Tell me what pizza you eat and I’ll tell you where you come from

La pizza Patrimonio Unesco
Pizza, a UNESCO World Heritage
20 January 2020
Marana: un nome, una garanzia.
Marana: a name, a guarantee.
11 February 2020
Dimmi che pizza mangi e ti dirò da dove vieni

Dimmi che pizza mangi e ti dirò da dove vieni

How Italians eat it: tastes and passions in the shape of pizza

Pizza is sacred. Every Italian has his or her favorite pizzeria that they (almost) never betray, like the team of their heart.

Finding someone who doesn’t like this delight of Italian cuisine is impossible. Instead it’s not so hard to figure out what the most loved pizza is: the cheese pizza. A triumph of flavor and simplicity, which can come in a plethora of versions depending on the imagination and ingredients you have.

Also confirming this is a survey Buitoni conducted in 2016 on about 4000 Italians from age 18 to 65. The Doxa data speaks clearly: pizza is Italians’ favorite dish in summer (72%). The pizza market churns out head spinning figures: 56 million pizzas per week, almost 3 billion per year, with a good portion covered by take away and frozen pizzas. Besides the deliciousness of this extraordinary dish, Italians pick it because they see it as a symbol of sociality and togetherness (52%), as well as a forte of Italian cuisine (45%). While on the one hand we all agree, on the other hand there is a difference based on geographical origin: while in the north ham and mushroom triumphs (89%), and especially for the little ones, the classic cheese pizza (87%), instead in the South they can’t go without the classic buffalo-milk mozzarella cheese (82%), the tomato sauce-only (71%), and the tuna and onion (64%), symbol of the Mediterranean tradition, especially among men (75%). Instead among women, for the most part it seems to be the “Norma” with eggplant and salted ricotta cheese (67%), followed by seafood (59%), and cherry tomatoes, capers, and olives (45%).

However, from north to south pizza isn’t unequal just in the choice of ingredients, but also by type: from those who see pizza just in its Neapolitan version, with a high, soft “cornicione” and tons of sauce and buffalo milk-mozzarella cheese, and those who prefer thinner, crunchier Roman style pizza. Then there is a new swarm of “without” pizza fans (yeast, gluten, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce…) based on taste and intolerances. It’s a question of dough…the Buitoni survey doesn’t say anything about that, but it gives us some interesting data concerning the taste in pizzas chosen the most in the North and those most loved in the South:

Pizza in the north

1 ham and mushrooms (89%)

2 blue cheese and salami (76%)

3 ham, mushrooms, olives, and artichokes (71%)

Women

1 vegetarian (84%)

2 bresaola (dried salted beef) and arugula (82%)

Pizza in the South

1 buffalo milk-mozzarella cheese (82%)

2 tomato sauce only (71%)

3 tuna and onions (64%)

Women

1 “Norma” with eggplant and salted ricotta cheese (67%)

2 seafood (59%)

3 cherry tomatoes, capers, and olives (45%)