The "Fouace" or "Bianca" (ancestor of the pizza) originated in Naples in the 16th Century and was initially a simple pancake cooked in a wood-fired oven. It was born out of necessity as it was intended to feed the people. Its white mixture (hence the name Bianca) coated in lard and cooked in a pizza oven made it an essential food in Italy that is still eaten quite often today.
It was not until two centuries later that the "Rossa", the red pizza covered in tomato sauce, made its appearance. In fact, people didn't start eating tomatoes until the 18th Century.
Since it was born, the pizza has been a "takeaway" food to be eaten at home, in the street or near the pizza oven. There was even an ancestor of the pizza delivery man many years ago. Itinerant vendors brought pizzas to customers' homes that had been cooked in a wood-fired oven, then placed in multi-tiered brass containers that had a double bottom filled with burning charcoal to keep them warm.
In the 20th Century the pizza followed the Italian emigrants and crossed the Atlantic. The first American pizzeria equipped with a pizza oven opened in the "Little Italy" district of Manhattan.
In France, the first pizza landed in Marseille in 1930. It was here that pizza vans were first used widely; many of these were fitted with traditional pizza ovens.
Tradition has it that real pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven.
This is very popular with customers who see it as a guarantee of quality.
The "pizzaiolo" puts the pizza in the oven in the same way as a baker slides his bread into a bread oven, using a wooden shovel.
It is cooked in the presence of flames and the pizza oven door is left open. Cooking time is very short, averaging 1 min30.
This very intense cooking in a wood-fired oven is what makes the pizza crisp and tasty.
Today, Le Panyol offers pizza ovens for private individuals and professionals: pizzerias, pizza vans, restaurants, gîtes, etc.