What Makes the World the United States of Pizza?

Pizza is one of the world’s most popular fast foods. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a delicious slice of a hot pizza? Pizza is so popular that 94% of Americans eat the food regularly! What many people do not know though is that pizza has been around for centuries. 

The Beginning of Pizza

Pizza has been mentioned in literature dating back to 19 B.C., when it was mentioned in Virgil’s Aeneid, where the Trojan army, led by Aeneas would spread different toppings on “thin wheaten cakes” and eat them all. 

Pizza became extremely popular in Naples in 1889 when it was presented to Queen Margherita on a visit to Italy. It was during this visit that the popular margherita pizza was named in honour of the queen.

Pizza Reaches America

When the Italians reached the East Coast in the 19th century, they opened the first pizzeria in New York City, named Lombardi’s. Since then, it has been a popular American dish that has taken the world by storm!

In the 1960’s, ‘Dominik’s’ was founded in Michigan, which is now more popularly known Domino’s, a global favorite when it comes to pizza.Around the same time, electronic home units such as fridges and freezers became abundant in homes, as did the growth of convenient food options. Frozen pizzas began being made for people to take home and eat at their leisure, increasing their popularity tenfold.

As the growth and popularity of the food increased, so did flavors. Today, pizza comes in a multitude of flavors around the world, each country and region making them according to their specific palettes. They come in different sizes, ranging from personal pan pizzas, to slices as large as two feet! 

Pizza Now!

In the 21st century, pizza can be seen everywhere. On television, on billboards, there are advertisements on the radio, internet, and magazines. Pizza shops in California are lined across the coast, providing food for thousands of people a day! Pizza restaurants provide much more than just pizza, ensuring complimenting foods to go with it. Ecco’s Pizza Long Beach is a pizza restaurant makes a meal out of pizza, serving it with pastas and salads as well. 

Pizza is also one of the most popular food to order around the globe. A popular food to order over the phone has become even more popular with the invention of online ordering via the internet. While it may seem like ordering pizza online is a relatively new way to do so, the first online pizza order was placed in 1974 at the Artificial Language Laboratory at Michigan State University.

Today, over three billion pizzas are sold in the United States of America alone, and these are just from pizzerias. One billion frozen pizzas are made and sold in the United States, making it a grand total of four billion pizzas being consumed annually. This amounts to the average American eating 23 pounds of pizza every year. 

National Pizza Day

Pizza has become such an important part of our lives that there is an entire day dedicated to it. The world celebrates National Pizza Day every year on 9th February. While people may not know about the day specifically, there are specific days in the United States when pizza ordering is at the highest. These days in which pizza sales hit the roof are New Year’s Day, Super Bowl Sundays, Thanksgiving Eve, Halloween, and New Year’s Eve. Are you wondering if you have ever ordered pizza on these days? Chances are, you have. Or have been invited somewhere where pizza has been ordered.

A Global Classic

The birth place of pizza may have been Italy, but countries around the world have taken the dish and made it their own. In Russia, Mockba flavored pizza consists of tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, and onion. Japan has a unique eel topping for pizza, which can use squid ink as a replacement for the regular red sauce used on pizza.

Another Japanese creation is the Mayo Jaga- a combination of mayonnaise, bacon, and potatoes. Other places such as Germany may use tuna as a topping, while Australia can go wild with its flavors using meats from emus, crocodiles, and kangaroos. Many of these may sound odd to the general audience, but they are popular in the country of their origin. 

One can ask for pizza virtually anywhere around the world and find it easily. It is a food that connects people and is versatile enough to provide to every palette, and somehow manages to be an enormously popular dish in every corner of the world. Many might think pizza is a new invention, but we have the Trojan army to really thank for thinking of edible plates to eat from! 

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

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