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Beginning as early as the 17th century in and around Naples, Italy, when anyone had a hankering for a pizza, all they needed to do was take a stroll through the streets of the poorer sections of the city, and share the favorite cuisine of the locals . . .

There pizza was sold at all times of the day — served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Considered a peasant dish because it was made with inexpensive ingredients, and considered a curiosity by out-of-towners, it was made and peddled by men called pizzaiolis.

Pieces were cut from a large tray pizza whose crust had been cooked in the local baker’s oven after being sprinkled with simple toppings, usually *mushrooms and anchovies. Whatever was on hand became an ingredient! The coal-fired pizza ovens reached temperatures of nearly 750°. Stories and folk tales from those by-gone times note repeatedly that the flavor of that pizza — made, baked and served in the open air — was an unbeatable delight for whomever was lucky enough to eat it, poor or rich.

As time progressed and demand for pizza expanded, stalls were set up and the pizzas were specially shaped, assembled and cooked as ordered by the customers.

It was about this time that alternative toppings were “invented” and used, the most notably being the tomato, having just arrived via ship from the New World, and no longer thought to be poisonous. 

*Could it be possible that the 17th century Italians were a healthy    bunch because they ate mushrooms on their pizza? Today researchers tell us that eating 2/3 of a cup daily can double our natural defenses against viral attacks. Mushrooms are ripe with betaglucan, lentinan and other compounds that improve our white blood cell function.  

OIL of OLIVES?

Need proof that any kitchen oil can be an effective dry skin solution? Try shaking just a few drops of olive or peanut oil onto a flaky patch, and rub it in. Surprise! It works nearly as well as Oil of Olay! (But your favorite Pizza of the Month Club warns you may not appreciate the fragrance.)

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Pizza Selections . . . Please see individual pizza labels for how to bake the perfect CHICAGO DEEP DISH PAN CRUST PIZZA.

#1 – CHICK N’ ZEST GOURMET PIZZA The pan crust is covered with our Garlic Sauce (made with olive and corn oils, garlic, cayenne pepper, and spiced Romano cheese). Perched atop are Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast Strips, nestled in Mozzarella

#2 –  THREE MEATS GOURMET PIZZA  Calling all Meat Eaters! This is a hefty pizza of spiced and sliced Pork Pepperoni, spiced Pork Sausage and Bacon. (Yes, that’s pork, too.) The sauce is Club’s Signature Tomato Sauce, a blend of tomatoes, onions, salt, spices, garlic, Romano, oils and Chablis . . . but sorry, no pork. 

#3 – GARDEN PARTY GOURMET PIZZA  Tender cooked Spinach, healthy-for-you Sliced *Mushrooms and Ricotta are perfectly paired with our spiced Marinara Sauce made with tomatoes, onions, carrots, spices, corn & olive oils and a whiff of Chablis.

 

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Tracie Burket
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