The History of Pizza Pie

The modern pizza was invented in Naples, Italy

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Considered a peasant's meal in Italy for centuries, we cannot say who invented the very first pizza pie. Food historians agree that pizza-like dishes, including flatbreads topped with oils, spices, and other toppings, were eaten by many peoples in the Mediterranean, including the Greeks and Egyptians.

However, modern pizza has been attributed to baker Raffaele Esposito of Naples. In 1889, Esposito -- who owned a restaurant called the Pizzeria di Pietro -- baked what he called "pizza" especially for the visit of Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.

According to legend, this pizza was topped with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes to represent the three colors of the Italian flag, and the style was named for Queen Margherita. 

Pizza was introduced to North America by Italian immigrants to the United States in late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first pizzeria in North America was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi at 53 1/3 Spring Street in New York City.

Frozen pizza was invented in the 1950s by Minneapolis pizzeria owner Rose Totino.

Pizza Package Saver

Have you ever wondered who invented the circular thing that keeps the pizza from hitting the inside of the box top? Wonder no longer: the package saver for pizza and cakes was invented by Carmela Vitale of Dix Hills, NY, who filed for US patent #4,498,586 on February 10, 1983, issued on February 12, 1985.

Pizza Topping Trivia

Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second. And 36 percent of those pizza slices are pepperoni slices, making pepperoni the number-one choice among pizza toppings in the United States.

However, in India pickled ginger, minced mutton, and paneer cheese are the favorite toppings for pizza slices. In Japan, Mayo Jaga (a combination of mayonnaise, potato and bacon), eel and squid are the favorites. Green peas rock Brazilian pizza shops, and Russians love red herring pizza.

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Your Citation
Bellis, Mary. "The History of Pizza Pie." ThoughtCo, Jul. 20, 2017, Bellis, Mary. (2017, July 20). The History of Pizza Pie. Retrieved from Bellis, Mary. "The History of Pizza Pie." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 19, 2018).