History of Who and Where Pizza was Invented: The Real Truth About your Favourite Cheesy Delight
Some people like their veggies, while others prefer to avoid them. Some kids like their burgers, while some prefer to stay fit. But one thing we all can agree with is, Pizza is the king of fast food. As soon as we see a pizza heading towards our way, our senses are overwhelmed with the aroma of hot bread, melted cheese and simmering tomato sauce. However, who really gets the credit for this cheesy delight? Where was Pizza invented?
Dating back to many centuries, 1000 AD to be exact, the word pizza was used by Romans, which meant pie. Ancient Romans would typically have meals that consisted of flatbread with other food items on top of it.
Since pizza is a very common dish nowadays, many people wonder who we have to thank for inventing such an amazing treat. A Historian called Guiseppe Nocca who works at the Alberghiero di Formia Institute claimed that Italians were the original inventors of pizza, but not in the region of Naples as everyone believed. Nocca believed that the first pizza was created about 50 miles away from Naples, in the Gaeta region. Needless to say, the people of Naples were enraged by his claims. They protested by stating that credit for this delicious invention should go to Raffaele Esposito, a local Naples baker, who created the original pizza pie.
In the 19th Century, Raffaele Esposito was the owner of a small Italian tavern named Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi. At that time, pizza pies were only consumed by poor people. When the Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited his small establishment, things took a turn for better. He wanted to please the royalty, and hence he decided to bake a pizza pie, which consisted of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. He designed the pie to resemble the Italian flag. Queen Margherita, who never had a dish like this before, adored the pie so much that the pizza pie was named Margherita in her honour. Esposito took advantage of this event and soon he became the most popular pizza-maker in Naples. He was even given the title of “Father of modern pizza”.
Given its popularity, the Italian flatbread soon became an American sensation. Like most Italians, pizza immigrated to many countries. This is because of the sheer number of Italian immigrants who settled in the USA between 1880 and 1920. With them, they brought their incredible taste buds and pizza-making skills. After World War II, the Italian Americans migrated to the west and embraced the suburbia life, thus introducing the gooey cheese and scrumptious sauce to the wider nation. Initially, Italian Americans would bake the pizza at their home and sell it to unlicensed venues. This continued till G. Lombardi became the first licensed pizzeria in 1905, in New York. Soon, American pizzerias came up with their innovation of the pizza slice. This revolutionized the pizza market in the US since it was convenient for workers to carry the pizza slices than buying an entire pizza pie.
Shortly after the introduction of the pizza slice, pizza became more popular in the US than in Italy. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was pretty much mandated that every family should have a couple of kids and a home of their own. Conveniently, frozen pizza pies easily fit into their freezers. With the bloom in the pizza delivery business, it pretty much sealed its position as America’s most convenient food. Interesting fact, though pizza originated in Naples, it was originally founded by Greek settlers around 600 BC, where pizza was said to exist before the whole city was unified with the rest of Italy in 1861. The cheesy tomato delight wasn't introduced in main Italian cuisine till the 1940s. Hence, for a while, pizza was much more American than Italian.
Around the world, this mouth-melting dish has certainly caught everyone’s heart or rather their appetite. Normally, one would assume that either America or Italy would be the largest consumers of this dish. Surprisingly, according to a study conducted by food association, Norway consumes the most pizza in the world, as a per-person ratio. Since Norway's population is over 5.5 million, they eat the most amount per person. The US comes a close second since basically, it’s the birthplace of Fastfood. In fact, every second in the USA, around 350 slices of pizza are eaten. Pizza is the favourite fast food of the people of the United Kingdom. In every 10 days, one half of the UK population consumes pizza, although they prefer t