The impression has gone out into the world, that the lazzarone lives upon macaroni; this is a great mistake, which it is time to correct. The macaroni is, it is true, a native of Naples; but, at the present time, it is an European dish, which has traveled, like civilization, and which, like civilization, finds itself very far from its cradle. The macaroni, moreover, costs two sous a pound; which renders it inaccessible to the purse of the lazzarone; except upon Sundays and holidays. At all other times the lazzarone eats, as we have said, the pizza and the cocomero; the cocomero in summer, the pizza in winter. The pizza is a sort of bun; it is round, and made of the same dough as bread. It is of different sizes according to the price. A pizza of two farthings suffices for one person, a pizza of two sous is enough to satisfy a whole family. At first sight, the pizza appears to be a simple dish, upon examination it proves to be compound. The pizza is prepared with bacon, with lard, with cheese, with tomatas, with fish. It is the gastronomic thermometer of the market. The price of the pizza rises and falls according to the rate of the ingredients just designated; according to the abundance or scarcity of the year. When the fish-pizza sells at a half grain, the fishing has been good; when the oil-pizza sells at a grain, the yield of olives has been bad. The rate at which the pizza sells is, also, influenced by the greater or less degree of freshness; it will be easily understood that yesterday’s pizza will not bring the same price as to-day’s. For small purses, they have the pizza of a week old, which, if not agreeably, very advantageously, supplies the place of the seabiscuit.
Alexandre Dumas, Sketches of Naples.