Pizza is delicious. One bite can include all four basic, yummy food groups depending on the toppings. But where did it come from? Was it always sold in slices? Keep reading to answer these and other questions! You’ll better appreciate your favorite pizza places after!
Where’d It Come From?
Pizza is a dish from Naples, Italy, invented as a quick, affordable meal for working-class Neapolitans. While the classic version of pizza consists of toppings on a base of yeast dough, some versions of pizza originated before pizza in the 1700s and 1800s.
However, today’s pizza we know and love wasn’t originally called that. They have originally topped flatbreads consumed in ancient Egypt and Rome (but not sold in pizza places). Eventually, they were perfected by the Italians, who are rightfully credited as the inventors of this dish!
By the 1700s and 1800s, Naples in Italy was a bustling waterfront city, especially near the shore, where overcrowding and primarily outdoor living forced locals to find quick, easy ways to feed their families. Pizza became a common dish because of its limited ingredients and handy portability, but it was considered street food for the poor and unsuitable for the upper class.
Little did they know how this seemingly simple creation would turn into a global phenomenon.
How Did It Boom?
Italian immigrants brought the first pizzas to the United States in the late 1940s, and Americans immediately liked this unique dish. Local pizzerias started popping up in many major cities, including Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis. The first documented pizzeria in the United States opened in New York City in 1905.
After World War II, interest in American culture grew worldwide, and pizza took off with it. All around the world, chefs have begun experimenting with adding local flavors to the centuries-old creation.
Is There a Non-Regular Pizza?
There was, at one point in history! One of the most famous origin stories goes like this. On June 11th, 1889, the queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia, was visiting Naples. In honor of her visit, a local pizza maker named Raffaele Esposito created a new pizza to eat with the queen. He topped it with red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil to represent the three colors of the Italian flag.
After she loved it, his pizza became known as today’s Pizza Margherita.
Has the Pizza Pie Always Been Sliced?
Surprisingly, they weren’t! Originally, Italian bakeries sold whole pizzas in smaller sizes. That meant one whole pizza was meant for just one person! Although it’s hard to say who had the genius idea of cutting the pizzas into slices, one story says that pizza sellers in New York would walk up and down streets carrying metal wash tubs full of pizzas on their heads, selling them for pennies a slice.
Is Pizza a One-Type-Feeds-All Thing?
Not exactly. There are different types of pies. In Rome alone, the two types are Neapolitan (doughier pie) and Roman (thinner, crispier bread).
In the US, it’s up to three: Neapolitan, New York (essentially a Roman crust), and Deep Dish (a Chicagoan creation that makes the pizza look like an actual baked pie with pizza ingredients).
Speaking of Deep Dish, Visit Doreen’s Pizzeria Now!
Looking for pizza places that serve authentic Chicagoan, Deep Dish pizza? Head on to Doreen’s right now! We’re a pizzeria that serves customers through delivery, carry-out, dine-in, and even catering. Pick up your phone and visit our website to book now!