Pizza History & Fun Facts You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Know About Pizza

If Friday were a food—it would be pizza.


Tonight’s lesson is all about PIZZA.

In 1830, pizza was born. The world’s first *official* pizzeria, Port’Alba, cooked pizza in an oven lined with lava from Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on the Bay of Naples.

In the 1800s, most Italians thought of pizza as a peasant meal… until a badass baker named Raffaele Esposito created a margarita pizza for Queen Margherita. In celebration of the queen’s visit to Naples in 1889, Raffaele made a pizza in the colors of the Italian flag (white mozzarella cheese, red tomato sauce, and green basil). Queen Margherita fell in love (obviously) and soon pizza became fashionable all across the country. I’m happy I have the same pizza preference as a queen.

Next, pizza conquers the world. But first, America.

The first pizza place in America was Lombardi’s in New York City started selling pies in 1905.

The first American cities to start selling pizza were New York, Boston, New Haven, Conn., and Trenton, N.J. after an influx of Southern Italian immigrants around the turn of the century.

America responded by doing what we do best: spending money and eating A LOT of food. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second. In a typical pizza-eating session, an adult consumes 744 calories 🤷🏻‍♀️ BUT… I have good news:

In 2011, Pizza was considered a “vegetable” by the government. Meals subsidized by the government must contain a certain amount of vegetables, a serving of pizza containing at least two tablespoons of tomato sauce meets those vegetable requirements.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, kids between the ages of 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner… but you already knew that.

There’s even a mathematical theorem, the “Pizza Theorem,” the equation mimics pizza slicing techniques.

Okay, anyway, back to pizza. The four primary kinds of mozzarella used to make pizza are mozzarella di bufala (made from the milk of water buffalo in Italy, and used on Neapolitan-style pizzas), fior di latte (similar to mozzarella di bufala, but made from cow’s milk), burrata (a fresh Italian cheese known for its creamy filling), and “pizza cheese” (the less perishable whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella used by the majority of American pizzerias).

In 2014, food scientists did a very important study: the baking properties of different cheeses. Finally, scientific evidence of what we all know—mozzarella makes the best pizza cheese.

What’s your favorite pizza topping? Tell me about the best slice of pizza you’ve ever eaten.

🍕In Pizza We Trust 🍕



P.S. I kinda wanna go on a pizza sabbatical… can someone pay to to travel and write about pizza? No? Okay, fine. Here’s a picture I tookinstead…

Author: Becca Risa Luna

Seattle-based fashion writer and personal essayist. Likes designer handbags, glaring openness, and subtle vulgarity.

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