One of the most delicious dishes found in all of Italian cuisine is Caprese salad or the Insalata Caprese. This dish marries some of the most notable ingredients in Italian cuisine including tomatoes, olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The dish has been popular for many decades, but where did it actually come from?
In the Early 1920s
The first origin story for Caprese salad dates back to post-World War I Italy. A patriotic mason wanted to make a dish that was a true tribute to Italy and that visually incorporated the tricolor into the presentation. The first printed mention of the Caprese salad was on a menu at the Hotel Quisisana.
The 1950s Spread
After the initial positive response, Caprese salad was enjoyed by many but failed to really catch fire. King Farouk, in the 1950s, asked his chef for a light afternoon snack and was served a Caprese sandwich. At that point, the rest is history! Tourists began to flock to the region and Caprese salad soon became known as a staple of Capri food and culture. Over time, the recipe was refined and improved by adding bufala mozzarella instead of the traditional vaccine mozzarella.
Enjoy a Bite of History
Like many Italian cuisine dishes, Caprese salad is partially so popular because it is so easy to prepare. To make your own Caprese salad, gather the following:
- Mozzarella in a large ball to slice into delicious chunks
- Tomatoes that are perfectly ripe (not too mushy and not so firm that they are hard to cut) and a bright copper red in color
- A small amount of juice from the tomatoes to keep the entire dish moist during serving
- Fresh basil leaves, broken by hand and sprinkled over the top
- Your appetite for this delicious bite of Italian history!
Enjoy Authentic Italian Recipes from Basta Pasta
For over 12 years, Basta Pasta has been providing Marylanders with delicious Italian specials cooked from fresh, delicious, high-quality ingredients. Enjoy a taste of classic Italian food with spectacular pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and sumptuous fine Italian wines. To make a reservation at our Timonium location, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 308-0838. To make a reservation at our Fallston location, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 692-5200. To find out more about our menu, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!