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Inventing the Pizzeria

Pizza is one of the best-known and widely exported Italian foods and yet relatively little is known about its origins in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Myths such as the naming of pizza margherita after the Italian queen abound, but little serious scholarly attention has been devoted to the topic. Eschewing exaggerated fables, this book draws a detailed portrait of the difficulties experienced by the then marginalized class of pizza makers, rather than the ultimate success of their descendants. It provides a unique exploration of the history of pizza making in Naples, offering an archival-based history of the early story of pizza and the establishment of the pizzeria. Touching upon issues of politics, economics and sociology, Inventing the Pizzeria contributes not only to the commercial, social and food history of Italy but also provides an urban history of a major European city, told through one of its most famous edible exports. Originally published in Italian, this English edition is updated with a revised introduction and conclusion, a new preface and additional images and sources.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Editor's Introduction Author's Preface 1. The Origins of Pizza and the Pizzeria 2. Censuses and Statistics: Pizzaioli in Their Social Context 3. Licenses and the Law 4. Inside the Pizzeria and Behind the Counter 5. Uncertainty and Continuity in Hard Times 6. The Distribution of Pizzerias Across the City 7. Historic Pizzerias 8. A Family Affair Conclusion: Yesterday's Pizza, Today's Pizza Appendix A, B and C Index

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Translated into English, this is a unique social and cultural history of the pizza business in Naples.

About the Author

Antonio Mattozzi is an independent scholar who has collaborated with the history department at the University of Naples 'Federico II', Italy, as well as the Didactic Committee for the Institute of Campania for the Resistance, Italy. He is a former high school literature teacher whose family has made pizza in Naples for over 160 years. Zachary Nowak (translator and editor) is pursuing his doctorate in American Studies at Harvard University, USA. He is also the Associate Director for the Food Studies Program at the Umbra Institute, in Perugia, Italy.


This fascinating and erudite history explores the origins of pizza in 18th-century Naples, the families who made and sold it, its key ingredients and techniques, and the growth of pizzerias along with the city. It points to pizza's global contemporary popularity and makes an important contribution to food history and Italian studies. -- Carole Counihan, Millersville University, USA In this delightful and well-researched book, Antonio Mattozzi traces the history of pizza and pizzerie, their origins in Naples and their particular developments there, first as street food and later in small eateries which developed out of bakers' shops. So much of what we know about pizza lies in myth and urban legend; using archival research, and with the city of Naples as his backdrop, Mattozzi is able to correct this. Inventing the Pizzeria makes a significant contribution to a range of fields, most especially food history, but also social and urban history. -- David Gentilcore, University of Leicester, UK

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