- June 1889 is a significant month in the history of Italian cuisine. That’s when a humble Neapolitan tavern owner named Raffaele Esposito, won the praise of Margherita of Savoy, Queen of Italy, by serving her a local peasant specialty – a flatbread, which he designed in the colours of the Italian flag in honor of her visit to Naples. To create the red, green and white of the Italian flag, he topped the flatbread with simple, local ingredients - tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves – the first time cheese had been melted on the traditional flatbread.
He named the new dish after the queen. Legend has it that she was so delighted by it, she insisted that a wood-fired ‘flat-bread oven’ be installed in the palace. Thus was born the first Pizza Margherita which set the standard for all future pizzas for generations to come.
In the intervening century and a half, pizza has spread around the globe - with versions and variations as diverse as the people who make it. There is, however, still one universal standard for pizza excellence based on that very first Margherita pizza. That standard was created, and is maintained, by the AVPN (Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana) in Naples, Italy. In 2009, the European Union protected Neapolitan pizza with its designation as a Specialty Guaranteed Dish. Nicli Antica Pizzeria is the first pizzeria in Vancouver, and amongst the first in Canada, to receive the official AVPN designation. To celebrate June’s significant place in food history, Nicli and AVPN North American President, Peppe Miele, are declaring June Official Margherita Month.
From May 28 – June 30,
Gastown’s Nicli Antica Pizzeria will be producing and/or hosting a number of fun events and special promotions bound to appeal to pizza lovers – Pizza with Peppe, Margherita Lunch, La Stella Wine Dinner, Dine Like an Italian, Margherita Cocktail and PINQ Presents a Royal Affair. Full details on all these and more can be found on Nicli’s web site.May 28
- Pizza with Peppe: for one this evening only, from 6 p.m. to closing, drop by Nicli for a pizza and meet Peppe Miele, AVPN North America President. Mr. Miele is coming to Vancouver specifically for this event. He is the owner of Antica Pizzeria in Marina Del Rey and the first person to have a pizzeria outside of Italy certified by the AVPN back in 1997. Regular menu is in effect.
Wednesday 22 May 2013