Pizza 101 at Solita & Mastino

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Solita & Mastino is taking you back to school.
The Delray Beach restaurant has started a pizza academy where the lesson is: Pizza 101. The interactive class combines history, art and food.
It begins with a cocktail, beer or glass of wine, an apron and a history lesson about pizza.
The teacher, restaurateur Steven Dapuzzo, explains that pizza dates back to biblical times. The pizza we know today can be traced all the way to 996 AD in Naples, Italy. He said the different types of pizza made back then were focaccia-style and marinara. Marinara-style pizza, he explained, is named after the mariners and made by their wives.
One of the most beloved pizzas was created in 1887. The queen at the time loved pizza, which was considered a street food. It was rumored that she would put on monks-attire and go out to find pizza, Dapuzzo said.
The king served heavy, French-based food in the palace. Since the queen loved pizza, they had a contest to see who could cook the best pizza. The winner was Rafael Esposito, who combined three ingredients to make the Italian flag. The result, a Neapolitan Margherita pizza, which was named after the queen.
A pizza oven was built in the palace and protected by mastinos, guard dogs. The restaurant takes its name after those guard dogs.
The class teaches how to make a Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza. One of the biggest secrets is the flour. The restaurant uses 00 flour, which is super fine. Dappuzzo reveals other tricks along the way on how to prepare the dough and the proper ratio of toppings.
He even gives you tips for how to do it at home without the 1,000-plus degree pizza oven.
While waiting for your individual pie to be complete, the pizza chef whips up tasting of pizzas on the menu to taste.
You leave the class full and with the secret recipe.
The class is offered on a rolling basis. Dates of when the class is offered can be found online, society8.com.