But, pizza pilgrims, what do you really know about that delicious piece of crusty delight?
We’re all quite happy to put that slice of pizza paradise into our mouths, but what do we know about that piece of culinary delight that sends us into gorging frenzies?
Origins of the pizza
Here are some interesting pizza facts which we bet you didn’t know…
- That pizzas, in various flatbread forms, have been around for over 7,000 years! But that the pizza we’d recognise today with its different toppings, was ‘invented’ over 2,000 years ago!
- And that originally they came from Naples which was a Greek city which had been seized as part of the Roman empire.
- Until roughly 150 years, pizza dishes were sweet, not savoury.
- In Naples, in 1807, there were 54 recorded pizzerias.
- According to the Guinness Book of Records in 2012, the world’s largest pizza was made in Rome and was measured to be 1261.65 square metres in area.
- In the USA, it is thought that 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second!
- That the most expensive pizza in the world, cost $12,000!
- In 2001, there was a pizza delivery made to a Russian astronaut in space – it cost over a million dollars to have the 6incher delivered!
- It was during the Second World War that pizzas were brought to the masses when Italian immigrants were happy to share their food with soldiers.
- No one is entirely sure where the word ‘pizza’ came from – it is first recorded as being used in 997AD in Gaeta, Italy. However, in Greek, it means ‘flat bread’ or ‘pitta’ so seeing as where it originated, makes sense…
- It was in the 17th-century that the Italians made the pizza we recognise today with its soft, fluffy crust and putting tomatoes on it as a base.
There are loads more amazing pizza facts, but we thought you’d like to know why pizza has almost become part of the American staple diet…
Popular pizza culture
Pizzas became really popular from the 19th and 20th centuries due to the vast numbers of Italian immigrants who migrated to the USA between 1880 and 1920.
Between 4 and 20 million Italians settled in the USA during this time and inevitably brought their pizza making skills with them.
After the Second World War, these immigrants began to prosper, and many moved west and into suburban life – this meant they took their pizza loving culture with them and introduced this dish into new territory.
Originally, pizzas were just made in people’s homes and then sold in unlicensed venues.
It wasn’t until 1905, that G. Lombard’s became the first licensed pizzeria in New York.
It was now that people could buy just a slice of pizza rather than the entire pizza pie which made the savoury dish far more accessible for workers.
This use of food around people’s lifestyles continued in the 1960s and 70s with the purchase of convenience goods – pizzas fitted right into that lifestyle.
Pizza has never stopped changing and moving with the times – it’s a completely different dish today than it was when it was first initially.
However, the pizza we all recognise today and back in the day is the combination of bubbling bread, sauce and yummy cheese!