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Pizza - pieces of flatbread, topped with savories - was a simple and tasty meal for those who could not afford plates.
For a long time, pizzas were associated with poverty and scorned by food writers.
In 1831, Samuel Morse described pizza as a ‘species of the most nauseating cake … covered over with slices of pomodoro or tomatoes, and sprinkled with little fish and black pepper and I know not what other ingredients, it altogether looks like a piece of bread that has been taken reeking out of the sewer.’
While on a visit to Naples in 1889, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita grew tired of the complicated French dishes they were served. Three sorts of pizza were offered to the queen: one with lard, caciocavallo, and basil; another with cecenielli; and a third with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
The queen was delighted. Her favorite – the last of the three – was named Pizza Margherita in her honor.
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