Out of all the millions of people who love pizza, perhaps only a fraction know about where this dish came from. Pizza is a popular dish that is eaten in most parts of the world. Although we think we know about it origin, only a few are truly familiar about the history of pizza, about people who made the first pizza, or how the first pie ever to come out of the oven looked like.
There is no conclusive proof about where pizza came from. Some say that it came from Italy, while others say that the earliest pizza had Greek creators. According to the Greek version, pizza came from the round, breads baked by the Greeks, which they covered with oil, spices, and dates. According to others, the earliest references to pizza came from Latin text found in the Italian town called Gaeta. It seems that tenants were required to give the bishop a number of pizzas for important occasions in the year such as Christmas and Easter. Others say that the father of the modern pizza was first created when Queen Margherita, discovered pizza after learning that this was a staple food of the peasants, who ate the bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The queen took a liking to the round, baked bread, and she ordered Chef Rafael Esposito to bake pizza just for her. Esposito was the first to use tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil as toppings, which the queen fortunately liked. This made the pizza very popular all over Italy, and various regions eventually developed their own versions of the dish. In Bologna, they added meat as one of the toppings. In other regions of Italy, the addition of various kinds of cheese, herbs, and spices resulted to an explosion of pizza varieties that would eventually cross continents, making its way to America, France, and England.
The Birth of the Modern Pizza
Pizza first came to America in 1905, when Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizza shop in New York City. Aside from selling pizza, Lombardi also sold spaghetti, and was essentially the first restaurateur to serve Italian dishes in his shop. Americans loved pizza so much that the first of the Pizza Hut chains popped up 30 years later.
In the early 40s, the popular Chicago-style deep-dish pizza was created by Ike Sewell in his pizza shop called Pizzeria Uno. The pizza became even more popular after World War II. American soldiers who were stationed in Italy brought with them a fondness for pizza when they returned after the war was over. The first commercial pizza mix, the Roman Pizza Mix, came out in 1948, and Americans ate the first frozen pizza in 1957. Today, pizza is available in countless varieties. You have pizza with multiple cheese toppings, stuffed crust pizza, thin crust pizza, and even vegetarian pies. Pizza is one of the most famous bread dishes that people eat. In fact, the average American consumes an average of 23 pounds of pizza a year. That is a lot of bread. However, this fact is not surprising. After all, pizza offers a variety and uniqueness in taste that no other dish can give.