Italian Food Facts: Margherita Pizza

Margherita pizza (known in the USA simply as cheese pizza) is one of the simplest and yummiest pizzas out there. It’s got dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a few basil leaves. That’s it.

Personally, it’s the pizza I most often get myself. Sometimes I try other “fancier” pizzas, but I always think “Hmm. That was good, but it wasn’t a Margherita.” Then I feel unsatisfied until the next time I get a pizza and I appease my taste buds with a good ol’ Margherita.


The Margherita pizza gets its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy  who was Queen in Italy from 1878 to 1900. Queen Margherita and King Umberto went for a visit to Naples, which is the birthplace of pizza (something that Neapolitan people are quite proud of). A special pizza was made for her visit, aptly called Pizza Margherita. This pizza quickly became popular and has stood the test of time as the “classic” pizza.

Take a quick look at the photo of the Margherita pizza at the top of this blog post. Go ahead. Can you guess why this pizza was made for the Queen? Look at the colors.

The Margherita pizza displays all three colors of the Italian flag: red – tomatoes, white – mozzarella cheese, and green – basil. Patriotism never tasted to good!

Patriotic Ingredients

If we wanted to do the same thing for the  American flag and create an… oh, I don’t know…. Obama pizza … we already have two of the colors taken care of with the tomato sauce and mozzarella, but what could we use for blue? Blueberries? Cotton candy? Blue raspberry Starbursts?

On second thought, maybe it’s best to leave the patriotic pizzas to the Italians.


25 thoughts on “Italian Food Facts: Margherita Pizza

  1. You can always make the US flag cake with red strawberries, blueberries and white frosting. A 4th of July classic. No one eats it, but it looks cool.

    Friggin love that pizza…I want it right now for breakfast. Then later for lunch…and possibly for dinner as well. Though, I don’t think Papa Gino’s has quite captured the Italian spirit behind it…

  2. all i have to eat today is cheese and onion crisps becuase its raining so hard that i cant be bothered to leave the office. but im coveting that pizza, especially with tons of basil on. Mmmmmmm!!!!

  3. I thought you were goiong to say that the Obama pizza would be black with no taste and cost only 6 trillion dollars. Of course paid for by everyone else.
    But seriously, pie is great in any country, extra basil is always requested.

  4. Thank you very much! You had me, poor Italian abroad in a place where it is almost impossible to get a decent pizza, salivating over my keyboard and loosing the will to go out for lunch (hummous again?). I will now starve dreaming of a Margherita…

  5. Looooooooooove the Margherita pizza! They make ’em here in Romania, too, and we always order one for our finicky kids and one for ourselves. Then we pick off the basil for our finicky kids and add it to ours. Okay, now I want to order pizza for lunch. =>

  6. This is my favorite pizza! With fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and homemade pizza cooked on the grill……….That’s how we do it here in Florida! Mmmmmmmm……I want some now.

  7. Oh gracious that photo has my mouth watering, haha! And I have to admit, the first thing I thought of when you suggested an “American Patriotic Pizza” was to have blueberries on there with the mozzo and tomatoes… then I realized just how disgusting that would be, haha!

  8. Thanks for making me hungry Garrett. Great photo !

    As for the “Patriotic Pizza”, I bet we could use vongole, if we just used the blue-ish tinted ones. I know that’s stretching it a bit, but hey…….

    We’d have to post warnings on our edible work of art though (little flags on toothpicks would be ideal) so we don’t get sued.

    “Caution ! Do not eat shells !”, “Warning, cheese may be hot !”, “Attention ! The consumption of pizza in copious amounts will make you FAT!”

    That would definitely put a down-home spin on it.

    • Haha! You’re a funny guy! 😀

      It’s true that Americans are “sue-crazy” and poor companies need to put the stupidest warnings on their products!

      There would probably also need to be explicit instructions on the pizza: pick up slice, put in mouth, chew, swallow, repeat.

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