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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Royal and celebrity links for Pizza Day

A Lancashire-based importer and supplier, known as the ‘Preston Pizza Oven Pioneer’, has taken a basil leaf out of the regal history of pizza and created his own tribute to royalty, to mark the US celebration, National Pizza Day.

Andrew Manciocchi, of Valoriani UK, who pioneered wood-fired pizza ovens in the UK around 15 years ago, has created the ‘Meghan Pizza’, a 2018 update to the Margherita pizza.

The ‘Margherita’ pizza was created in Naples in 1889, by Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi, when the queen of Italy, Queen Margherita of Savoy, wife of King Umberto I, was said to have been sick of the French gourmet cuisine that predominated in her social circle and did what was probably 1889’s version of ringing out for pizza. She summoned Raffaele to the kitchen of the Capodimonte Palace and he cooked her a Naples special with a twist, a traditional Neapolitan pizza topped with basil, mozzarella and tomatoes, to portray the green, white and red bands of the Italian flag.

The 2018 ‘Meghan’ pizza’ has been designed for Meghan Markle. Andrew Manciocchi has created it as a fusion of food that it is said Ms Markle adores, whilst also following the flag theme and designing the pizza to represent the red, white and blue of both the Union Jack and the Star-Spangled Banner.

The pizza is topped with turkey meatballs, crayfish tails, cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, parmesan shavings and chilli flakes, plus rather unusual blue carrots and lavender and garlic flowers, sourced and donated by Oliver Kay Produce of Bolton and created on the US’s day of pizza in recognition of Ms Markle’s nationality.

This particular topping was chosen by Mr Manciocchi when he learned that the turkey meatball recipe Ms Markle prefers is one perfected by Hollywood actress and A-lister, Gwyneth Paltrow, who also became one of his earliest customers when he fitted a Valoriani oven in her London home in 2005.

The ‘Meghan’ pizza recipe is available to anyone who wishes to try it out for themselves while Valoriani UK, which has its own pizza demonstration kitchen in Preston, has extended an open invitation to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to learn how to cook the new ‘Meghan’ pizza’ at a private cooking class.

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