We all know February is the month of love. It hosts the day that is celebrated by the masses, from couples, singletons, the old childhood sweethearts and anyone that loves…National Pizza day! Now, the creator of this heavenly day has unfortunately never been identified, but we thank you.
So, essentially the premise of this day is just to simply nestle in on your favourite pizza, be it the classic Neapolitan, the Chicago deep-dish or the curve ball that is the Hawaiian (thoughts?). To celebrate, we want to take you on a worldwide trip, exploring some of the different pizzas from around the world.
Starting off with the mother of all pizzas, the Neapolitan. Naples, Italy is the birthplace of the pizza pie. In the 1600s it was a form of street food sold to the poor Neapolitans who spent much of their time outside their one-room homes. To honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito, created the “Pizza Margherita”, garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colours of Italy as on the Italian flag – divine.
There is some speculation over whether the Lahmacun originated in Turkey or Armenia, but at the end of the day it is a delicious spin on a pizza-esque snack. To make this all you need is a classic Turkish flat bread, minced beef or lamb and an oven! The loose translation of this dish is “meat and dough”, and that’s exactly what it is.
New York Style
Next stop, New York, where you can take a delicious bite of a thin and crispy hand-tossed pizza. In 1905 in the city’s Little Italy, the first pizzeria opened called Lombardi’s, today it is deemed the godfather of all American pizzerias. If you’re looking to recreate that elusive crispy base at home, the Smeg’s PRTX ceramic pizza stone works wonders. All you do is place your raw dough on the stone with your desired toppings, then “whack it in” the oven Jamie Oliver style. Approximately 5 minutes later you’ll have Mary Berry saying, “there’s no soggy bottoms here”.
£50.00 – http://www.smeguk.com/product/prtx/
We’re back in Naples again but in the 1800s, and this time pizza has taken a different route. The original purpose of a calzone was to serve as a “walk around pizza” and the word translates to “pant leg” or “trouser”. It is achieved by taking a full-sized pizza, folding it and baking, a very portable grab and go meal indeed.
This pizza was inspired by the Neapolitan, but with the toppings added in reverse. Firstly, the cheese is added, then the meat, and to top it off a chunky tomato sauce. Its defining characteristic is the crust, baked in a pan so it can reach up to 3 inches high along the edges. If you’re making your own and want to avoid lobbing your pizza on the roof like Walter White, might we recommend the HBF02 hand blender from our brilliant Italian client Smeg. The appliance makes for a stress-free mission completed in seconds. As well as creating a perfect tomato base, this kitchen staple is ideal for soups, smoothies, dips, purees and desserts, too.
£119.95 – http://www.smeguk.com/product/hbf02rduk/
So, whether you’re dining out with friends, putting our DIY tips into practice or unashamedly ordering a cheeky Domino’s, we say a very Happy National Pizza Day to you!
If you are heading out we recommend you visit this website to find where your nearest pizza dive is offering deals for the special day: https://nationalpizzaday.co.uk/