How the name pizza Margherita originated?
Is the pizza we eat is more American than Italian?
Tag along to learn more about all those and a bit more on the history of one of the most favorite food.
The ancient roman documents talk about a food that closely resembles pizza in their wartime books. “The soldiers ate their plate-like flour topped with herbs”. Though there is some evidence of pizza like food far back in our history, the pizza we know became popular in the 18th century, in an area called Naples in Italy. The socio-economic status of Naples at that time explains a lot about why a food like pizza was originated from that area.
Pizza is a cheap food that is very portable. Naples was a city famous for its port. By that time, all the men who lived in Naples were from the working-class. They earned the bare minimum through work at the port. Therefore the food they consumed had to be cheap and portable. It is believed that pizza would have sold by street vendors, the same as how we get hot dogs here in the US. For over a century this had been the way pizza moved.
After Italy was unified in the 19th century, the Queen called Margherita visited Naples for the first time. There she came across this amazing food which she wanted to try out. She was offered with 3 different kinds of pizza. Out of the three she like the pizza that contained Mozzarella and Basils the most. Thus the signature Mozzarella pizza got its famous name.
Pizza in the US
With the industrial revolution kicking in, a lot of Italians moved to different parts of the world in search of new jobs. America was in high demand for cheap labor for all sorts of work. This attracted lots of Italians to America. With them, came the amazing food we all love.
The first licensed pizza joint was opened in New York by Lombardi in 1905. You can still visit Lombardi’s pizza, where you get to eat pizza baked on the same coal oven, which they used over a century ago.
Though the origins of pizza belong to Italy, the credit of exposing this wonder to the rest of the world goes to the US. The first franchised chain restaurants Dominos and Pizza Hut were opened by people who has nothing to do with Italy. They quickly took their product out into the world. The reason why they became so successful is that they managed to localize the pizza to suit the local taste buds. Even now, a menu at a Pizza Hut outlet in India will have flavors like tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala.
The latest addition to this wonderful food came in a frozen pack. Like everything else, pizza also got capitalized. Now, pizza comes in every possible flavor which you can heat up in seconds.
May it come from a coal oven or from the freezer, pizza will never fail you. I have never met a person who has not tried a slice of pizza. In fact, I don’t think I ever want to meet such a person at all. Which brings me to my next point. Do you think pizza should have pineapple on top? Which side are you on? Drop a comment below to see which side is more popular.