The History of the Pizza

Ironically the Italians did not create the first pizza.  Instead it was large, round, flat bread topped with oil, herbs, spices and dates from the Greeks that started us off with one of our fast food favourites.  Over time it made it’s way towards Italy where plain, untopped flat breads called ‘pizzas’ were sold on the street and in markets to the poor because of their lack of expense to make and the fact that they were filing and delicious.

It wasn’t until Queen Margherita in the late 1800’s tried the bread and loved it did they start getting topped.  Pizza Margherita, a popular choice today, came about when Chef Rafaelle Esposito was charge by the Queen to make a selection of pizzas for her pleasure.  Showing his love for his country he recreated the colours of the national flag by baking a pizza topped with tomatoes (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) thus creating her namesake.

Throughout the country more toppings were discovered and tasted as well as techniques such as using a specially designed brick oven to cook them in.

It wasn’t until after WW2 that pizza made it’s way out of Italy and into the US, England, France and Spain.

Today an average of 23 pounds of pizza, per person, per year is consumed by Americans and Canadians with cheese and pepperoni being the topping of choice.

Pizza (2)

Since it’s creation, pizza now has many forms (calzones, thin crust), styles (ice cream pizzas, candy pizzas) and toppings (chicken and BBQ sauce).  Next to hamburgers it’s one of our favourite fast food choices.

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