10 Facts About the History of Pizza

Everybody loves pizza, but not everybody knows the history of this beloved food. If you’ve ever enjoyed a slice of pizza and found yourself wondering about the history of this fan-favorite, we’ve got a treat for you. Read on to learn 10 facts about the history of pizza.

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1. Pizza and foods similar to pizza-like flatbreads and oven-baked bread have been prepared since the Neolithic age. Pizza has been made across almost every region of the world, but it’s origins come from Naples.

2. In the 1600s, bakers in Naples created the first pizza. It was sold as street food to poor Neapolitans who spent most of their time outside. These people would purchase pizza because it was tasty, affordable, and easy to eat while walking around.

3. According to legend, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of France became bored with their haute cuisine in 1889, so they went to Italy to discover new foods. The Queen requested to try varieties of pizza. Baker Raffaele Esposito of Da Pietro Pizzeria catered to her request and made pizza with red tomato sauce, white mozzarella, and green basil. These colors represented the Italian flag. The Queen loved the pizza, and this dish soon became known as pizza Margherita.

4. Even though the Queen loved her pizza, pizza did not become well-known outside of Naples until the 1800s. Italians began migrating to the U.S. and they brought their pizza recipes with them.

5. Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in the U.S. in 1905. His street-front shop in Manhattan became significantly successful, and this shop is still in operation today.

6. By the 1930s, the pizza business took off. Italian-Americans were opening up pizzerias left and right across Manhattan, New Jersey, and Boston. Then, in 1943, Ike Sewell opened Uno’s in Chicago and created the Chicago-style pizza.

7. After World War II, military members returned home to America eager to try the pizza. In 1945, returning soldier Ira Nevin was inspired enough by pizza to create the Baker’s Pride gas-fired pizza oven.

8. The pizza chain was born in 1958 with Pizza Hut, followed by Little Caesar’s in 1959, and Domino’s in 1960.

9. Up next is the frozen pizza, which was created and sold in 1957. It became the most popular frozen meal.

10. Today, the pizza business is estimated to make $32 billion in revenue, with over 3 billion pizzas sold each year in the U.S.

Celebrate the history of pizza by grabbing a slice at Old Town Pizzeria! We are located at 691 Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station, New York, and we hope to see you here soon.

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