In its original form, a pizza is baked in wood-fired oven, is flat, and has a circular shape. The main base is covered with fresh tomato and mozzarella, with optional toppings.
The traditional Italian pizza uses buffalo mozzarella instead of the most common “vacca” mozzarella, whilst in other parts of the world other kinds of cheese are used, such as parmesan, romano, ricotta or fesa.
Additional toppings may be added, such as basil, oregano, garlic, green peppers, olives, sausage, anchovies, ham, and mushrooms. The traditional crust is thin, though many pizzerias in Naples (the Italian city in which pizza was invented) make it thicker.
The traditional Italian pizza is called Pizza Margherita, and it’s simply dressed with tomato, mozzarella, basil and olive oil. In some pizza recipes (for instance, in the so called “white pizza”) tomato is used as sauce or is replaced with another sauce.
Pizza must be eaten hot, in order to preserve its original taste, and must be handmade. Usually it is consumed at dinner, while many people like it for lunch as well.
You can eat pizza worldwide, but nowadays you can only eat the real pizza in Italy. A restaurant where you can eat pizza is called a pizzeria. Italians don’t like other kinds of pizza, such as frozen pizza, because they only eat fresh made pizza.
Pizza fast foods are disregarded as well, since the tradition cannot be respected along with the fast food philosophy.
Despite the fact that it looks simple to bake a pizza, it’s important that the right ingredients are carefully chosen and used: the original Neapolitan Pizza is made with fresh San Marzano tomatoes, and the mozzarella must be made with water buffalo milk, that is quite different from any other kinds of milks.
But even if you can use the right ingredients, you will need the pluriennal experience of a Neapolitan pizzaiolo in order to eat a quality Italian pizza: the traditional pizzeria atmosphere and people will do the rest, giving you an unique experience in the Italian culture and traditions.