Themes.Pizza Design

Foods similar to pizza have been made since the neolithic age. Records of people adding other ingredients to bread to make it more flavorful can be found throughout ancient history. The ancient Greeks supplemented their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese, and in the 6th century BC, the soldiers in Persian King Darius I’s armies baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields.

An early reference to a pizza-like food occurs in the Aeneid, when Celaeno, queen of the Harpies, foretells that the Trojans would not find peace until they are forced by hunger to eat their tables (Book III). In Book VII, Aeneas and his men are served a meal that includes round cakes (like pita bread) topped with cooked vegetables. When they eat the bread, they realize that these are the “tables” prophesied by Celaeno.

Modern Za

Modern pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples in the 18th or early 19th century. Prior to that time, flatbread was often topped with ingredients such as garlic, salt, lard, cheese, and basil. It is uncertain when tomatoes were first added and there are many conflicting claims. Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and out of pizza bakeries, and pizzerias keep this old tradition alive today.

Pizza Legends

A popular contemporary legend holds that the archetypal pizza, pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen, although recent research casts doubt on this legend.

The History of Pizza

Pizza was brought to the United States with Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth century, and first appeared in areas where Italian immigrants concentrated. The country’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, opened in 1905. Following World War II, veterans returning from the Italian Campaign after being introduced to Italy’s native cuisine proved a ready market for pizza in particular.

Since then pizza consumption has exploded in the U.S. Pizza chains such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s, pizzas from take and bake pizzerias, and chilled or frozen pizzas from supermarkets make pizza readily available nationwide. It is so ubiquitous, thirteen percent of the U.S. population consumes pizza on any given day.

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