When you think of pizza, what comes to mind? Most picture a crispy round pie, laden with grease, cheese, and bright red tomato sauce. Like man and machine, the humble pizza pie has come a long way since its invention many years ago!
We all know that pizza originated in Italy, but do you know how this beloved delicacy got its start? What did the first Italian Pizza look like, and would you even recognize it today?
If you’re curious about the origins of pizza, read on to learn the history of everyone’s Friday night favorite! You might even learn some rustic pizza recipes to prepare the next time you have company!
Pizza has been around in one form or another since antiquity. Not all of the earliest pizzas looked like the pizzas you might order today. Many of them resembled flatbreads, more like open-faced sandwiches with sweet and savory toppings.
Darius the Great of Persia was cooking up flatbread-style pizza as early as the sixth century BC. The Persians topped their pizza with cheese and dates. Without woodfired pizza ovens, they had to bake their pizzas on the shields that they used in battle!
You can even find something like pizza mentioned in Ancient Greek literature. If you read The Aeneid in school, you might have noticed that the characters enjoyed eating a meal of pitas topped with vegetables. This early pizza was even significant to the plot, as it appeared in a prophecy earlier in the epic poem!
Some of pizza’s earliest ancestors still exist today, only with different names. Have you had focaccia, pita bread, lepinja, or coca? If so, you have already experienced a piece of pizza history pre-dating the Italian pizza!
The Early Italian Pizza
Think about the best pizza you’ve ever had. It probably wasn’t a pile of vegetables on top of a pita! The pizza you know today was probably derived from the Italian pizza, which began its life in sixteenth century Naples.
A lot of us use pizza as a survival food while living in college dorms. In the sixteenth century, pizza was food for the poor. It was a “street food,” resembling a galette, and was rarely prepared in the kitchen like a proper meal.
Tomatoes wouldn’t become part of pizza history until after Europeans had come into contact with the plant in the Americas. These tomatoes, along with oil and fish, would top the galette crust.
Believe it or not, the earliest Italians thought that tomatoes were a poisonous plant and would not cook with them! The poorest Italians were the first to take a risk, and that risk certainly paid off. The rumors of the dish were enough to bring tourists into the poorest parts of Naples to sample the delicacy!
It wouldn’t be until about the nineteenth century that all of the components of our favorite modern pizza would combine. Although apocryphal, the first Margherita pizza was supposedly prepared in honor of Margherita of Savory. She was a beloved Italian queen.
The chef responsible was Raffaele Esposito. He decorated the pizza with red sauce, white cheese, and green basil to represent the flag of Italy. The popularity of the monarchy would lead to the popularity of the dish, cementing these toppings as the “default.”
In many pizzerias, you can order a Margherita Pizza by name, even today! It is a simple, rustic slice – and a piece of pizza history!
During the 19th century, there were already about 120 operational pizzerias in Naples. They employed both pizza makers and pizza sellers. The pizza sellers worked on the street, as it was still a street food for many years.
Pizza Sweet Pizza
Even until the early 20th century, pizza looked and tasted different than you might expect. In fact, it was a sweet dish rather than a savory one! Today, “dessert pizza” is a novel specialty, but it used to be the most common iteration of our cheesy favorite!
The first mention of the Neopolitan pizza, the round, cheesy pizza we enjoy today, would be in a cookbook in 1911. The author described Pizza alla Napoletana as a pizza crust topped with mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, and sardines.
True Neopolitan Pizza and Pizza Today
Did you know that there are strict standards for what we call Neopolitan Pizza today? The True Neapolitan Pizza Association was founded in 1984 to declare specific rules regarding what could be considered authentic pizza.
The rules state that authentic pizza must be baked in a domed, woodfired pizza oven. The dough must be kneaded by hand, without the aid of any technology, including a rolling pin! An authentic pizza also cannot be larger in diameter than 35 centimeters.
Given those strict standards, even the biggest pizza fans may have never enjoyed a “True Neopolitan Pizza.” Some pizzerias are even stricter in their standards. They may only use one specific kind of tomato, or dictate the direction that sauce and oil can be added to the crust!
The thickness and texture of the crust varies regionally. The famous Chicago Deep Dish would not be considered a true Neopolitan, nor would the massive slices served up in your average New York City pizza joint!
Today, you can frequently get a pizza delivered from the oven to your door in thirty minutes or less. On websites like https://wiseguypizzapie.com/, you can even order your pizza online, without speaking to a single human soul! Pizza has come a long way, and it has taken about seven thousand years to get here!
From Antiquity to the Freezer Aisle
No true pizza fan would deny that the Italian pizza has come a long way from its origins in the Mediterranean. Today, you can pick up a frozen pizza from the supermarket and have a hot slice ready in just a few minutes. Pizza is a beloved, accessible food, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon!
Did this article make you hungry? Put your pizza in the oven and then check out the rest of the blog while it’s cooking. You’ll find plenty of articles about all of the foods you love!
7 Tips on Cooking Asian Meals for Beginners
Asian cuisine is booming all over the world. A 2018 survey revealed that Chinese and Japanese cuisine are two of the top five most popular cuisines internationally.
You don’t have to order takeout to enjoy a succulent Chinese meal. You can start cooking Asian meals in the comfort of your own home.
What ingredients and tools should you have on hand? Where can you go to find the most popular Asian recipes? How should you plan out your meals?
Answer these questions and you can prepare delicious chicken and broccoli in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Get Your Ingredients
Asian ingredients are varied. Asian meals use many different proteins, including non-animal sources like tofu. Grains include rice, noodles, and powders like cornstarch.
Every pantry should have some basic ingredients, and you can buy the other ones you need for particular recipes. Rice wine is essential for adding flavor and removing pungent odors in dishes. Garlic, ginger root, and spring onions are aromatics in many dishes.
You should have several bottles of different sauces on hand. Oyster sauce is savory, while soy sauce is salty. Oils are also important, namely sesame and peanut oil.
Buy Your Tools
A wok has several advantages over a traditional frying pan. Its bowl shape distributes heat evenly, and it requires less oil to fry food.
Find a flat-bottom wok with handles and a lid. You can choose one of any size, depending on the recipes you are making and the number of people you are cooking for.
Many people think a cleaver is for cutting large sections of meat. You can use one for that purpose. But a cleaver does act as a great all-purpose tool, good for smashing garlic and small ingredients.
Find a cleaver made from stainless steel. Buy a sharpener so you can keep the blade precise. You should also get a knife block that insulates the blade from moisture.
Learn Essential Techniques
When you are stir-frying, you need to get your pan piping hot. Stand back and let your burner come up to heat.
Then add your oil. Find a high-heat vegetable oil, like safflower or sunflower oil, and do not use olive oil.
You must defrost your meat before cooking with it. Let it sit out for 20 minutes at room temperature. You can take advantage of this time by marinating the meat in seasonings.
When preparing your vegetables, you should cut them on the diagonal. This exposes more of their surface area, letting them cook faster and absorb sauces. Hold your vegetable firmly, then cut it at a 60-degree angle.
Cook the meat, then cook the vegetables. Never cook them together because the vegetables will not cook evenly. You can toss the meat with the vegetables at the end, but only after everything is done cooking.
Do not overstock your wok. Cook your meat in two batches if you have too much.
Start Storing Asian Ingredients
Some ingredients can be stored in your cupboard after you open them. Rice and its derivatives, like rice wine, can stay in the cupboard. You can also put soy sauce and sesame oil there.
You can put onions and garlic out on your counter. Find a bowl to put them in so their skins don’t fall onto the floor.
Meat and vegetables must go in the refrigerator after they are opened. You should also put oyster and chili sauces into the fridge. Store them separately so they don’t spill onto other foods.
Read About Popular Asian Recipes
Once you have everything you need, you can start cooking recipes. Visit websites like The XCJ that offer recipes and cooking guides. Print out the ones you find and put them in a binder that compiles your favorites.
Make sure that you follow the recipes word-for-word. Adding too much of one ingredient can throw off the flavors and textures of your dish.
If you are a frequent patron of a particular Chinese restaurant, you may be able to get some of their recipes. Ask the chef after you’ve had a meal.
Write a Daily Plan
Don’t decide on a whim that you are going to make a recipe. You may not have the ingredients and you may take a long time preparing the ones you do have.
Sit down at the start of the day and decide what recipe you are going to cook. If you want to think long-term, make a plan for all the recipes you will cook in a week.
Write down the ingredients you need and check to see if you have them. Go to the store as soon as you can to buy the ones you don’t have. If you wait until the afternoon, they may already be gone.
Add Your Own Style
Once you have some skills in making recipes, you can start to add your own flair to dishes. You can top your stir fry with things like cilantro or scallions.
You can do a lot by making Asian desserts. You can mix and match different dishes. You can prepare fried bananas with a side of fresh mango pudding or kulfi.
How to Start Cooking Asian Meals
Cooking Asian meals is not difficult. Stock your pantry with essential items like rice wine and soy sauce. Get a wok and cleaver that let you prepare many recipes.
Master the essential skills of stir-frying, especially with heat management. Make sure your pantry and fridge can hold your ingredients. Then go and get your favorite recipes.
Start preparing your meal well in advance so you have everything you need. Develop your style through mixing and matching ingredients and dishes.
Cooking cultivates the imagination. Get creative by following our cooking coverage.
10 Vegan Jerky Products So Good You Won’t Miss Meat at All
Finding meat substitutions that taste like the real thing is getting easier thanks to advancements by meat and plant-based companies alike. For conscious consumers who want to avoid the antibiotics, steroids and nitrates found in meat-based dishes, vegan options have come a long way. From burgers and hot dogs to butter and ice cream, vegan swaps are getting closer to the taste and texture of animal products without the negative health and karmic side effects. One industry that has come impressively close to perfecting the likeness to meat is beef jerky. Here are 10 vegan jerky products that taste so good you won’t miss meat at all.
1. Bulk. Beef Jerky
When it comes to vegan beef jerky, Bulk. Beef Jerky’s options please carnivores and herbivores alike. Snackers can choose from original flavor, sweet wasabi, or Thai sweet and hot, all made with a vegan soy protein. Bulk., which stands for building up lives with kindness, also makes a vast line of real meat products, so it’s clear the company took extra care to prioritize flavor and texture, bringing its vegan option extremely close to the real thing. Best of all, if you’re looking to order your alternative beef jerky online, Bulk. Beef Jerky deals exclusively in online orders, so no need to search for a nearby retailer.
2. Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods
Boasting a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options from snacks to entrees, Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods joined the vegan jerky market with its kung pao plant-based jerky. Customers enjoy the fiery flavor of this jerky made from wheat gluten, so while not gluten-free, it does pack a flavor that any vegan snacker would enjoy. Sweet Earth products are carried at a wide range of retailers.
3. Noble Jerky
Noble Jerky’s soy protein jerky comes in a range of typical jerky flavors like barbeque, chipotle and hickory. Noble Jerky is a strictly vegan company, using non-GMO ingredients in all of its products which be found online.
4. Louisville Vegan Jerky Company
While having a nice variety of flavors to choose from, the Louisville Vegan Jerky Company developed their textured soy protein recipe with quality in mind. If you’re craving a traditional jerky flavor like Carolina barbeque, or a more unusual option like buffalo dill, Louisville Vegan Jerky has options for you. Louisville Vegan Jerky Company products are available at both physical and online retailers.
5. Savory Wild
This portabella mushroom-based jerky is naturally gluten-free and comes in unique flavors such as sesame, ginger and Korean chili, as well as sweet balsamic and golden fig. Ordering this jerky online is simple through the company’s website, as it’s not yet widely available in stores.
6. Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky
Vegan company Primal Spirit Foods opted for a wider range of ingredients when approaching its line of vegan beef jerky. Offering alternatives made of soy, seitan or shiitake mushroom, there are options for a variety of dietary needs. Furthermore, its hot and spicy option is great for vegans who crave the heat that comes with traditional beef jerky. Primal Spirit Foods are available at online and local retailers.
7. Stonewall’s Jerquee
This soy-based jerky comes in a whopping nine flavors, including alternative “chicken” options, which are often omitted by other jerky companies. Strict vegans take note, the barbeque “beef” flavored jerky is made with honey, which makes it simply vegetarian. All other flavors, however, are fully vegan and can be found online.
8. Mighty Bee Coconut Jerky
For the raw and paleo vegans out there, Mighty Bee’s alternative jerky is a unique option. Made from dehydrated coconuts, this jerky is the only fruit-based jerky on the list. Mighty Bee offers two traditional jerky flavors, spicy barbeque and teriyaki, as well as a dessert jerky with a chocolate hazelnut option. Not widely available in stores, this unique option is available online.
9. Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Jerky
Gardein entered the vegan jerky world with three simple but satisfying flavors to choose from. As a vegan company, Gardein developed this jerky with quality, non-GMO ingredients. This soy and wheat-based protein jerky can be easily found at your local retailer.
10. Pan’s Mushroom Jerky
Earning a name for itself on “Shark Tank,” Pan’s Mushroom Jerky entered the vegan jerky market with a mushroom-based product. It’s naturally gluten-free, so for the gluten-sensitive vegans looking for a jerky fix, Pan’s has you covered. Ordering this plant-based beef jerky online is simple through its website, but flavors are often out of stock thanks to the company’s “Shark Tank” fame.
There are plenty of vegan options for your beef jerky cravings. With many of these options available in stores, and all of them available online, trying a meat alternative has never been easier. Consider making a health-conscious swap and ditch the dried meat for a vegan beef jerky option next time you’re packing snacks for an adventure.
Why many people are buying survival products
Day by day the necessity for the MRE meals (survival gear) is increased because it’ll be the right one for saving your lives in critical situations. Most people are confused about where to get the right quality of MRE meals but you don’t have to bother about anything and SOS survival products are going to be the right choice forever. Everyone must attempt to utilize this unique product once they are visiting unknown places.
Reason for its uniqueness
It was made of a fine substance so it’ll never be harmful to your health at any time. Attempt to share the benefits of this excellent SOS product with those that need it and it’ll be more helpful for them. Some people are assuming that this type of product is going to be more costly but it’s not like that and you’ll save more from it. Still, there are not any poor reports that appear on these products and it indicates the standard of MRE products.
There are not any preservatives added thereto which is why it becomes the widely chosen one. It’s an important survival situation and surely you’ll not be disappointed about it at any time. Don’t miss this unique survival product for any cause and it’ll keep you far away from critical survival situations. This easy MRE product is holding multiple advantages with it and surely you’ll admire its value.
Highly safest one
Now anyone can easily purchase MRE meals at SOS Products on your budget so don’t miss this unique one for any cause. It’s an important product, therefore, the cost of this product is extremely low in comparison to the opposite. You’ll also recommend this unique one to those that need it and it’ll be more helpful for them. There are multiple people who have begun to utilize this excellent MRE product and they are all giving excellent reviews about it.
Hereafter you no got too confused about where you can get the simplest quality of MRE products on your budget and this may be an ideal choice forever. Still, if you do not begin to utilize this MRE product you’re missing an excellent opportunity so don’t miss this unique one for any cause. This may never be harmful to your health because it has been specially prepared for survival situations so you do get to bother about anything.
Common for all age people
Most people are beginning to suggest this SOS product for visiting unknown places and there’s nothing which will restore the worth of it. These are all the benefits you’ll get by choosing this SOS product so don’t miss this unique one for any cause. Now you’ll get a good idea about the benefits of selecting this SOS survival product so attempt to share the merits with everyone.
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