History of pizza

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The history of pizza begins when different ancient cultures produced flatbread with toppings. Toppings are food added to pizza, like pepperoni, cheese or sausage. Foods similar to pizza have been made since the Neolithic Age. The food that came before pizza was probably focaccia (a flatbread to which toppings were added). The word pizza was first documented in AD 997 in Gaeta, Italy. The word came later in parts of Central and Southern Italy.

The innovation that led to flatbread pizza was the use of tomato as a topping. For some time after the tomato was brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century, it was believed by many Europeans to be poisonous.

Modern pizza was developed in Naples, Italy, when tomato was added to focaccia in the late 18th century. Pizza, though, was mainly eaten in the country of Italy.[1]

By the late 18th century, it was common for the poor in and around Naples to add the tomato to their yeast-based flatbread. That's when pizza began.

Pizzas need to be baked at temperatures of 200–250 °C. Not many household ovens could reach such temperatures before the late 1800s. Because of this, pizza was made at home, and then given to the town bakery to bake.

In June 1889, Raffaele Esposito, a chef from Naples, created the "Margherita" in honour of Queen Margherita. It was the first pizza to include cheese. Most pizzas include cheese as a topping.

Pizza first made its appearance to the United States in the 19th century when Italian immigrants came to the country. It was very popular with Italian people in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

Allied troops in Italy came to enjoy pizza and other Italian foods during World War II.

The first printed reference to the word pizza in the U.S. was in 1904 in The Boston Journal.

References[change | change source]

  1. "A Slice of History: Pizza through the Ages". History. Retrieved August 25, 2017.