Wonderful! Pizza! It’s a base that we can create to inspire us to make nutritional well-balanced meals; we can place fresh vegetables, different types of cheeses, there are not limits to this class!

The word “pizza” was first documented in 997 AD Gaeta Italy and successively in different parts of central and Southern Italy. The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as “panis focacius”, to which toppings were then added. In 16th century, Naples a Gallete flatbread was referred to as a pizza. Known as the dish for poor people, it was sold in the street and was not considered a kitchen recipe for a long time. This was later replaced by oil, tomatoes (after Europeans came into contact with the Americas) or fish. An often recounted story holds that on 11 June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margerita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita”, a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, to represent the national colors of Italy as on the Italian flag.

Traditional Sicilian pizza is often thick crusted and rectangular, but also round and similar to the Neapolitan pizza. It is often topped with onions, anchovies, tomatoes, herbs and strong cheese such as cacciocavallo and tomatoes. Other versions do not include cheese. The Sicilian methods of making pizza are linked to local culture and country traditions, so there are differences in preparing pizza even among the Sicilian regions of Palermo, Catania, Siracusa and Messina.

The sfincione (or sfinciuni in Sicilian language) is a very common variety of pizza that originated in the province of Palermo. Unlike the more familiar Neapolitan pizza, it is typically rectangular, with more dough, sauce and cheese. An authentic recipe often calls for herbs, onion, tomato sauce, strong cheese and anchovies. The sauce is sometimes placed on top of the toppings to prevent it from soaking into the thick dough.

In this class we will create, pizza from ancient times, and pizza from contemporary times. Enjoying the history of where it is originated from to inspire us this 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 2100.

It is an amazing class full of fun and laughter and most of all Sicilian history.

See you in my kitchen Carmela.