So what is pizza? Where did the idea originate, and how did it become so popular. Why do we love it so much…
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. In the 6th century BC, the Persian soldiers of the Achaemenid Empire during the rule of Darius the Great baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields and the ancient Greeks supplemented their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese. 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.
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, who were introduced to Italy’s native cuisine, proved a ready market for pizza in particular. And the rest is history, just about every corner of your local town has a pizza shop. For more on fads and trends check a previous blog out; http://www.professionalchefsfoodnetwork.org/2021/06/25/trends-fads-and-everything-in-between/
Although originating in Italy, there are many incarnations globally, check out this link; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pizza_varieties_by_country
Not to be biased, but I have enjoyed a few Canadian style pizzas in my day. Montreal style tops the list for me. Donair pizza from Atlantic Canada is very good. And of course the controversial Hawaiian Pizza, some people have trouble with pineapple on pizza….not this guy.
Anyway, happy hump day people…I’m off to make some pizza!!