Recently, Jen’s family came to visit (HERE) and since we’re not the type of family that does well sitting still, we planned a couple trips within their trip. One of these week-long sojourns was an impromptu visit to Civitella in the Abruzzo region- Jen’s nonna’s (grandma’s) hometown. The official name of this gem of a village is actually, Civitella Messer Raimondowhich is home to less than 900 residents. Jennifer and Jessica grew up going to visit their nonna and family friends in Civatella during many of their summers abroad. Since I had never been to see such an important part of my wife’s family history – I was excited to go.
Civitella Messer Raimondo – the place where it all started!
Here is something my Mom, Greg and I all have in common…we love Pizza. And pizza in Italy is the best! Pizza originated in Italy and they have continued to perfect the art ever since. When my Mom was in town we decided to make our own versions of our favorite pizza’s at home. We had so much fun and Julia even got in on the action.
Rolling out her dough
When I told my uncle our plan to try to duplicate our favorite pizza’s at home he gave us a brief history lesson on the pizza. As it turns out, pizza started as a flatbread consumed by many people in Europe. In 16th century this was a common meal sold on the streets to the poor throughout Naples. It was an inexpensive dish that offered many different types of toppings. Credit for the first Margherita pizza is given to pizza maker Raffaele Esposito of Naples. The story is that in June of 1889 to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, he created a “Pizza Margherita” for the Queen (I had to get that from Wiki – History of Pizza) . This pizza consisted of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag. Thank you Raffaele! Today people around the world enjoy this simple but delicious pizza.