Pizza Margherita – The Royal Dish That Conquered The Culinary World In The 20th Century
Pizza. Five mouth-watering letters; five letters recalling a beautiful and sunny land that goes by the name of Italy. It may be recollection, or just imagination, still every time you hear that word, pizza, you cannot help but lose yourself in images of Naples, with its narrow lanes and noisy piazzas, and its picturesque bay.
Chances are that you have already tasted it in its native country or at an exclusive pizzeria during your travels, yet you find yourself still craving authentic Italian pizza during hot nights out in Kuala Lumpur. Even more so when you find yourself at Kuala Lumpur’s highest rooftop bar, Italian restaurant, and lounge, enjoying the astounding views of the city that only Marini’s on 57 can provide.
Here is a brief history of this royal dish that started in the capital of Campania in 1889. If however you cannot wait and would like to jump directly to our authentic pizza recipe, click here.
The Origins Of Pizza Margherita
It was during the 18th century when pizza made its first appearance on the social scene. At that time the poor people of Naples, called the Lazzaroni, as well as the upper-class, used to consume inexpensive flatbreads topped with various ingredients. Yet it was only during the late 19th century that the pizza recipe got recognition and fame outside its hometown borders.
During one of their travels across the newly-unified Kingdom of Italy, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita di Savoia stopped by the city to enjoy the views. Legend states that to honour the Queen’s and King’s arrival, chef Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi was asked to prepare an assortment of ‘pizzas’ for the royals. The type the queen liked the most was a simple one made with white mozzarella, fresh ripe red tomatoes and leafy green basil (colours of the Italian flag). Because it was her favourite, it was then that this particular pizza was named after her; Pizza Margherita.
However, it is only thanks to the Italian immigrants that migrated to the United States from Campania, that the Pizza Margherita got its worldwide reputation.
Across The Ocean, And Back
In its home country, pizza recorded a boom in popularity only in the late 1940s, whereas due to the migration it was already popular in America. From New York to Trenton, Boston to Chicago, New Haven to St. Louis, these Italians had managed to make a name for themselves by introducing their most delicious dish to their new home and their new neighbours.
But it was only after World War II, thanks to the preponderant influence of the American culture, that pizza became the “It” dish back on Italian soil. After which its popularity spread to the rest of the culinary world.
At present, after the entry of authentic Italian pizzas and the introduction of the thin-crusted pizza by Modesto Marini to the city of Kuala Lumpur, you will find that when you crave a good pizza, there really is no need to cross the Pacific when all you have to do to delight your senses is to visit Marini’s on 57.
The Original Queen’s Pizza Recipe
Who hasn’t dreamt of being a five-star chef every once in a while, and cooking out-of-this-world dishes that would surprise his guests? Now you can become a true pizzaiolo for one night in the comfort of your own home. Follow our simple step-by-step guide, and be ready for an explosion of tasty flavours sure to impress your guests and loved ones.
Remember, the secret always lies in the dough and the quality of your chosen ingredients.
Ingredients (feeds 4):
- 1 l of water
- 50-55 g of salt
- 3 g of yeast
- 2 kg of flour
- 60-70 g of chopped tomatoes
- 80-100 g of DOP buffalo mozzarella
- 8-12 leaves of basil
- 4-5 g of extra virgin olive oil
Pour a litre of water into a dough-making machine, dissolve 50-55 g of salt, add 10% of the total flour you are planning to use, then dissolve 3 g of yeast and start mixing, adding the remaining 1.8 kg of flour until the dough feels smooth to the touch and very extensible.Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest on a marble slab or wooden surface for two hours. Then, divide the dough into ball-shaped portions of 180 g each. Put the portions aside in a container at room temperature for four – six hours, so that they can rise.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest on a marble slab or wooden surface for two hours. Then, divide the dough into ball-shaped portions of 180 g each. Put the portions aside in a container at room temperature for four – six hours, so that they can rise.Use your hands to roll out the ball-shaped dough on a surface covered with flour. Stop when it becomes a 3 mm-thick disk with a 1-2 cm edge.
Use your hands to roll out the ball-shaped dough on a surface covered with flour. Stop when it becomes a 3 mm-thick disk with a 1-2 cm edge.Place about 60-70 g of chopped tomatoes in the centre of the disk and spread it all over the surface. Add a pinch of salt, 80-100 g of cut buffalo mozzarella and 8-12 basil leaves. Finally, add 4-5 g of extra virgin olive oil.
Place about 60-70 g of chopped tomatoes in the centre of the disk and spread it all over the surface. Add a pinch of salt, 80-100 g of cut buffalo mozzarella and 8-12 basil leaves. Finally, add 4-5 g of extra virgin olive oil.Cook in a wood-fired oven at a temperature between 450-480 °C. Try to rotate the pizza frequently to make sure that it cooks evenly.
Cook in a wood-fired oven at a temperature between 450-480 °C. Try to rotate the pizza frequently to make sure that it cooks evenly.
Your savoury pizza is now ready to be devoured.
Gourmet Pizza With Scenic Views Of KL
Walk in; relax in a sophisticated ambience before a romantic and unforgettable scenery while sipping a glass of international red, white or sparkling wine; enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime pizza experience, pampered by our staff.
At Marini’s on 57, the menu consists of an ample selection of pizzas. Cuddle your palate in the light flavour of Margherita; or try to tame the hot, spicy Diavola that burns like fire; immerse yourself into the sunny, yet fresh Sicilian atmosphere through a bite of Siciliana; or just enjoy the iconic Alba with taleggio and black truffle, a plate that bristles with class.
You may also want to gain more insight into traditional Italian ingredients. Read this article about the undisputed queen of the Mediterranean Sea, mozzarella.