Furthermore, when did pepperoni as a pizza topping become popular?
Pizza is one food that we can never get enough of. The cheesy slices, topped with our favorite vegetables and meats, are delectable. We can associate eating pizza with special events such as the Super Bowl or any type of party because most people enjoy it, and it is simple to prepare. However, for most of us, our craving for pizza makes it the ideal meal for any day of the week. Because pizza is such a popular food, it may be interesting to learn about its entire history. First, contrary to popular belief, it did not originate in Italy.
We know that some of our favorite pizzas originated in a couple of our major cities—both Chicago-style and New York-style pizzas are extremely popular. Whether you prefer a thick or thin crust, you’ll prefer Chicago’s deep dish pizza or New York’s hand-tossed thin crust pizza. However, pizza did not originate in America.
Here’s everything you need to know about the origins of pizza and how it became so popular.
Pizza is defined as an Italian dish consisting of a flattened disk of bread dough topped with some combination of olive oil, oregano, tomato, olives, mozzarella or other cheese, and many other ingredients, baked quickly—typically in a commercial setting using a wood-fired oven heated to a very high temperature—and served hot.
History of Pizza
Although the official definition of pizza attributes its origin to Italy, historians believe some form of pizza was made in the Middle East during ancient times—flatbreads with toppings were consumed by those in Egypt, Rome, and Greece. They cooked the flatbread in mud ovens, and it quickly became a popular cheap, and convenient food. At the time, the toppings were olive oil and spices.
Pizza as we know it today originated in Naples, Italy. Naples was a thriving city populated primarily by the working poor in the 1700s and early 1800s. They required food that was both inexpensive and quick to prepare and consume. Pizza was the ideal solution with toppings like tomatoes, cheese, anchovies, and garlic. Although pizza was popular among the poor in Italy then, the rest of the country did not embrace it.
Pizza did not become popular in the United States until the late nineteenth century. This was when Italian immigrants began replicating their delicious pizzas in New York, Chicago, and other cities. The immigrants were not necessarily looking to make a culinary statement; they were coming for factory jobs. However, the flavor and aroma of their pizzas quickly drew the attention of other Americans.
Lombardi’s, the first pizzeria, opened in Manhattan in 1905 and is still open today (though in a different location). Then came Marios in the Bronx in 1919, Totonno’s in Brooklyn in 1924, and Pepe’s in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1925.
Pizza took off as Italian Americans relocated to other parts of the United States. Pizza, ironically, did not become popular among all Italians until after it had become popular in the United States.
Who Invented Margherita Pizza?
Margherita pizza is a simple and delicious pizza with only tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, salt, and olive oil on top. The Margherita pizza was probably invented in 1889.
During that year, a Neapolitan pizza maker named Raffaele Esposito wanted to commemorate Queen Margherita of Savoy’s and her husband, King Umberto I’s, visit to Naples. The simple toppings’ ingredients were to represent the colors of the Italian flag.
When Did Pepperoni Become a Popular Topping?
One would think that pepperoni as a pizza topping has been around since the invention of pizza. This popular topping, however, did not appear to be a thing until 1950, when it first appeared in a pizzeria called The Spot in New Haven, Connecticut. It appears to have succeeded, as other pizzerias nationwide have followed suit.
10 Most Popular Pizza Toppings
Pizza has progressed significantly. You can now find a variety of unique toppings. Pizza toppings can include anything from apples and goat cheese to shrimp and guacamole. However, the most popular pizza toppings are on a shorter list. Here are the top ten toppings in the United States.
- extra cheese
- black olives
- green pepper
- no toppings but cheese