Pizza is one of the world’s most beloved foods. You can see a version of it in almost every culture, and newer iterations of the dish are continually appearing on restaurant menus and grocery shelves.
In this article, we’ll pay tribute to this world-renowned treat. We’ll serve up some fun and interesting facts about pizza and how pizza has morphed into the modern-day version we all enjoy today.
1. Pizza is ancient
It didn’t go by the same name then, but foods resembling modern-day pizza have been around for centuries. Our ancestors were already putting savory ingredients on top of flatbreads as early as 7,000 years ago, although we have a feeling the trend started even earlier.
2. It started with the tomato
Despite its early origins, the traditional pizza, which is topped with tomato sauce, wasn’t around in the very beginning. Early civilizations topped their flatbreads with cheese, onions, and garlic. We’re sure it was delicious, but we wouldn’t call it pizza. It was in Naples, back in the 16th century, where real pizza that featured tomatoes was born. This was after traders brought the ingredient over from the Americas.
3. Early Italians hated the idea
Even though we associate pizza with Italian origins, when the dish first sprouted up in Italy in the 17th century, it was mostly snubbed by scholars. It was viewed as a peasant’s dish, as the people who enjoyed the dish ate it with their hands, not the fancy cutlery the elite were using.
4. It gained recognition from royalty
It was a hundred years later, during the 18th century when pizza suddenly enjoyed mass appeal. Queen Margherita was presented with a version of the dish which she absolutely loved. Since then, pizza became mainstream and those early scholars’ opinions were finally changed.
5. We have one man to thank for it
It was a modest baker named Rafaelle Esposito who prepared the Queen’s pizza then. He worked at a place called Pizzeria di Pietro, a bakery in Naples that began operations in 1880.
6. It was inspired by the Italian flag
Esposito actually made three versions for the Queen, and it was the one that featured the colors of the Italian flag that became a hit and was named after her majesty. This is the pizza Margherita, a humble pie that featured nothing more than basil, mozzarella, and tomato sauce.
7. There is an official pizza association
Following its widespread popularity, new versions of the original pizza were being made. This led to the founding of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (translated: True Neapolitan Pizza Association) in 1984. This organization is tasked with the sacred duty of preserving the authenticity of the dish.
Not that we have anything against this official pizza association, but we completely support the unending, innovative ways pizza has been reimagined since its birth.
These days, pizza has made its way to almost every corner of the globe. Countless versions of the dish are now enjoyed by people everywhere, and we couldn’t be more excited about what this might mean in terms of the dish’s evolution.
If you’re looking to try one popular version of pizza today called the Chicago deep-dish pizza, then come visit us in Dyer, Indiana and we’ll be more than happy to serve you!