Last night I had a Margherita Pizza for dinner. Yum. And I would like to simply state that I think that this dish is nothing short of Italian Brilliance, possibly that country’s greatest gift to Western Civilisation! Being a Pizza enthusiast I suddenly wondered what the deal with it was and why was it called Margherita?
I Hereby show you my findings.
Pizza in one form or another has been around for centuries, decended from simple MedIterranean flatbreads, the people of Naples had called their simple creations of yeast based bread and paste Pizza long before the thing we buy at the supermarket came along.
In its origional form I don’t think it sounds very appetising, but as time went on the Pizza’s of Naples, cooked by its poorer citizens became a tourist attraction and drew wealthier diners down into the sticks to sample their tasty creations, served by open air vendors, Pizza bakeries or by peddlers. Apparently it was a favourite in winter but it bares little resemblance to what we know as Pizza today. What changed? Well in 1889 the Royal cook Raffael Esposito made three special Pizza’s for the King and his consort Queen Margherita of Savoy. One was a completely new take on the traditional plain pizza, hitherto either topped with a tomato paste (since the 16th century-ish) anchovies or olive oil and presumably that mysterious red paste. It was a pizza made with tomato sauce, olive oil, green basil and Mozzarlla cheese, the vibrant colours on this pie created the illusion of the Italian flag and the Queen enjoyed it so much that not only did cheese become prevalent on all Pizza’s from then on but this favoured creation became known as “The Margherita Pizza” and according to the True Neapolitan Pizza Association, it and the Marinara are the “only” types of Pizza in the world.
Call it an experiment, call it a game or call it a random thought conjured up from the languid torpor of an absent moment, now used as a weapon to annoy travellers, call it what you like but let me ask you a question: Given the choice of three ancient civilisations which one would you choose to be a part of and why? Continue reading “What’s Your Civ?”
Recommended as Further Reading in Sir Henry Morgan by Don Nardo.
Admiral Sir Henry Morgan was a man of his times. He was also the greatest Buccaneer to ever live and probably one of history’s great forgotten commanders. Always jealous of his hard earned reputation he became obsessed with the status he had won at the point of his sword, the unfortunate victims of his lust for position and wealth were the Spanish who thought him a low down pirate, and who were tenuously clinging on to the power they themselves had gained through steel and gold. Morgan fought the Spanish at first because that was what good protestant soldiers did, but their (not unreasonable) view of Buccaneers like him would make him turn his energies more and more to punish them for demeaning and disrespecting the life he had made for himself. It was a career that would get him everything he ever wanted and would lead him from rural Wales to the fabled city of Panama. So what do ye say mates, mayhaps we should learn a bit more about him? Continue reading “King’s Pirate: Henry Morgan’s Attack on Panama part 2”
The 18th of June, is the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a pivotal moment in European history. Don’t worry I haven’t been nearly so industrious as to have written a lengthy blow by blow account of the fight, hopefully I have been a little more original, So if you have a moment for commemoration please follow me.
Continue reading “Waterloo Men.”
Over 200 (and counting) of you kind Adventurers stopped by to read my first post of the Master’s of Battle Series. So in a way this is backed by popular demand. Therefore without further ado (and with an imaginary drumroll, please pause for a moment and imagine one) I give you part two of Elizabeth Butler, Master of Battle.
Continue reading “Masters of Battle: Elizabeth Butler Part 2.”
Though I haven’t yet written about anything prior or past the 17th or 18th Centuries AD I just want to make something clear about my reference to dates in Antiquity.
At some recent time, I don’t know when (ha ha), the traditional way of identifying time prior and post a certain date changed from BC and AD to BCE and CE (or sometimes ACE which I think you will all agree is a word not an abbreviation). Why I don’t know and frankly I don’t care, all that I care about is that you should know that were applicable, on this website all dates will be prefixed or postmarked Before Christ or Year of Our Lord (As the comment below says, After Death, is a popular memory hook, my thanks).
If you being fond of the newer appellations feel vexed about this then I’m sorry, you will just have to go through the same irritation that I have to every time I read a book with your favoured distinction in it. Call me what you like, say, your one of those guys who would wear a T shirt reading “When I was a Kid Pluto was a Planet” well I don’t have one of those shirts but it’s quite true nevertheless. Just as true as the fact that when I was a kid we used BC and AD and I like them.
Well having wasted enough of your time on my hang up, I’ll let you get on with your life. The author breaths out a long freeing sigh and relaxes.
So it looks to me like your ready to have a peek into the Eighteenth Century, lets go…
Continue reading “Marlborough’s Hero’s Part 1.”
Recommended as Further Reading in Sir Henry Morgan by Don Nardo.
Come on lets face it. We’re all suckers for a good Swashbuckler, corny or not, accurate or completely bonkers there is a huge soft spot for the daring do of the past. Give us a couple of big ships with allot of cannons, give us a jolly roger and a yo ho ho, give us cutlasses, rapiers and baggy shirts and you’re set for a good time.
I’m no different, as I have found that the real life adventures of these people were no less exciting or colourful. Indeed though in some parts those old fashioned pirate movies that people laugh at all the time, are sometimes closer to the truth than they are given credit for, I have never seen the reality to be a let down. So mateys, sign aboard my good ship and lets set sail with the greatest Buccaneer ever to lift a bottle of rum (a thing he did so frequently there’s even a brand named after him), a man who would have sent all the varying Hollywood pirates scurrying for their mamma’s – the notorious Welsh admiral of the brethren of the coast, Sir Henry Morgan. Following him to the fabled city of Panama in what was to prove the last of the Great Buccaneer raids, and what would prove one of the inspirations for the Golden Age of Piracy, Arrrrrr (Or whatever). Continue reading “Kings Pirate: Henry Morgan’s Attack on Panama part 1”
Now that I have this site I have the perfect excuse to bug all you nice people about the things that bug me. The Daily Mail recently ran a short article on a historical discovery made on the Antiques Roadshow. See link for article. I’m sorry I couldn’t think of a more ingenious name but let’s face it, there’s not much to work with.
Continue reading “Wellingtons Decanters.”