Pizza Margarita



hardy delicacy worldwide
hail foot (2) metropolis
local diameter predecessor
basil dough artichoke
herb oblige on hand
honor mark (2) hang/hung
spice origin meticulously
alike supremo diversity
patent stick (3) meticulously


Video: The Pizza Margarita



Pizza is a simple, hardy, traditional food. Italy’s national dish is an export hit worldwide. The delicacy hails from the foot of Mount Vesuvius.

In the Mediterranean metropolis of Naples, pizza is part of the culture. Tourists and locals alike meet in the Via Dei Trivanali, which many people say is the best place to go for a pizza.

One of the city’s oldest restaurants is the Pizzeria Brandi. Enrico Palumbo still makes pizzas here the way his predecessors did more than a century ago.

Tomato sauce, mozzarella, spices, olive oil and fresh basil, top the pizza dough.

Enrico Palumbo: “Pizza Margarita was made to honor Queen Margarita. We use red tomatoes, white cheese and green herbs—the colors of the Italian flag.”

Tradition lives on in Brandi. One-hundred and twenty-five year ago, the very same Queen Margarita wanted bakers in Brandi to make one for her.

Rafaela Prozito obliged. Her thank-you note still hangs on the wall. It marks the birth of the Margarita Pizza.

But the origins of pizza go back much further.

The Etruscans were already making flat bread topped with whatever food they happened to have on hand.

And in the ancient city of Herculaneum near Naples, the locals were already baking pizza type bread two-thousand years ago.

Today, you can get all sorts of pizza in Italy, like Margarita with mozzarella debufara, Pizza Abadeabara, with spicy salami or Capraccioza with ham, olives and artichokes.

But there’s a man who says all this diversity isn’t good. The supremo of traditional pizza is Antonio Pace of Naples.

His organization promotes the traditional Neapolitan Margarita. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (The True Neapolitan Pizza Association) meticulously describes the diameter, color and type of topping.

More than 500 pizzerias around the globe stick to these standards.

Antonio Pace, President, Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana: “We’ve registered a patent for the recipe with the EU. If a pizzeria wants to advertise with the words, “genuine Neapolitan pizza”, then it’s got to conform strictly with the recipe.

And we monitor this to see if they are in compliance.

But at the Naples Pizza Festival, more creativity is desired. Every year, more than half-a-million people crowd the Graccio Promenade to assess the work of pizza makers from all over the world.

At the last event, more than 100,000 pizzas came out of the oven.

The high point of the evening is awarding the trophy to the world’s best pizza maker, or pizzaiolo.

In 2014, the world champion was from Naples. Of course, the 28-year old Valentino Libro won with the original pizza that his hometown is famous for.

Valentino Libro: “Neapolitans are just about born with a pizza in our hands. It’s a part of our culture. Pizza is life for us; it’s everything.”

And Pizza Margarita isn’t just a favorite with the Italians: people all over the world love it too.

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1. Pizza is part of the culture in Naples. True or false?

2. Describe the Pizza Margarita. Why was it made?

3. The pizza is a few hundred years old. Is this correct or wrong?

4. Is there a diversity of pizza sizes, forms, shapes and toppings?

5. Are “genuine Neapolitan pizzas” diverse or do they conform?

6. What happens at the Naples Pizza Festival?

7. Who is Valentino Libro?
A. I have been to Italy. True or false?

B. Pizza is popular in my city. Yes or no? How long has pizza been in your city?

C. What are some popular foods in your country?

D. Are pizzas and other foods a big industry?

E. What will happen in the future?

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