'There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box in your lap.' Whoever said this truly understood the love for this delicious and crispy combination of dough, tomato sauce, cheese and one's favourite toppings.So why not dedicate an entire day to celebrate pizza? Whether you prefer your pizza to be seafood based, meat based, plant-based, Vegan based or simply cheese based, pizza has you covered.
Pizza Day was first celebrated in the year 2000 on February 9 in the US. Though it is not clear who started it, for the lovers of pizza it hardly matters. It is one of the most favourite foods in the US and it is evident from the fact that in the United States 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second according to the National Association of Pizza operators in the US.
Invented in Naples, Italy in the 10th century, it was in 1905 when America’s first pizzeria was opened in New York, named Lombardi’s. Though flatbreads with toppings were consumed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, the modern birthplace of the pizza is southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to Naples. Founded around 600 BC as a Greek settlement, Naples in the 1700s and early 1800s was a thriving waterfront city.
Technically an independent kingdom, it was notorious for its throngs of working poor, or lazzaroni. These Neapolitans required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza — flatbreads with toppings that can be eaten for every meal — fulfilled this need. These early pizzas featured tasty toppings such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies, and garlic. More well off Italian authors judged Naples’ innovation, often calling their eating habits disgusting.
In 1861, Italy finally unified, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend says that the travelling pair became bored with their steady diet of French cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed the most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with the soft white cheese, red tomatoes, and green basil — much resembling the Italian flag. Since then, this particular choice of toppings has been dubbed the Margherita pizza.
However, even with the Queen’s love for the dish, pizza would remain little known in Italy beyond Naples’ borders until the 1940s. Across the sea, immigrants to the United States from Naples were replicating their flatbreads in New York and other American cities. They were coming for factory jobs, but accidentally made a culinary statement. Relatively quickly, the flavours and aromas of pizza began to intrigue non-Neapolitans and non-Italians alike.Do you know which is the most expensive pizza till date?
Louis XIII in Salerno, Italy has the world’s most expensive pizza with a price tag of $12,000! This is no ordinary pizza, first the dough is aged perfectly before the chief arrives at your home. Yes, they will create this masterpiece in your home kitchen. Some of the ingredients include three types of caviar, lobster from Norway, Cilento, bufala mozzarella cheese and grains of pink Australian sea-salt from the Murray River.
Did you know that the most popular pizza topping is pepperoni? The biggest pizza in recorded history was prepared by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte in Rome, Italy, on 13 December 2012. It had a total surface area of 13,580.28 ft².
Another interesting trivia about pizza is that once it was delivered in space. In 2001, the Russian Space Agency was paid more than a million bucks to deliver a six-inch pizza to the International Space Station. Russian cosmonaut,Yuri Usachov had the honour of being the first person to receive a pizza delivery while in orbit. There is also a mathematical theorem named after pizza. It’s called the Pizza theorem, it states the equality of two areas that arise when one partitions a disk in a certain way. Who thought that pizza would contribute to basic geometry.
While pizza base and toppings are more or less the same, the Japanese put mayonnaise on their pizza. There’s also a pizza museum in Philadelphia. Pizza Brain is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia.