It’s true that I am very fond off a great pizza, it’s also true that there are many different pizzerias around the city that make very different types of pizza.
June 1889 is a significant month in the history of pizza-making. That’s when a humble Neapolitan tavern owner named Raffaele Esposito, won the praise of the Queen of Italy by serving her a local peasant specialty which he had re-designed in the colours of the Italian flag in her honour. Thus was born the first Pizza Margherita which set the standard for all future pizzas for generations to come.
In honour of this momentous occasion, I had the pleasure to hear Bill McCaig, owner of Nicli Antica Pizzeria, and Peppe Miele, North American President of the AVPN (Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana) kick-off of Nicli’s month-long celebration of the Margherita Pizza as they officially declared June Margherita Pizza Month.
Mr. Miele came to Vancouver specifically for this event. He is the owner of Antica Pizzeria in Marina Del Rey and the first person to have a pizzeria outside of Italy certified by the AVPN back in 1997. I tasted the Margherita Pizza and had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Miele and others who spoke to us about the history and significance of the Neapolitan pizza and why it is the ne plus ultra of pizza.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria is located at 62 East Cordova Street in Gastown.
By: Richard Wolak