I judge the prices of a restaurant by how expensive their pizza Margherita. I don’t know how foolproof that principle is but it has served me well as it’s my second favourite type of pizza (I love you, quattro formaggi). But who invented the Margherita and where?
StepYoshi and ccesare wrote and edited some possible answers for Gastro Obscura. According to legend, the pizza Margherita was created in Naples (no surprises there!) in 1889 by a chef named Raffaele Esposito. The birthplace? Pizzeria Brandi:
The pizza was allegedly created in honor of Italy’s unification, with the three toppings—basil, mozzarella, and tomato—respectively representing the green, white, and red of the Italian flag. The story also claims that Esposito named the pie after the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. Today, a plaque near the Pizzeria Brandi marks the location as the birthplace of the pizza Margherita. It was unveiled in 1989, on the 100th anniversary of its invention.
However, as the writer suggests, that’s probably just a sentimental tale as pizzas had been served with those toppings before that time and the name could have come from the arrangement of the mozzarella slices resembling a daisy which is, funnily enough, margherita in Italian.