The History Of Pizza

Find out the history behind pizza and how it came to the United States.

In the 1990's, Pizza Hut was listed as being fourth in sales in the top fifteen fast-food companies in the United States. Even though the recipe for pizza was imported from Italy, this high ranking just goes to show the American people's infatuation with this one-pan food.

A pizza, or a pizza pie as it is sometimes called, is basically a crust made from flour, yeast, salt, and water which is kneaded, then rolled out into a round shape. The crust is then covered with spicy tomato sauce and cheese and baked in an oven. Pizzas come with a variety of toppings nowadays, instead of just the basic cheese flavor. Toppings include mushrooms, onions, anchovies, pepperoni, black olives, green olives, jalapeno peppers, sausage, chicken, hamburger, and many more. The crust has also changed. You can now get a pizza with a crust which is stuffed with cheese, a thin crust pizza, a thick crust pizza, a deep-dish pizza, and more. Pizza is even made by using French bread instead of the traditional crust. History shows that the early Greeks prepared and ate a flat bread which was topped with herbs and oil and then baked. This was undoubtedly the predecessor of the pizza which was later made in Italy.

At first, pizza was considered to be a poor man's food. Made with flour, oil, cheese and herbs, it was a common staple for impoverished families who had few other ingredients to cook with. It wasn't until sometime in the sixteenth century, when the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina, convinced her husband, King Ferdinand the fourth, the allow the royal chefs to prepare pizza, that this food was looked upon as being a tasty dish for everyone!

Finally, sometime in the late 1800's, a man by the name of Raffaele Esposito, who was a famous pizza maker, made a pizza for King Umberto the first and Queen Margherita. The pizza consisted of tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese. and it looked like the Italian flag because of its red, green, and white colors. Esposito named the pizza after the queen, and it then became a popular Italian food. And Italy is still , to this day, considered to be the pizza capital of the world!

It would be a long time yet until pizza would enjoy popularity in America, though. Pizza did not find its way into the United States until after the end of the second World War. At that time, U.S. soldiers returned home. Along with their return, they also brought back an appetite for the pizza they had eaten and enjoyed in Italy. Pizza parlors began to spring up in more and more places as hungry patrons started to devour this one-dish food on a regular basis.

Today, depending on where you live, you can usually find a pizza parlor near your home. Many pizza parlors will even deliver their food right to your front door! Or, if you prefer, most gorcery stores sell frozen pizzas and pizza-making kits as well as the separate ingredients for making your own style of pizza too!

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