Our family is Italian. Growing up in a big Italian family is quite an experience. Homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs was the only fare when the entire clan got together every Sunday back in Dayton, Ohio. When we did go out for pizza, it was always to the same place – Marion’s – where only the best pizza could be found.
Growing up, we were taught to do the best we could at whatever we did. As a result, here at Catalano’s we use only the best ingredients and the freshest products. Our dough is made fresh daily, using only imported Italian flour. Our Parmesan and Asiago cheese are also imported from Italy. We grind our own imported Italian tomatoes and cheeses, and our meats are never frozen. We take pride in our heritage and we make sure our food not only honors our family traditions, but tastes the way it ought to and would make our grandmothers proud.
Our goal is to provide great food with fast service at an affordable price. We’re glad to have you as our guest. Mangia!
The History of Pizza
While certainly ancient, the earliest origins of pizza are no at all clear. One interesting legend recounts that the Roman soldiers returning from Palestina, where they had been compelled to eat matzoh among the Palestinian Jews, developed a dish called picea upon gratefully returning to the Italian peninsula.
Most sources, however, agree that an early form of pizza resembling what is now called focaccia was eaten by many peoples around the Mediterranean rim.
These dishes of round pita-like, cooked bread with oil and spices on top, are the ancestors of pizza, but are not, properly speaking, pizza. The tomato was unknown and the Indian water buffalo had not yet been imported to Campania, the area around Naples.
With the discovery of the New World, the tomato made its way to Italy through Spain. It was considered a poisonous ornamental, and so in the first centuries of its import, was not eaten.
The Neapolitan people seem to be the first to wholeheartedly adopt the tomato into their cuisine. So much so that in our day, the (plum) tomato is the most characteristic element of Neapolitan cuisine.
Over the centuries, a veritable tradition of pizza was developed among the Neapolitan poor. It is not surprising then, that a modern pizza – that is, with mozzarella di bufala and tomato – was made in 1871 in Naples for Princess Margherita of Savonia by Raffaele Esposito. This patriotic pizza, of basil, tomato and mozzarella made in honor of the new tri-color Italian flag’s green, red and white, became the pizza alla Margherita. This form of pizza was made known, popularized and adapted in all the world through waves of emigration from Naples in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.