the Pizza!

King Ferdinand I (1751-1825) is said to have disguised himself as a commoner and, in clandestine fashion, visited a poor neighborhood in Naples. Why the secrecy? One story has it that he wanted to sink his teeth into a food that the queen had been banned from the royal court-PIZZA.
If Ferdinand were alive today, he would have no trouble indulging his appetite. Currently, there are some 30,000 pizzerias in Italy, and each year they produce enough pizzas to serve 45 to each inhabitant!

Pizza may have originated in Naples about 1720. Back then, pizza was primarily for the poor, a "fast food" that was sold and consumed outdoors. Vendors would traverse the streets loudly calling out to advertise their tasty delicacies. The pizzas were kept warm in a scudo, a copper receptacle that was carried on the vendor's head.
King Ferdinand I eventually made his penchant for pizza known to the royal court. Before long, this street delicacy won such favor that even members of the wealthy elite and the royal class begun flocking to pizzerias. Ferdinand's grandson, King Ferdinand II, went so far as to have a wood-burning oven built in the gardens of Capodimonte Palace in 1832. Thus, he was able to keep his aristocratic guest happy.

The next time you indulge your penchant for pizza, recall its humble origins. And be glad that King Ferdinand I did not keep his love for pizza a secret.

Full article in Awake! magazine


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