Pizza Fun Facts
Once upon a time...
– Definition: A baked pie of Italian origin consisting of a
shallow bread-like crust covered with seasoned tomato sauce,
cheese, and often other toppings, such as sausage or olives.
The root word in Latin is “Picea” which describes the
blackening of crust by fire.
Pizza can be traced back to about
1000 B.C. when the Etruscans first arrived into the
northern part of Italy from Asia Minor. Originally known
as “focaccia”, pizza did not have tomatoes. “Focaccia” was
eaten by many peoples around the Mediterranean rim, e.g.,
by Greeks, Egyptians etc. because flour, herbs, olive oil,
cheese, and lard were readily available.
This peasant dish didn’t gain
popularity with the wealthy until the 16th
century when the Queen of Naples convinced her husband to
let it be made in the royal oven.
Why did pizza with tomatoes take so
long to be created? Even though the tomato was brought to
Naples in 1522, this Peruvian seed was thought to be
poisonous for over a hundred years.
When and where was the first
pizzeria? The first known pizzeria was Antica Pizzeria at
Port’Alba in Naples, Italy and it opened in 1738. You can
enjoy their delicious pizza even today because their
original pizzeria is still open.
here to see this historical pizzeria.
In 1889, King Umberto and Queen
Margherita had the privilege of getting the first known
pizza delivered by Raffaele Esposito, the most famous
Pizzaaiolo (pizza chef) in Naples, Italy. In honor of the
Queen, Raffaele made the pizza into the colors of the
Italian flag: red tomatoes, green basil, and white
mozzarella cheese. This later would become the basis for
our American Neapolitan pizza.
Click here to see the pizzeria fit for a Queen.
The 1st pizzeria in the U.S. was
opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1895, and it was located at
53 1/2 Spring St., New York City. Pizza was brought by the
Italian immigrants but didn’t become popular until the
American GI’s got the taste for it while in Italy.
The first frozen pizza was invented
by non other than Rose Totino, of Totinos pizza.
Even though pizza has been the rage
since the early 1900s, pizza recipes didn’t make their
debut into recipe books until the 1950s.
Pizza Hut opened its first store in
Wichita, Kansas in 1958 by 2 brothers. Domino's Pizza opened
its doors in Detroit in 1960 by Thomas Monaghan who
borrowed $500 to buy the store.
Pizza Fun Facts