Ah, the classic Margherita artisan flatbread pizza, a perennial favorite at both of our Indulge locations, featuring bubbling, hand-pulled mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and sweet basil on a bed of savory marinara. This light and satisfyingly shareable dish is perfect for hot summer nights in Colorado, and like all iconic Italian food it comes with a great backstory as well.
This particular tale begins in the year 1889. King Umberto I and his wife Queen Margherita of Savoy were visiting Naples. It is said that during the visit the Queen grew bored of the high-end French cuisine that was the standard among the elite classes at the time. To keep her happy, the king called for Raffaele Esposito, a renowned pizza-maker in Naples, and requested that he create three different pizzas for his bride to sample.
The first two were unsuccessful at pleasing the queen. She didn't care for the garlic-infused pizza marinara nor the anchovy-laden pizza Napoli that Esposito presented. The third pizza--featuring sweet tomato sauce, decadent mozzarella, and a bright sprig of basil--was a success, winning the approval of the queen and a permanent place in Italian cuisine, as arguably the most iconic of Italian pizza styles.
Esposito named the pizza after Queen Margherita, was awarded a Royal Seal, and received a thank you note from the chamberlain himself that his descendants proudly display to this day. The rest is history, right?
Maybe. There's a lot of speculation surrounding this charming story. For one thing, it seems all too coincidental to some that the queen's favorite pizza just happened to resemble the Italian flag in such a striking manner with its red marinara, white mozzarella, and green basil. When some skeptics dug deeper, they discovered that there were several inconsistencies in the letter that Esposito allegedly received from the chamberlain, including the style and placement of the royal stamp against the standards of the time and the fact that the letter was penned on regular paper, not royal stationary.
One theory is that the letter (and the story) were forged by the Brandi brothers, descendants of Esposito that inherited his pizzeria, when they fell on difficult times in the 1930's. Whatever its true origins, one things is for certain--the classic Margherita is a delight, no matter the season. Come enjoy one of our signature classic Margherita artisan flatbread pizzas tonight! It's the perfect meal to enjoy while taking in the views of the Rocky Mountains from our Highlands Ranch patio or while soaking up the nightlife at our location in Golden. Make your reservation today!