I have been a faithful fan of pizza since I first discovered it on a trip to Italy way back in 1966. At that time the doorman of the hotel promised me: “You will love it, Senor.” Off we went in search of this new dish. At that time I boasted a robust digestive system that could deal with any kind of food. I was always willing to try something new, especially spicy foods and curries. As the doorman had suggested, pizza became a fairly regular meal. Pizza apparently goes back over 1000 years while my digestive tract has only an 80 year working history and while pizza has developed to new heights by offering new and exotic toppings and ingredients to its basic cheese and tomato history, I gave up trying the new-fangled offerings. As the anti-indigestion pills lost their edge in the pizza fight, I even had to drop a couple of favorites such as onions and roasted garlic. But I still like the basic old fashioned pizza.
A popular urban legend holds that the archetypal pizza, Pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pie swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.
Today I shared a basic pizza with a grandson. I added green olives to my half to please the old pair of taste buds I use. Between us we polished off a delicious medium size. It was a great meal and grandson went home with a smile on his face.
So did I. But now, 2 hours later, the smile has gone, the pill is struggling to maintain inner peace and stability and I’m wondering if I will issue the pizza invitation again…