In 16th-century Naples, a galette flatbread was referred to as a pizza. Known as the dish for poor people, it was sold in the street and was not considered a kitchen recipe for a long time. This was later replaced by oil, tomatoes (after Europeans came into contact with the Americas) or fish. In 1843, Alexandre Dumas described the diversity of pizza toppings. An often recounted story holds that on June 11, 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita”, a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colours of Italy as on the Flag of Italy.
Pizza evolved into a type of bread and tomato dish, often served with cheese. However, until the late 19th or early 20th century, the dish was sweet, not savory, and earlier versions which were savory more resembled the flat breads now known as schiacciata.Pellegrino Artusi’s classic early-twentieth-century cookbook, La Scienza in cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene gives three recipes for pizza, all of which are sweet. After the feedback of some readers, Artusi added a typed sheet in the 1911 edition (discovered by food historian Alberto Capatti), bound with the volume, with the recipe of “pizza alla napoletana”: mozzarella, tomatoes, anchovies and mushrooms.
However, by 1927, Ada Boni’s first edition of il talismano della felicità (a well-known Italian cookbook) includes a recipe using tomatoes and mozzarella.