As you likely know already, pizza is historically an Italian dish. It has since spread out to many regions of the world, creating many different variations. So, if you head to Italy and try a pizza there, chances are it’s going to look and taste quite a bit different than what you’d get from most of the major American pizza chains.
Part of this is the dough, of course, but a major difference also exists in the toppings.
Here are just a few examples of some traditional Italian pizzas and the gourmet pizza toppings they use:
- Margherita: This is perhaps the most widely known Italian pizza, and a staple of Italian restaurants. It was originally created in Naples as a way to celebrate a visit by Queen Margherita. It uses the colors of the Italian flag in a simple yet delicious recipe featuring red tomato sauce, white mozzarella and green basil.
- Marinara: Pizza marinara is also from Naples, and simply features marinara sauce, oregano and garlic. It’s essentially the same as the margherita pizza, but without cheese and basil. It was especially popular with sailors back in the day, because its ingredients were easy to preserve on long voyages.
- Capricciosa: Pizza capricciosa can be found in most pizzerias in Italy. It’s one of the more heavily topped pizzas on this list, featuring ham, artichokes, mushrooms and black olives. Each region of Italy might modify the recipe for its own purposes—it’s not uncommon in northern Italy for there to be sausage on it, or in Sicily for there to be hard boiled eggs.
- Pugliese: From the Apulia region, this pizza features tomato, onion and mozzarella. Of course, there are plenty of variations that might add other toppings, but those three are the primary toppings of the original version.
- Melanzane: Pizza melanzane is a great vegetarian pizza option that features grilled eggplant. It might also occasionally come with potato or peppers. Typically, the eggplant will be joined by parmesan, which provides a great complementary flavor.
- Prosciutto crudo e rucola: This pizza is particularly popular in the summertime as it features a number of fresh favors. It features prosciutto, rocket and a cheese, usually mozzarella, parmesan or fior di latte. This pizza is highly beloved and easy to make.
- Pizza alla salsiccia: This is your standard Italian sausage pizza. It usually features a tomato base with a bit of cheese, and might occasionally come with some extra toppings like red onion, fennel and/or peppers.
As we mentioned previously, it’s not just the ingredients that separate Italian pizzas from what you’ve likely experienced in the United States. It’s also the dough and cooking methods. The dough tends to be thinner but chewy, with a wonderful flavor that is often a result of wood-firing the pizza rather than simply baking it in a standard oven.
Interested in learning more about the background of traditional pizza toppings, or simply in bringing some new gourmet pizza toppings to your establishment? Contact Giovanni’s Frozen Pizza today and place an order.