Famous composer and gourmand Gioacchino Rossini (1792—1868) was born in Pesaro and spent his latter years in Paris, where he is credited with inventing or inspiring a whole range of dishes, often working with one of his best friend, the famous chef Antonin Carême ('the only man who truly understands me').
Many of Rossini's dishes involved his beloved foie gras and truffles, as in turkeys stuffed with truffles, with truffles inserted under the skin before roasting, or the famous tournedos Rossini (the story goes that as the great man was instructing the chef at the Café des Anglais on how he wanted his beef prepared, the chef became so exasperated and appalled that Rossini told him not to look and turn his back ('tournez les dos')—in case you've always wondered).
Although Rossini died before the invention of the pizza margherita, his hometown decided that if he had invented a pizza, he would have added two of the most fashionable ingredients of his time in Paris, hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise, which we have grave doubts about being actually edible (surely he would have added truffles and foie gras?) but there you go. When it comes to food, we like to say the Italians are always right. Usually.
Also known as as Rossiccia.
In September Pesaro holds a Festival of Pizza Rossini (with other kinds of pizza, too!)
Image by Alebech, Creative Commons License