Pizza-like flatbreads have been eaten since the neolithic age, but pizza as we know it today is proudly Italian.
Legend has it that in 1889, a Neopolitan pizzamaker cooked up a pizza to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy, garnishing it with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag. The result? Margherita pizza, still an Italian favorite.
One of the world's most adamantly food-oriented countries, Italy is home to a host of other iconic dishes as well. Bottarga, sometimes called "Sicilian caviar," is a pasta served with salted, dried roe with its roots in Southern Italy.
Outside the realm of pizza and pasta, favorites include ribollita, a generous vegetable soup thickened with bread, and two kinds of truffles: the black truffle and rarer white truffle.