September 5 we celebrate a purist’s pizza, with only cheese as the topping. Though pizzas may be topped with practically anything – pepperoni, sausage, anchovies, vegetables, or even pineapple – this day is for the one, the only, the original.
People have been eating cheese on flatbread at least back to Greek and Roman times, where the food was called pita in Greek. However, true pizza originated in Naples. Italy. Originally, pizza was considered to be a poor person’s food, as it contained only simple, inexpensive ingredients – flour, water, and yeast, topped with cheese and tomatoes. But that changed in the 1880s when, according to legend, baker Raffaele Esposito, for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy, baked a pizza that consisted of green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes), which evoked the colors of the Italian flag. According to the tale, this combination was named Pizza Margherita in her honor. Today there are only two pizzas recognized by those who set the standards for such things in Naples – this one, and the marinara, which consists of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.
Pizza arrived in the United States with immigrants from Italy. They settled mainly in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago. Up until the 1940s, most pizza was made and consumed there. But in World War II, soldiers found pizza during the occupation of Italy and brought it home with them. It didn’t take long for pizza to catch on in the mainstream.
Some facts about pizza:
- Each year, more than 2 billion pounds of pizza cheese is produced in the U.S. alone.
- Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second
- It is estimated that there are more than 70,000 pizzerias across the United States
Many pizza chains will have deals today, so do check them out and enjoy!
Quotes about pizza
Neapolitans have always had their fast food. It’s called pizza.–Luciano De Crescenzo
My weakness is pizza, any form of carbohydrate. I like junk carbohydrates, I like cheap greasy cheeseburgers, quality french fries.–Mary Tyler Moore
You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.–Yogi Berra
Art’s for art. Money’s for pizza.–Tim McGraw
There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.–Kevin James
Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.–Henry Rollins
I think of dieting, then I eat pizza.–Lara Stone
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.–Dave Barry
Home in bed listening to the rain getting ready to order a pizza. Sounds like a song til the last part.–Gabriel Iglesias
And I don’t cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza.–Tiger Woods
I just want to be in my sweats, walk my dog, watch TV and eat pizza.–America Ferrera
I’m a huge pasta and pizza lover. I can eat those every single day.–Shay Mitchell
As far as I’m concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza.–Bonnie Bedelia
If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.–Jeff Bezos
I will never understand the appeal of the Hawaiian pizza.–Judd Winick
Venus is 900 degrees. I could tell you it melts lead. But that’s not as fun as saying, ‘You can cook a pizza on the windowsill in nine seconds.’ And next time my fans eat pizza, they’re thinking of Venus!–Neil deGrasse Tyson
Pre-heat the oven? Really? If I was the sort of person who planned ahead, I wouldn’t be eating this Totino’s Party Pizza in the first place.–Adam Peterson
If properly dried and trimmed, New York-style pizza could be used to make a box for Chicago-style pizza.–Nick Offerman
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