Pizza Margherita (and a bone to pick)

Pizza Margherita, the true, the original pizza

Pizza Margherita

So then, see here, there’s this restaurant in the Marina, corner of Chestnut and Scott, called Ristobar. It is a very good restaurant: the quality of their cuisine, the ambience, the service, all very good. I have eaten there several times, and have always come away happy. BUT, they have this entry on their menu:

lombard tomato passata, fior di latte, oregano, basil

Excuuuuse me, LOMBARD? A pizza of that description is none other than the famed MARGHERITA, and here’s the Wikipedia entry for pizza Margherita:

In 1889, during a visit in Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). This kind of pizza has been named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.

Now, our Lombard compatriots have much to be proud of in their traditional cuisine. It’s enough to mention the agnolini, the tortelle di zucca, their exquisite polente e osei, the pizzoccheri, the salame di Varzi, the bruscitti, the casonsei, and so on and on. But PLEASE, the Pizza Margherita? That is as Neapolitan as Spaccanapoli (where the best samples are undoubtedly found), as southern as a tomato vine in November, as typical as a scugnizzo sunning himself on a scoglio off Mergellina.

But wait, maybe there’s something different about Ristobar’s “lombard” pizza. Could it be that they use grano saraceno to make the dough? Umh, must try it next time I go there, then report back to you all. Perhaps I am premature in my outrage.

In any case, to all my friends from Milano and Cremona and Lodi, enjoy our pizza Margherita, and we really don’t care what you call it. And just to show that my heart is in the right place my next post will be about the Madonnina on the highest spire of the Duomo di Milano.

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