On September 5th, one of the most popular varieties of pizzas gets its day of honor. Hold the toppings, please. It’s National Cheese Pizza Day!
- In ancient Greece, the Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese which some believe is the beginning of the “pizza”.
- In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled “πίτα”, pita, meaning pie.
- A sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves was developed by the Romans.
- The modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread. The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant which was produced in the surroundings of Naples.
- It was estimated that the annual production of pizza cheese in the United States in 1997 was 2 billion pounds.
- In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi opened the first licensed American pizzeria, Lombardi’s Pizzeria Napoletana, at 53-1/2 Spring Street in New York City.
- Pizza has become one of America’s favorite meals.
- Roughly 1,000 years ago herb-and-spice-covered circles of baked dough grew exceptionally popular in Naples, Italy. Known as focaccia, these rounds were served as an appetizer or a snack.
- In 1830 pizza truly began with the opening of the world’s first pizzeria. Named Port’Alba, the pizzas were cooked in an oven lined with lava from Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on the Bay of Naples.
- In the 1800s, most Italians thought of pizza as a peasant meal. That changed when a baker named Raffaele Esposito created a margarita pizza for visiting royalty. The king and queen were impressed by the colors of the Italian flag represented by the pizza’s white mozzarella cheese, red tomato sauce, and green basil. Pizza became fashionable overnight and was soon a staple in restaurants all across the country.
- Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second.
- There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States.
- Regular thin pizza crust is still the most popular crust, preferred by 61 percent of the population. Thick crust and deep dish tied for second, at 14%. Only 11 percent of the population prefers extra thin.
Copyright 2017 SW Florida Reporter