Craving a Bite of Pizza History

By: Calvin Mayne | VP of Food
On: October 02, 2015

We all love pizza. The very word invokes thoughts of savory happiness. It’s no surprise that pizza has become a staple of the American diet. As is true with so many foods, there’s a great variance in ingredients and preparation methods resulting in abundant variety, and consequently we all have our own particular favorite.

A couple of years ago, we decided to get serious about hot, ready-to-eat pizza and we had a lot of decisions to make. Should we try our hand at a thin-crusted Dayton-style pizza? Heavily-topped Chicago pizza? Thick-crusted Sicilian? Or, a big, hand-tossed New York pizza? We decided to be true to our company mission, which in part speaks of our “passion for the history and flavor of great food from around the world.” This mission naturally led us to the pizza style of Naples, Italy, where it could be argued that today’s love affair with pizza first began. Let me explain.

Back to the Beginning

The idea of topping flatbread with condiments goes back to antiquity. Some sources credit ancient Persian armies under Darius the Great (5th and 6th century B.C.) with the idea of cooking flatbread on their shields and making a meal of it by topping it with cheese and dates. Other sources cite ancient Romans, Greeks, and Phoenicians as early aficionados of a version of what we would call pizza.

Pizza’s grand entrance into the modern world is most often traced back to Naples. In 1889, Queen Margherita of Savoy was vacationing there and fell in love with a particular pizza made for her in the colors of the Italian flag (red sauce, white mozzarella, and green basil). The pizza was named in her honor, and became the signature pizza for Italy, and eventual cultural ancestor of the New York-style and other American pizzas.

Naples Pizza Comes to Life Here at Home

Naples pizza is, to our taste, the most balanced and best pizza eating experience. However, it’s very difficult to do it right. We had to pay special attention to the technique and ingredients. For example, we make our sauce, hand-stretched mozzarella, and other toppings right here. We bake in specially designed pizza hearth ovens that obtain temperatures over 1,000 degrees. And most difficult and important of all, we achieve a thin, flavorful crust that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Thankfully we are blessed at DLM with a cadre of artisan bread bakers who are masters of dough, and they make it daily for our DLM Naples-Style Pizza. That leaves our talented pizza makers to focus on hand-stretching the dough to a perfect tradizionale size of about 11 inches in diameter or 8 inches if you prefer our new bambino-sized Naples Pizza. Next comes the toppings, always arranged in just the right proportions, and then we bake it all to beautiful bubbling, crispy perfection. All that remains is for you to try it! If you want to experience a historically good pizza, then DLM Naples-Style is your answer. Find it at DLM Washington Square and Springboro.