The history of pinsa is a fascinating combination of research, expertise and, above all, deep passion. It is precisely this passion that motivated Corrado Di Marco, founder of the company and descendant of one of the oldest families of Roman bakers, to create a unique product that combines taste, authenticity and well-being in a single solution.
Taste, but also lightness
But let's start at the beginning. The history of pinsa began in the late 1970s, in a market that was profoundly different from that of today. Back then, pizza was indeed a tasty and popular product, but also rather heavy and poorly digestible.
The trend towards light and healthy food, with a low-calorie intake but high nutritional value and low in fat would come later, but right from the start Corrado Di Marco saw the opportunity to innovate by creating a lighter and more digestible product, without compromising on taste.
Thus was born the company's first successful brand, PizzaSnella, which is still one of its most successful brands today. For the first time, a mix of wheat and soy flours was used, which would be the basis for the development and production of the pinsa romana.
The history of pinsa: the flour mix and fermentation
Research and experimentation continued unabated. The focus was mainly on the fermentation process, in an attempt to overcome the simplification of brewer's yeast and return to a more natural, slow and healthy leavening process. From over 2,000 experiments came the dried wheat sourdough that is one of the hallmarks of Di Marco's pinsa.
This same research has resulted in the mix of three flours that represents the innovative essence of the product. Corrado Di Marco's initial intuition was to get rid of lard, as he was aware that animal fats would not go along with the ongoing change in the needs of consumers and would therefore not have much of a future. The challenging goal was to use different techniques to achieve a similar effect.
For wheat, they focused on products that could guarantee good leavening properties and, above all, that had flavour, a quality that is normal in ancient grains but quite unusual in today's products.
Soy flour, already used for PizzaSnella, was then introduced and played a fundamental role, replacing lard and giving the pinsa lightness, crispness, flavour and also an attractive colour.
Last but not least, cooked rice flour was added. Once crystallised, in fact, rice does not absorb water and when cooked it slightly swells, creating a crunchy surface, which is still the hallmark of pinsa romana today.
From 2001 to the present and future developments
The official birth of pinsa in 2001 complied with a growing and heartfelt need for a product that was not only tasty, but also light and easily digestible. Since then, research, experimentation and the constant evolution of the mix (which remains a well-kept secret) have been directed towards perfecting the product, to meet these requirements. Its name comes from Latin pinsere, meaning ‘to press’, and identifies the gesture that the pizza maker performs on the dough to get the typical oval shape. The pinsa, however, does not date back to the era of the ancient Romans: it is a modern product, created to meet the needs of our times. For many years, pinserie could be counted on one hand.
Every innovation needs a period of consolidation and acceptance, but if the premise works, the only possible outcome is success. Today, Di Marco pinsa is an exported all over the world, from the United States to Japan, and there are more than 7,000 active pinserie, growing every day. Di Marco pinsa is available both for the hospitality industry, in particular for catering services, but also in large-scale retail outlets, under the Nuvola brand. The future looks promising. Consumers recognise not only its innovative character, but also its versatility: pinsa matches anyone's taste and is also suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. The product is constantly evolving, with daily experimentation, and new products are on their way to satisfy changing tastes and needs.