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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Pizza

HISTORY

A dish that resembled pizza was common in Roman times and called "focaccia".

The word ‘pizza’ is over 1000 years old. They were first found in Latin text in Naples, Italy in 997AD. These pizzas were herb and spice covered circles of dough that were cooked in a hot oven. They were served up as a snack or appetizer.

The first pizza restaurant, Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, opened in Naples in 1830. The oven in which the pizzas at Port 'Alba was cooked was lined with lava from Mount Vesuvius.

Pizzeria Port Alba in Naples
The Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the Pizza Margherita on June 11, 1889, to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The pizza was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colors of Italy as on the Italian flag.

Pizza Margherita, the archetype of Neapolitan pizza

Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in North America at 53½ Spring Street, New York City in 1905. He soon had a loyal clientele, including Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. Others pizzerias quickly following in the Italian communities around the city.

Ike Sewell of Chicago created the Deep Dish Pizza in 1943 by combining traditional Italian pizza recipes with large quantities of the finest meats, spices, vegetables and cheeses. He opened Pizzeria Uno in Chicago as a restaurant specializing in his Deep Dish Pizza and it soon had more customers than he could handle.

Pizza Express opened its first English restaurant at Wardour Street, London in 1965.

CONSUMPTION 

Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.



About 75 acres of pizza are eaten in America every day.

Americans will buy 12.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, with an average order value of $26.45.

VARIETIES

Fifty percent of the pizzas sold in the United States have pepperoni on them.

The Hawaiian Pizza was invented in Canada, and is the most popular pizza in Australia, accounting for 15% of pizza sales.

In 2005 the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, insulted Finnish cuisine and joked that Finns ate “marinated reindeer”. In 2008, Finland won an international pizza contest, beating Italy. The name of the winning pizza was “Pizza Berlusconi” which was made of smoked reindeer.

According to Domino's, some of the more popular international toppings are pickled ginger, minced mutton and tofu in India, squid and Mayou Jaga (mayonnaise, potato and bacon) in Japan, and green peas in Brazil.

RECORDS 

The world's most expensive pizza can be found in The Industry Kitchen restaurant in New York’s South Street Seaport. The pie, topped with 24-karat gold leaves, foie gras, truffles and dollops of caviar costs $2,000 - that’s a hefty $250 a slice.


The most expensive delivery was made in 2001 when Pizza Hut made a delivery to the International Space Station. They paid the Russians $1 million to transport the pizza.

In May 2016, Pizza Hut delivered a pepperoni pizza to the top of Kilimanjaro. This was the world’s highest pizza delivery and celebrated Tanzania becoming the 100th country with a Pizza Hut restaurant.

The world's longest pizza consists of 1.5 tons of mozzarella and 2 tons of tomato sauce, was baked using five ovens, and is almost a mile long.


FUN PIZZA FACTS

Pizza delivery drivers have more dangerous jobs than firefighters, statistically speaking.


There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States (as at March 2015).

15% of people prefer eating their pizza cold.

Bill Murray used to work at a Little Caesars pizza shop in Illinois; he says it's the best job he's ever had.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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