Since the Middle Ages the wood burning oven has been used to bake bread and other foods. Its origin is unknown but leads us back to the origin of bread. The only way to bake bread was in a wood burning Brick Oven. Not only were they used for breads but also to cook pizza, roast meats, pastries and cakes. The wood burning oven gives food a wholesome flavor that cannot be achieved with other types of cooking. The Wood Burning Brick Oven has been discovered in the excavations of almost every ancient civilization taking several shapes and forms. The modern form of the brick oven originated in ancient Rome. The wood burning brick ovens excavated in ancient Pompeii were discovered in excellent shape and capable of cooking with only minor repairs. Ancient wood-fired ovens have been discovered throughout Europe, with little variation from the original Roman round, domed oven compartment and front vent design.
In Italy, the ovens were owned by individual families and were smaller -- which is the foundation for Italy's modern pizza oven industry. Round ovens built from brick, and even local stone, have been built in Italy seemingly forever. Practically every Tuscan farmhouse has, or had, an original brick or stone oven. Historically, many European communities relied on large, communal wood-fired ovens as their source for daily cooking needs. The entire village would share the ovens on a rotating schedule often starting the day with breads before moving on to roasted meats and vegetables. During World War II many of these large, communal ovens in Italian villages were destroyed. Soon thereafter, the Italian government commissioned an Oven designer to create an oven that would meet the country's urgent need for replacement ovens. With the objective to design a smaller, prefabricated oven allowing for quick assembly and faster heating times. The solution was to produce a family size wood-burning oven. These newly designed ovens were far more fuel efficient and had great heat retention allowing individual families to afford their own ovens. Soon the wood-burning oven became the Heart and Soul of Italian Family Life. This new appliance brought significant social changes and newly found independence for families regarding cooking techniques, prized family recipes and has helped foster the regional specialties that are celebrated today.