There is a legend that modern pizza was invented in 1890 by Raffaele Esposito, a Neapolitan flatbread maker, as a gift for Queen Margherita of the newly unified Kingdom of Italy, featuring toppings in the colors of the new Italian flag. If true, this would be a delightful and suitably regal origin story; as it stands, pizza most likely already existed by Esposito's time, and not as a food for royalty. Most often, it was a crude flatbread cobbled together by the poorest of the poor, used to combine what few cheap ingredients they could find. By the late 1800s and early 1900s, it had become a staple of Neapolitan cuisine, and immigrants from Naples to the United States brought the dish with them. In America, pizza gradually altered its ingredients and form to fit the national taste; however, the basic formula remained the same.
My family has a long personal history with pizza. My mother was raised a Roman Catholic and as a result of that religion's dietary rules was not allowed to eat meat on Fridays. For that reason, Friday became pizza day; the venerable Italian flatbread would serve as a weekly staple. The tradition, if not the religion, remains in the family, and so I have had pizza at least once every week for as long as I can remember.
When it came time to write this blog, I decided to expand this tradition into a quest: a quest for the best pizza in my area. Here's the concept: every week I'll try a new pizza and review it. As the blog continues, I'll begin to rank the pizzas I've tried, and by the end of this experiment, I intend to have found the single greatest pizza available in metro Atlanta.