Pizza in Italy is served traditionally with beer. But Prosecco also works great as pairing.
Today, pizza is one of the quintessential dishes of Italian cuisine. There’s really no place in the world that you can’t find it. And today it’s served all across Italy.
But it wasn’t always like that.
Historically, you could only find this dish in Naples and in the region of Campania, Italy until recently.
In fact, it wasn’t until after World War II that the dish began to become popular in the United States. Most people believe that the new interest in the dish came about because American soldiers who were stationed in Naples after the war brought back an appetite for the dish when they got back from Europe.
If you visited any other region in Italy in the 1960s, you would be extremely hard-pressed to find pizza.
It wasn’t really until the 1980s, when Italy experienced its second post-war economic boom that the dish started to appear beyond Naples and Campania with any regularity. And by that time, the dish had become ubiquitous in the United States. This is one of the reasons that the versions served in New York and Chicago are so different from the dish as we know it in Italy.
And of course, the pizza that is served in other parts of Italy is also different from the traditional version served in Naples, with its burnt outer crust and its soggy middle.
These are just some of the misunderstandings about pizza.
And a lot of people don’t realize that:
1) Italians generally do not eat pizza at lunch. If you find a pizzeria in Italy that’s open at lunch, it’s probably due to the fact that it caters to tourists.
2) The traditional pairing is not wine but rather beer or Coca Cola. Italians nearly always prefer to have something sparkling when the sit down for the famous dish of Naples.
And that’s why Prosecco, with its low alcohol, bright flavors, and gentle fizz makes for such a great pairing — whether for the traditional margherita or something more fanciful like the pizza Bassanese, topped with white asparagus and an egg that is added raw and cooked in the oven.