Have you ever ordered a pizza Margherita and wondered why it’s even called that?
Before you even question its name, it’s possible that, if you’re American, you don’t even know what pizza Margherita is in the first place. (If you do, we apologize for the condescension and hope you forgive us.) There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between cheese pizza, plain pizza and Margherita pizza.
According to the book Pizzapedia by Dan Bransfield, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana recognizes three types of genuine Neapolitan pizzas, one being pizza Margherita. It’s defined as being “made with tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil.” It’s a pared-down, more flavorful version of what Americans think of as cheese pizza, and it looks like this:
So how did it get its name? The most widespread ― though not undisputed ― belief suggests that Margherita of Savoy, onetime queen consort of Italy, was visiting Naples with her husband, King Umberto I (who happened to be her first cousin), in June 1889. This came on the heels of the unification of northern and southern Italy, and southern Italy was in need of a morale boost after its loss of independence.
Enter Queen Margherita and her appetite.
Legend has it that the queen tired of the gourmet French food she’d been served on the trip, and asked the most famous pizzamaker in Naples, Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi, to make her pizza.
The story goes that the pizza she liked best was made with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, which just happened to represent the three colors of the Italian flag. Convenient, huh? Esposito named the dish after Queen Margherita, and the rest is disputed history.
An alternate theory revolves around the fact that the word margherita translates to “daisy” in Italian, so some suggest the pizza got its name from the daisy-shaped arrangement of mozzarella and basil on top of the pizza.
No matter how you slice it, pizza Margherita is delicious. If you can’t get some from your local pizzeria, make yourself a pie. We’ve got 29 different recipes.
- 1Pizza MargheritaAlexandra Cooks
- 2White Pizza With Spinach And BaconHow Sweet It Is
- 3Pesto Pizza With Fresh Tomatoes And MozzarellaFoodie Crush
- 4Cheesy Fontina Caramelized Onion, Chorizo, Spinach And Artichoke PizzaHalf Baked Harvest
- 5Buffalo Chicken PizzaBell'Alimento
- 6Meat Lovers PizzaHow Sweet It Is
- 7Mushroom, Asparagus And White Burrata Cheese Pizza With Balsamic DrizzleHalf Baked Harvest
- 8Spinach And Ricotta PizzaBell'Alimento
- 9BBQ Brussels Sprout PizzaA Beautiful Mess
- 10Chicken Tzatziki PizzaFoodie Crush
- 11Pizza SorrentinaAlexandra Cooks
- 12Chipotle Cajun Shrimp And Guacamole PizzaHalf Baked Harvest
- 13Marinated Kale And Whipped Ricotta PizzaHow Sweet It Is
- 14Maple Apples, Blue Cheese And Bacon PizzaFoodie Crush
- 15Sun-Dried Tomato And Olive Pesto Pizza With SalamiHalf Baked Harvest
- 16Cast Iron Skillet Brussels Sprouts Bacon PizzaHow Sweet It Is
- 17Toasted Walnut Pesto And Caramelized Nectarine PizzaHalf Baked Harvest
- 18Meyer Lemon PizzaHow Sweet It Is
- 19Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash PizzaHalf Baked Harvest
- 20Berry With Arugula And Prosciutto PizzaFoodie Crush
- 21Burrata Caramelized Onion And Prosciutto PizzaBell'Alimento
- 22Bacon, Egg And Asparagus Personal PizzasHow Sweet It Is
- 23Red Potato, Sausage And Rosemary Fontina PizzaFoodie Crush
- 24Pulled Pork Pizza With Maple Leeks, Roasted Garlic And Aged CheddarHow Sweet It Is
- 25Chipotle BBQ And Sweet Chili PineappleHalf Baked Harvest
- 26Spinach Artichoke Chicken PizzaGimme Some Oven
- 27Crispy Shredded Sprouts And Cider Short Rib PizzaHow Sweet It Is
- 28Thin Crust PizzaA Beautiful Mess
- 29Butternut Squash, Sage Pesto And Prosciutto PizzaHow Sweet It Is