The origin of pizza: from Italian to American
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

We all have our pizza day (I like Tuesdays because there’s 2x1), and enjoy it with pleasure every single week. But have you ever thought how pizza was created? And why it’s called like that? Learn it today and impress your friends.

The origin of the word:

It is not clear which of the external influences shaped the word we use now for pizza, but here are the possibilities anyway:

  • “pizzo”: meaning “bit” in old German “pizzo”
  • “pitta”: to pitch in Attic
  • “pikte”: fermented pastry in Ancient Greek
  • “pizzicare”: to pluck in Latin
  • “picea”: bread toasting in Latin
  • “pinsa”: to crush in Latin (referring to the flattening of the pizza)

All of them sound like pizza (especially if you're pronouncing them with your mouth full of it!).

The first region where the word appears in history is in 976 in Gaeta (central Italy).

The origin of the recipe:

This awesome food started out being sold in the streets of Naples as a very basic food for poor people, during the 16th century. Later on, people started to combine it with oil, tomato and fish, not becoming a savory dish until the end of the eighteenth century.

The true, original varieties of pizza are said to be Marinara (oil, tomato, oregano and garlic) and Margherita (tomato, mozzarella and basil).

The origin of American pizza:

It was introduced in the United States of America by Italian immigrants at the end of the 19th century. It was initially sold in the streets but soon it spread to the small shops. The first pizzeria in America was introduced in 1905. However, it wasn’t until after World War II that non-Italian Americans discovered how good pizza was (after many American soldiers tried the real one while on service in Italy). By the middle of the 20th century, several pizza chains had opened throughout the country. It is worth mentioning that the pizza we eat in America today is light years away from the traditional Italian pizza: it is usually a lot thicker, greasier and made with several more toppings (bacon, sweetcorn, chicken or BBQ sauce) to satisfy the American’s "delicate" palate.

Pizza From Naples
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