Italian Pizza Oven History
History Of The Pizza Oven or The Wood Burning Brick Oven:
A Wood Burning Brick Oven gives you that unique savory taste that can not be reproduced in a normal kitchen oven. Wood burning brick ovens have been around for 3,000 years or at best the early rise of civilization. Since middle age times the wood burning oven has been used to bake bread and other foods. Its origin is lost in time but leads us back to the origin of bread. The only way to bake bread was by means of a wood burning Brick Oven.
As well as bread, other foods can be cooked such as, Pizza followed by roast meats, pastries and cakes. The wood burning oven provides the food with a wholesome flavor that cannot be achieved with other types of cooking.
The shape of the Wood Burning Brick Oven evolved in Egypt and around the Mediterranean, and was independently developed by the Turkic peoples of the Balkans to become the standard shape in Europe. The Wood Burning Brick Oven has been discovered in the excavations of virtually every ancient civilization, with the brick oven reaching its final modern form in ancient Rome.
The wood burning brick ovens excavated in ancient Pompeii were discovered in excellent shape, and could start baking today with only minimal restorations. The old world markets dug up resembled modern day pizzerias, with granite counters, and a salad bar featuring both hot and cold foods and drinks to accompany the pizza.
Ancient Time wood burning brick ovens have been discovered throughout Europe, with little variation from the original Roman round, domed oven compartment and front vent design.
In Italy, the ovens were owned by individual families and were smaller -- which is the foundation for Italy's modern pizza oven industry. Round ovens built from brick, and even local stone, have been built in Italy seemingly forever. Virtually every Tuscan farmhouse has, or had, an original brick or stone oven.
The different cooking requirements between a commercial bakery and pizzeria or homeowner created a split in brick oven design in the 18th century. The French, or Scottish, oven, features a low barrel vault, rectangular footprint and separate firing chamber. These ovens are efficient at cooking large volumes of bread, and are still used throughout Europe.
Historically, many European communities relied on large, communal wood-fired ovens as their source for daily cooking needs. The entire village would share the ovens on a rotating schedule wood fired ovens often starting the day with breads before moving on to roasted meats and vegetables.
During World War II many of these large, communal ovens in Italian villages were destroyed. Soon thereafter, the Italian government commissioned an Oven designer to create an oven that would meet the country's urgent need for replacement ovens. With the objective to design a smaller, prefabricated oven allowing for quick assembly and faster heating times. The solution was to produce a family size wood-burning oven. These newly designed ovens were far more fuel efficient and had great heat retention allowing individual families to afford their own ovens. Soon the wood-burning oven became the Heart and Soul of Italian Family Life. This new appliance brought significant social changes and newly found independence for families regarding cooking techniques, prized family recipes and has helped foster the regional specialties that are celebrated today.