Pizza is undoubtedly the most popular food in the world. Sold in billions worldwide every year, it is easy to make and offers countless variations of toppings. Saturday is unofficially a pizza day, as most pizza deliveries are made on that day.
Dishes similar to pizza were known in antiquity.
There are records of Persian soldiers in the 6th century BC and ancient Greeks, who baked flatbreads with added cheese, herbs, and dates.
The first mention of the term pizza comes from 977 AD and the town of Gaeta.
In the 10th century, it was a part of the Byzantine Empire. “Pizza” was incorporated into a Latin text about a bishop of Gaeta, who requested twelve pizzas every Easter Sunday and Christmas Day from a tenant of certain property.
Modern pizza has an Italian origin.
It evolved from a flatbread at the end of the 18th century in Naples. Its purpose was for low-income families to cut costs of living. The flatbread was topped with tomatoes and covered with cheese. Researchers suggest that tomatoes were then considered poisonous, so any wealthier family would not prepare and consume them in any form, even baked.
The original pizza was square.
The first pizzeria was opened in 1830 in Naples.
At first, it was a stand for peddlers, established in 1738. Officially opened in 1830, the Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba operates to this day.
Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world.
Over five billion pizzas are consumed every year around the world.
It found its way to North America with Italian immigrants in the 1800s.
Italian immigrants brought their dish along, but it was not incorporated into American cuisine straight away. After World War II, soldiers stationed in Italy brought the taste for freshly baked pizza back home, and it gained popularity countrywide. One of the veterans invented a gas-fired oven to decline the cost of pizza preparation.
The art of making Neapolitan pizza was included on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in 2017.
The traditional pizza consists of cheese and tomatoes.
Toppings are served on leavened wheat-based dough, baked in a wood-fired oven.
Pizza toppings vary depending on the country.
While Koreans enjoy their pizza with wasabi and sweet potatoes, the most popular topping in Costa Rica is coconut. Green peas pizza can be consumed in Brazil and pizza with curry in Pakistan. The most popular topping in the U.S. is pepperoni. The Japanese like to top their pizza with mayo.
The best cheese to use in the preparation of pizza is mozzarella.
It was scientifically proven in 2014. It is stretchy when melted, which only makes the pizza taste better.
The Hawaiian pizza originates in Canada.
The most controversial topping, pineapple, was added by a Greek immigrant, Sam Panopoulos, to a pizza served in his restaurant, Satellite, in Chatham, Canada.
Apparently, the Swedish also like their pizza sweet.
Instead of pineapple, they prefer bananas. Sometimes, they sprinkle it with curry powder to add more spice.
Pizza has various gluten-free and vegetarian alternatives.
The crust can be replaced with either butternut squash or cauliflower.
A deep-fried pizza, instead of being baked, was invented in Scotland and is popular in Glasgow and Fife.
The most expensive pizza, the Louis XIII, costs US$12,000.
The dough, which requires 72 hours to prepare, is made with organic Arabian flour, sprinkled with Murray River pink salt. Toppings consist of three types of caviar–Kaspia Beluga, Kaspia Oscietra Royal Classic, and Oscietra Royal Prestige–Norwegian lobster, and buffalo mozzarella. Pizza is served with Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, Cardenal Mendoza Carta Real Sanchez Romate Finos brandy, and 1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut champagne.
There is a pizza culture museum in Philadelphia, the United States.
The Pizza Brain possesses recorded in the Guinness World Records collection of pizza memorabilia and collectibles. It also offers freshly baked pizza on-site.
Pizza was delivered to the International Space Station in 2001.
It was a joint effort of Pizza Hut and Russian food scientists, that resulted in the consumption of a 15-centimeters pizza by people living in space.
An Alaskan restaurant, Airport Pizza, delivers pizza by plane.
One slice of cheese pizza contains approximately 9.8 grams of fat, 12.7 grams of protein, and 280 calories.