PizzaThe First Pizza

Pizza, in one form or another has been around for ages. The Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians, and other ancient Middle Eastern cultures consumed flat unleavened bread that resembled pizza. The flat bread was cooked in mud ovens and used as plates to hold food because only the very rich had plates to put their food on.  Great idea, no dishes to wash! The Greeks and Romans also enjoyed their pizza topped with olive oil and spices.

Pizza throughout the Ages

There are many legends as to how pizza made it through the middle ages to become one of the world’s favorite foods. Some people believe that an Italian baker named Raffaele Esposito created the first pizza, like the pizza we eat today, in Naples, Italy.  He created the pizza to impress Italian Monarch King Umberto and his wife, Queen Margerita.  Raffaele wanted to cook something unique and different for them so he conjured up a flat bread and topped it with red tomatoes, white cheese, and green basil.   Coincidentally, Raffaele picked those toppings because they were the same color of the flag of Italy – his home country.

In the early 1900’s, Italian immigrants brought pizza to the cities of the United States such as New York, Chicago and other cities where many Italians lived.  During World War II, America soldiers in Italy enjoyed eating pizza and learned how to make it.  When they returned home, they perfected their pizza making and before long everyone was trying their hand at making pizza.  In the early 1950’s pizza became very popular and small restaurants began to include pizza on their menus.

Modern Day Pizza

In 1958, two college aged brothers borrowed $600.00 from their mother and opened the first Pizza Hut restaurant in Wichita, Kansas.  Today, there are thousands of pizza places all over North America and you can order pizza with just about any topping you like. The most popular pizza topping is the basic cheese and sauce or pepperoni and cheese. Some new favorites are Greek pizza topped with olives, tomatoes, and feta cheese; pizza topped with potatoes, seafood pizza, and Buffalo Chicken pizza. Many ethnic groups have reinvented the pizza to reflect their culture and food choices, and the choices for toppings are endless depending on where you live. 
Over the past decade, pizza and in all its varieties has become a staple of the modern day dinner. It’s quick to prepare, can be made to order with your favorite toppings and is an all time favorite. Serve your pizza with a fresh, green salad loaded with raw vegetables, a glass of red wine, and you have a nutritious and inexpensive meal that sure to please.