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The Real Story of Pizza

Iliana AngelovaIliana Angelova
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova

More than 93 percent of people in the world have eaten pizza and this is a real record for mass consumption of any food. What is the history of this world famous and popular food?

Anyone who has tasted pizza will immediately say that it is an Italian food. In fact, the history of pizza has wider dimensions, because it has a thousand-year history. Every civilization has known some kind of pizza and most of its variants are found in the Mediterranean and they are very reminiscent of modern pizza.

If we go back far in time we will see that the ancient Egyptians celebrated the Pharaoh's birthday with flatbread sprinkled with spices. In ancient Hellas, similar breads with sauces and garnishes, called plakuntos, were honored.

Herodotus claims that they were from the Babylonians. In the excavations of ancient Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius, flat bread were found, very common in the nearby Greek colony of Neopolis, later called Naples.

It is with Naples that the modern history of pizza is associated. In the poor Italian south, the peasants made a bread crust with few products, which they garnished with cheese.

From the middle of the 18th century, the delicious food was made with tomatoes. At the end of the century, there were several well-established recipes for pizza containing garlic, olive oil, and small cicinelli fish, anchovies and mozzarella cheese, which was beginning to be made at that time in Italy.

History of pizza

The first modern pizza appeared in 1830 in Naples. The furnace for production was made of solidified lava, which allowed it to heat up to 400°C and retain its heat. In modern Naples, many pizzerias use such ovens.

Gradually, royalty began to show interest in the dish. First, the Neapolitan Queen installed a pizza oven in her summer estate and in 1889, King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Savoy, spending their summer vacation in Naples, took an interest in pizza, resulting in the creation of one of the most famous pizzas - Pizza Margherita, in honor of the royal wife on the occasion of her birthday. After that, the simple village-style food gained popularity among the wealthy circles.

From the beginning of the 20th century, America discovered pizza thanks to Italian immigrants and after the end of World War II, the delicious food product from Italy became very popular.

Over time, more and more additions make it more substantial and more appetizing and each nation adapts it to its culinary and cultural preferences.

However, the main characteristics of pizza are the same everywhere - easy to prepare, nutritious, light and for a delicate stomach. This food is suitable for every season and climate and is preferred by people all over the world.

If you love pizza, also check out our suggestions for:

- pizza with ham;

- minced meat pizza;

- vegan pizza.