Naples – the birthplace of Italian gastronomy
In the south-western part of Italy is located, perhaps the most diverse region of the country – Campania. Its diversity is manifested both in the natural landscape – mountain ranges alternate with spacious plains and flowering reserves – and in the nature of the area. Calm and measured region with its mild climate and centuries-old traditions violates the reputation of the brutal Naples. The Italian National Tourism Agency (ENIT) will tell you why you just need to visit the largest city and capital of the region.
Naples proudly towers over the Gulf of Naples and over the centuries has served as an inspiration for artists – filmmakers, writers, artists – thanks to its passionate character and picturesque landscapes. Naples is rich in works of architectural art – countless Catholic cathedrals, monuments, galleries, castles and palaces.
The historical and cultural heritage of the city is unique: in 1995 it was included in the list of sites protected by UNESCO. Despite the legends and slightly ill fame, thousands of tourists annually travel to Naples in search of Italian happiness, thrills and, of course, real Italian pizza.
Yes, yes, you heard right: Naples is the birthplace of pizza, the main symbol of Italian gastronomy. The real pizza and the name is appropriate – Neapolitan. According to legend, the most popular pizza, Margherita, was first cooked in 1889 for Queen Margherita, wife of the King of Italy, Umberto I.
During a visit to Naples, the couple decided to try a popular local dish – pizza – which was considered the food of the poor. For the king and queen, several types of pizza were cooked, including pizza with fresh tomatoes, cheese and basil, in the color of the Italian flag. The last pizza was especially liked by the queen and was named after her – Margarita.
View of Naples.
This episode became a turning point for pizza as a dish: one can say that in just 130 years pizza has conquered the whole world. And yet only in Naples you can find out what a real Neapolitan pizza is: thin in the middle, with high sides and fresh ingredients.
Neapolitan pizza margherita. Source www.o-grill.com.r
The second true Italian dish that Naples gave to the world is spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, clams, white wine and parsley. This uncomplicated dish made from fresh vegetables and seafood, thanks to its rich taste, becomes a real gastronomic masterpiece. In Naples, other variations of the famous dish are common: from classic pasta with tomatoes to more complex experiments with vegetable stews, meat and seafood. The secret of Italian pasta is in the sauce. This statement is more than proved by the other “calling card” of Naples: Genoese pasta. Her charm lies in a dense sauce of caramelized onions and beef stew from a local farm – ENIT recommends!
Speaking of Neapolitan delicacies, one can not but mention the mozzarellabuffalo cheese, which is brewed in the Mediterranean buffalo milk campaign. The delicate taste of mozzarella is familiar to anyone who has ever been to Italy: in Italian cuisine, it is a universal ingredient. Mozzarella is added to pasta, pizza, vegetable dishes and salads, for example, caprese with tomatoes. By the way, it is on Neapolitan land that the most delicious and juicy tomatoes grow, indispensable for Italian gastronomy.
Finally, for dessert – Neapolitan sweets. Italy is famous for baking, and Naples is no exception. One of the main traditional Neapolitan desserts is considered rum baba. Legend has it that donut-shaped sweetness was brought to Naples by the sister of the French queen Marie-Antoinette Marie-Caroline of Austria, the wife of the ruler of the Neapolitan kingdom Ferdinand IV. At first, the Baba was exclusively a royal delicacy, but after a couple of centuries it occupied a niche in Neapolitan street food. Another, no less sweet dessert is a spicy puff pastry made of sand or puff, shaped like a French croissant or a horizontal stack of potato chips. Ricotta is added as a filling and is served both warm and cold.
In Naples, large and rich taralli pretzels are very popular: they are filled with salt, pepper, roasted almonds or spices. Among the traditional Neapolitan desserts, there are those that are prepared exclusively on holidays.