Pizza lovers, get ready for your minds to be blown!
From its ancient origins to the science behind the perfect crust, there’s so much more to this beloved dish than you might think.
So, grab a slice of pizza, and let’s dive into 10 mind-blowing fun pizza facts that will change your thoughts about this delicious food. Whether you are a pizza purist or a topping adventurer, you can learn something new.
Let’s get started!
Did You Know?
1.) Pizza can be traced back to ancient civilizations.
In ancient civilizations, flatbreads were a common food item, and many believe that these flatbreads were the precursor to modern pizza. For example, the ancient Egyptians have eaten a flatbread called “ta-amat,” made from barley or emmer wheat and sometimes topped with herbs, onions, and garlic.
Similarly, the ancient Greeks and Romans also consumed flatbreads, sometimes topped with herbs, oil, and cheese. The lower classes typically consumed these flatbreads as they were cheap and easy to make.
However, it should be noted that these ancient flatbreads were not exactly the same as modern pizza, as they were typically consumed as a type of bread rather than a specific dish. Pizza as we know it today only originated in Italy in the 18th century.
Pizza was first mentioned in a written document in AD 997 by a Persian merchant named Nasir-i-Khusrau. The oldest pizza recipe is from a book published in Naples in 1522; it is a simple pizza with just cheese and basil. The first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.
2.) Pizza Margherita was created in 1889 to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy.
The pizza Margherita, made with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, was invented in 1889 by a Neapolitan pizzamaker named Raffaele Esposito. He made the pizza in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was visiting Naples then.
The Italian pizza featuring tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil, and olive oil in honor of the Italian flag was a hit. It soon became a staple dish in Italy, eventually spreading worldwide.
Today, pizza is enjoyed by people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds and is considered a staple food in many countries. Pizza is a part of Italy’s cultural heritage and has been granted “Traditional Specialities Guaranteed” status by the European Union. In Italy, pizza is typically eaten with a fork and knife.
3.) Italian immigrants opened the first pizzeria in the US, Lombardi’s, in 1905 in New York City.
Pizza was originally a food for the poor in Italy, and it wasn’t until after World War II that it became popular in the United States. Lombardi’s was founded by Gennaro Lombardi, who emigrated to the United States from Italy in the late 19th century.
Lombardi’s served traditional Neapolitan-style pizza made with simple ingredients such as tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. The pizzeria quickly became popular among the city’s large Italian-American population, and it remains in operation today, making it one of the oldest pizzerias in the country.
The average pizza slice in New York City usually matches the price of a subway ride in the Big Apple. This is known as the “Pizza Principle” and has been going on since the 1960s, according to Business Insider.
You can also find all this history and memorabilia at Pizza Brain, a pizza restaurant and museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is considered the world’s first pizza museum, founded by Brian Dwyer in 2011. The museum features a collection of pizza-related memorabilia and artifacts, including pizza boxes, advertisements, and even a pizza-themed pinball machine.
The collection has grown over the years and now includes over 400 items, making it the largest collection of pizza-related items worldwide. The restaurant serves a variety of pizza pies, including classic and specialty pizzas, as well as salads and sandwiches.
Pizza Brain also hosts events, such as movie nights, trivia nights, and live music, and it’s considered an iconic spot in the city and a must-visit for pizza lovers.
Another way to learn about pizza is at the Annual Pizza Expo, a trade show and conference for the pizza industry in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the largest trade show in the world, specifically dedicated to the pizza industry.
The expo features exhibits from pizza-related businesses, including ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and pizza chains. Attendees can also participate in educational seminars and workshops covering pizza dough making, topping trends, and marketing strategies.
The expo also includes a pizza competition, where professional pizzaioli (pizza makers) from around the world gather to showcase their skills. The winner is awarded the title of “World Champion Pizza Maker.” The World Pizza Championships is organized by the International Pizza Expo and Pizza Today.
It is an important event for industry professionals and pizza enthusiasts to learn, network, and discover new trends and innovations in the pizza industry.
4.) The first frozen pizza was invented in the ’40s by Totino’s.
Totino invented the first frozen pizza in the early 1940s. Totino’s pizza was made by a small family-owned company called Totino’s Fine Foods, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that eventually merged with another company to become the popular brand Totino’s.
The frozen pizzas were an instant success and soon became popular across the United States.
Totino’s Frozen Pizza
The pizza was sold frozen, made with popular pizza toppings, and was intended to be cooked at home in a conventional oven. The frozen pizzas allowed people to enjoy the convenience of eating pizza at home without making it from scratch.
Today, frozen pizza is a staple in many American households and is widely available at grocery stores across the country. Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in the United States annually, plus an additional one billion frozen pizzas.
5.) October is National Pizza Month
October is commonly known as National Pizza Month in the United States, a time to celebrate the beloved dish and all its delicious variations. This month-long celebration was created to honor and promote the beloved dish. Many pizza restaurants and chains offer deals and promotions, and some even create special menu items for the occasion.
Pizza lovers can also participate in events such as pizza-eating contests and pizza-making classes to commemorate the month. National Pizza Month is a great time to try new pizza places and varieties and to appreciate the diverse cultural and regional styles of pizza.
Today, the pizza industry is a $38 billion-dollar industry, with thousands of pizza shops and chains worldwide. The pizza industry employs over 400,000 people in the United States. Pizza Hut, founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the most popular pizza chains in the world.
Pizza Hut has over 18,000 locations globally. They even delivered pizza to the International Space Station back in 2001.
6.) Americans eat an estimated 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices of pizza per second.
According to pizza consumption data from the National Restaurant Association, Americans eat an average of 23 pounds of pizza per person per year. Ninety-three percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. This makes pizza one of the most popular foods in the United States.
Pizza is also a versatile food that can be consumed anytime, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack. Pizza is also a favorite food for special occasions, like birthdays, parties, and game nights.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the busiest days for pizza delivery and takeout. In addition, pizza delivery and take-out services have also made it a convenient food option for busy individuals and families. It’s no surprise that pizza has become a staple in American cuisine.
7.) The most popular pizza topping in the United States is pepperoni.
Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, pepperoni is the top choice for pizza toppings among Americans, chosen by 36% of respondents.
It is often considered a classic pizza topping and is a staple on many pizza menus. Pepperoni is made from a blend of beef and pork and is usually cured and then sliced before being added to pizzas. Its spicy, salty, savory flavor pairs well with cheese and tomato sauce.
Pepperoni pizza has become so popular that it has become a standard for most American-style pizzerias. It is often used as a base for creating other pizza varieties, like a meat-lovers or deluxe pizza. Pepperoni is followed by meat and sausage, and green peppers.
As to other pizza toppings like cheese, Mozzarella cheese is the most commonly used cheese on pizza, but other pizza toppings options include provolone, cheddar, and feta. Thin crust pizza is a favorite among Americans, which is also a great option for those watching their carb intake.
8.)The world’s largest pizza was created in Rome, Italy, in 2012 and measured 1.595 miles in length.
The biggest pizza was created in Rome, Italy, on December 13, 2012. The pizza crust measured 1,261.65 square meters (13,580 square feet) and was made by a team of pizza chefs led by Dovilio Nardi, president of the pizzamakers association AVPN.
The pizza was made using over 4 tons of flour, 3 tons of tomato sauce, 2 tons of mozzarella cheese, and more than 200 pounds of basil. The pizza was cut into over 94,000 slices and was distributed to the public for free.
The event was organized to set a new world record and to promote traditional Neapolitan pizza. The pizza was cooked in a special oven built specifically for the occasion, and it took around 5 hours to cook.
9.) Hawaiian pizza was created in Canada
The Hawaiian pizza, also known as the “pineapple pizza,” is a pizza variety that features pineapple and ham as toppings. Despite its name, Hawaiian pizza was not created in Hawaii but in Canada.
The pizza was invented by a Greek-Canadian restaurateur named Sam Panopoulos in 1962 at his Satellite Restaurant restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. Panopoulos, experimenting with different toppings, decided to add canned pineapple and ham to a pizza, and the Hawaiian pizza was born.
The pizza was initially met with mixed reactions, but it eventually gained popularity and became a staple on pizza menus around the world. Today, Hawaiian pizza is widely available in pizzerias and is considered a popular pizza variety.
10.) The most expensive pizza ever made was a $12,000 pizza created by Chef Renato Viola in Salerno, Italy.
The most expensive pizza in the world is the “Louis XIII Pizza,” created by master pizza chef Renato Violawhich, sold at Renato Viola’s Salerno, Italy-based eatery. The pizza is made with various expensive ingredients such as 3 types of caviar, lobster from Norway, and buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Italy.
It is also made with rare and expensive spices, such as pink Australian salt, organic balsamic vinegar, and Cilento DOP extra virgin olive oil. The pizza is topped with edible gold leaves and is served with champagne.
The price of the pizza is $12,000, and it is typically ordered by high-end customers or for special occasions. It should be noted that the availability of this pizza might vary based on the ingredient availability, and it is not a regular menu item.
The Last Slice
There you have it, folks, 10 mind-blowing pizza facts that will change how you look at this beloved dish. From ancient origins to the science behind the perfect crust, it’s clear that pizza has a rich history and a fascinating story.
Whether you’re a pizza purist or a topping adventurer, you will surely learn something new. So, grab a slice, enjoy the next time you have a pizza, and remember some fun pizza facts you just learned!
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