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How Pizza Margherita Got Its Name

How Pizza Margherita Got Its Name

by | Aug 3, 2023

Pizza Margherita is a timeless Italian classic enjoyed by millions worldwide. Did you ever wonder how it got its name? Does it have anything to do with a tequila-based Mexican drink with a similar sounding name? (That’s a no.)

Tommy’s Pizza and Subs takes a quick look at the origins and evolution of this simple pizza’s tantalizing combination of flavors that has won pleased the taste buds of pizza enthusiasts for more than a century. If, after you read this article, you have a hankering for a Margherita Pizza, be sure to stop by Tommy’s or order online. It’s one of our most popular menu items.

Pizza Margherita

Our Story Begins . . .

The story of Pizza Margherita starts with the birth of pizza itself, which can be traced back to 18th-century Naples, Italy. Pizza was created as an inexpensive, convenient meal for the working class. Early versions of pizza were simple flatbreads, topped with ingredients such as garlic, oil, cheese, and tomatoes.

The Margherita Connection

Pizza Margherita made its first appearance in our story in 1889 when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples. The royal couple grew tired of the French haute cuisine and expressed a desire to taste food enjoyed by the common people.

To honor the Queen, renowned Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito created pizzas inspired by the colors of the Italian tri-color flag. For red, he used—you guessed it—tomatoes. For white, he used mozzarella cheese, and for green he went with basil leaves. Of the pizzas he created, the Queen favored one over the others. Thus, the “Pizza Margherita” was born, named after Queen Margherita.

Popular with the People

Pizza Margherita quickly gained popularity among working-class Neapolitans. Street vendors and pizzerias began offering this delightful combination, and its fame spread beyond Naples.

With the surge of Italian immigration to the United States and other parts of the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pizza Margherita found its way to foreign shores. It was especially popular in the burgeoning pizzerias in cities like New York, Chicago, and Buenos Aires.

Why is Pizza Margherita So Popular?

The combination of flavors and simplicity of Pizza Margherita seems to resonate with people from diverse backgrounds, transcending borders and cultures. Simply put, in its original incarnation, there’s not much not to like about it. Its simple flavor profile has made it a universally loved dish.

While the traditional Pizza Margherita remains popular, variations and adaptations that include innovative toppings and crust styles have emerged. Additional ingredients might include olives, capers, or artichokes. Different types of cheese, including buffalo mozzarella, provolone, or ricotta, can add unique twists to the classic recipe.

Hungry Yet?

While the history of Pizza Margherita is a captivating journey through time, nothing beats taking a bite of one. The simplicity and delightful combination of flavors is simply a delight. One of the most popular items on our pizza menu, Pizza Margherita remains an enduring favorite at Tommy’s.

We invite you to enjoy a take on this classic, complete with fresh tomatoes, oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil—or any one of our dozen or more classic or specialty pizzas.

Eat-in, Takeout, and Delivery

Tommy’s Pizza and Subs is the place for traditional Italian pizza and subs in the El Cajon/Santee, California area. Whether it’s family dining, takeout, delivery, or even catering, we offer a wide range of delicious foods and authentic Italian menu items made from the freshest ingredients.

  • Check out our menu and order online or by phone (619-499-5273) or stop by our restaurant on Magnolia Avenue in Santee, California.

Let Tommy’s Cater It

With Tommy’s Catering, we do it all while you enjoy your event. We deliver food and services sure to please a wide range of palates, from Italian and Greek favorites, to BBQ, Hamburgers/Hotdogs, and more. We take pride in delivering custom menus, exceptional service, and distinct and varied cuisines tailored to the unique needs of our clients.

Just download our Catering Intake Form to help with your planning. Fill it out and email it to us at info@tommyspizzasubs.com. If you prefer, you can call us at 619-499-5273. We typically respond to catering requests same day or within one business day.

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