Cheese Pizza Day

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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Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 12 is the day we celebrate one of the ultimate comfort foods, grilled cheese sandwiches. Melting cheese on bread has been around at least since the Romans, but grilled cheese sandwiches as we know them today didn’t become popular until the 1920s. When cheese became readily available, and so did sliced bread, a culinary delight was born. Though in the U.S., it is customary to have simply cheese melted on bread, there are international variations. In France, people enjoy Croque Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich) while in Switzerland it is customary to melt the cheese and toast the bread separately before combining them. Coca Cola’s page about Grilled Cheese naturally suggests having a cold coke with your meal. 🙂 You can also check out the Facebook page for this day here. It has information and where to go for a free sandwich if you live in the right city.

Only three ingredients are necessary for your grilled cheese, of course: bread, cheese, and butter. But after that, you can add what pleases you. Personally, I love to pair tomato with mine, either a sliced tomato on the sandwich itself or a bowl of tomato soup. A couple other suggested variations are a Pesto Grilled Sandwich made on Italian bread. The recipe is here. There is also an Italian Grilled Cheese with garlic, oregano, and marinara sauce. You can find that recipe here.

Quotes about grilled cheese

Everyone prefers some foods over others, but some adults take this tendency to an extreme. These people tend to prefer the kinds of bland food they may have enjoyed as children – such as plain or buttered pasta, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, French fries and grilled cheese sandwiches – and to restrict their eating to just a few dishes.–Andrew Well

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the ultimate comfort meal.–Ina Garten

I’m into grilled cheese.  Grilled cheese makes me feel beautiful!–Emma Stone

I’m just a regular 16 year old kid. I make good grilled cheese and I like girls.–Justin Bieber

I make this really good tomato soup from scratch and I do it with grilled cheese sandwich dippers on the side. That’s really, really, really good. And my grandma loves that. My grandma is the best cook ever so for her to love that makes me think it’s probably the best thing I make.–Gigi Hadid

My father, the lone male in our estrogen-heavy household, had always dealt with any kind of emotional situation or conflict by doing something concrete and specific. … Coming home in tears for reasons you just didn’t want to discuss? He’d go make you a grilled cheese, which he’d probably end up eating.–Sarah Dessen

I gut check my show. I say, I say, “Gut, gut, does that feel true to you?” And Gut says, “Yes it does, Stephen. Let’s get a grilled cheese sandwich.”–Stephen Colbert

How might an omnipotent being with the long view of history respond to those who visit the traveling exhibit of a grilled-cheese sandwich, sold on eBay, that is said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary? It certainly argues against intelligent design, or at least intelligent design in humans.–Anna Quindlen

I do like a little romance… just a sniff, as I call it, of the rocks and valleys. Of course, bread-and-cheese is the real thing. The rocks and valleys are no good at all, if you haven’t got that.–Anthony Trollope

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.–Gilbert K. Chesterton

Age is of no importance unless you are a cheese.–Billie Burke

When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?–George Carlin

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