just 5 minutes before the sauce is ready.
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil ½ lb of chopped tomatoes 1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped ½ teaspoon of salt 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded 6 fresh basil leaves cut into strips ¼ cup of fresh parmesan cheese, shredded 12 to 14 inch of uncooked dough Preparation: First, mix the oil, tomatoes, garlic and salt in a bowl and allow this mixture to marinate. Then, brush the dough with olive oil. Next, add the mixture done previously, top it with cheese, tomatoes and oil. After that, place the dough in a 500 F preheat oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown. Finally, remove the pizza from the oven and top it again with cheese and basil.
SUPER HEALTHY PIZZA Ingredients: 200 g of chopped tomatoes A handful of cherry tomatoes cut in halves 1 courgette, thinly sliced 25g of mozzarella cheese, shredded 8 green chopped olives 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 12 to 14 inch (35 centimeters) of uncooked dough Preparation: First, pour the chopped tomatoes on the dough, add the cherry tomatoes, the courgette and the mozzarella cheese. Next, mix the olives with the garlic and spread them on top with a little bit of oil. After that, place the dough in a 500 F preheat oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown. Finally, remove the pizza from the oven and top it with parsley.
PIZZA BITES Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 cup of prepared pizza sauce 1 cup of sliced and cooked sausage ¼ cup of sliced mushrooms 1 cup of cooked and nicely cut broccoli 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded 12 to 14 inch of uncooked dough
Preparation: First, cut small round pieces from the dough (you can get 16 pieces out of this dough). Spread some oil on each piece and place them into the oven for about 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Next, take them out and place the sauce, the rest of the ingredients and spread the cheese. Finally, return them into the oven for about 5 minutes more (this recipe can be prepared with your children).
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