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Once upon a time...

  • Pizza History“Pizza” – Definition: A baked pie of Italian origin consisting of a shallow bread-like crust covered with seasoned tomato sauce, cheese, and often other toppings, such as sausage or olives. The root word in Latin is “Picea” which describes the blackening of crust by fire.

  • Pizza can be traced back to about 1000 B.C. when the Etruscans first arrived into the northern part of Italy from Asia Minor. Originally known as “focaccia”, pizza did not have tomatoes. “Focaccia” was eaten by many peoples around the Mediterranean rim, e.g., by Greeks, Egyptians etc. because flour, herbs, olive oil, cheese, and lard were readily available.

  • This peasant dish didn’t gain popularity with the wealthy until the 16th century when the Queen of Naples convinced her husband to let it be made in the royal oven.

  • Why did pizza with tomatoes take so long to be created? Even though the tomato was brought to Naples in 1522, this Peruvian seed was thought to be poisonous for over a hundred years.

  • When and where was the first pizzeria?  The first known pizzeria was Antica Pizzeria at Port’Alba in Naples, Italy and it opened in 1738. You can enjoy their delicious pizza even today because their original pizzeria is still open. Click here to see this historical pizzeria.

  • In 1889, King Umberto and Queen Margherita had the privilege of getting the first known pizza delivered by Raffaele Esposito, the most famous Pizzaaiolo (pizza chef) in Naples, Italy. In honor of the Queen, Raffaele made the pizza into the colors of the Italian flag: red tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella cheese. This later would become the basis for our American Neapolitan pizza. Click here to see the pizzeria fit for a Queen.

  • The 1st pizzeria in the U.S. was opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1895, and it was located at 53 1/2 Spring St., New York City. Pizza was brought by the Italian immigrants but didn’t become popular until the American GI’s got the taste for it while in Italy.

  • The first frozen pizza was invented by non other than Rose Totino, of Totinos pizza.

  • Even though pizza has been the rage since the early 1900s, pizza recipes didn’t make their debut into recipe books until the 1950s.

  • Pizza Hut opened its first store in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 by 2 brothers. Domino's Pizza opened its doors in Detroit in 1960 by Thomas Monaghan who borrowed $500 to buy the store.


Pizza History   Pizza Recipes   Pizza Fun Facts   Pizza Games   Pizza Records

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