Hello class, with the world being a little funky right now, I’ve taken it upon myself to give you an entertaining blog post that’s both educational and engaging. Welcome to Pizza History 101!
Now sit back, grab your favorite Italian wine and turn on that Pino D’Angio record you’ve wanted to play forever. Long ago in a distant land where life was simpler, pizza was discovered in Naples, Italy.
History deep-dish….I mean History deep dive
In 1835, French culinary expert Alexandre Dumas observed the customs of Neapolitan peasants. Here he found that these peasants lived off of two foods: watermelon in the summer and pizza in the winter. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a five-star diet to me. Here’s where I ask you to broaden your horizons and break-down what we call pizza. Pizza in its basic form is a bread that can be topped with anything from oil, to tomatoes, to anchovies, to chocolate, to arugula. If you were looking for the swiss-army knife of foods this is what you’re looking for.
The Neapolitan people toped pizza with various toppings that met their needs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Soon, what was once a form of sustenance for survival was adopted as a favorite dish across all of Italy. The second home that pizza found was none other than the United States thanks to Neapolitan immigrants settling in New York and Boston. Post-1945 era helped transition pizza from an up and coming European ‘delicacy’ to a comfort food for families who dined out frequently.
Pizza all grown-up
Due to its lack of complexity and ready availability pizza has become the go to for friends, workers, and families deciding what to have for dinner or lunch or a snack. Though the Neapolitan peasants survived on pizza during the winter, the current life of a pizza exists 12 months out of the year with 365 days of consumption. From its simple upbringing in Naples, Italian pizza has become a hypnotizing comfort food and party staple for all to enjoy no matter the weather or time of day. Next time you take a bite out of our delicious pies like the Whole Hog or Smoked Eggplant pizza, remember its humble history. Addio per ora!
Fun fact: It is estimated that Americans ear about 100 acres of pizza a day or 350 slices per second. Broken down that means everyone in the United States eats 46 slices of pizza a year.
Helstosky, Carol. (2008). Pizza: A Global History. 1-10.