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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Beginnings of Pizza

Guest Writer: Karly Berezowsky

The origins of pizza, the infamous crowd favorite, date all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians, and other areas in the Middle East, way before the Greeks and Romans had it. Archeological historians believe that many Middle Eastern people of ancient times had a type of flat, un-raised dough that they put various sauces on. However neither the Egyptians, nor the Indians had toppings on their “pizza” but the Persians may have. Both the Greeks and Romans had a culinary creation that consisted of a type of flat bread adorned with some oil and spices . This goes totally against the common notion that the Italians were the ones to invent pizza.

This legend is derived from a story from around 1889 which stated that King Umberto I and Queen Margherita ate the food of the commoners which was a form of pizza and loved it. A man by the name of Raphaelle Esposito was charged with making a pizza for her, the Queen of Italy; he created a pizza topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil; and to this day it is still called the Margherita pizza .

Over the years the pizza phenomenon went global, it became a fan favorite all around the world. It is just as huge in America as it was in Italy. In 1905 a man named, Gennaro Lombardi was the first to ever obtain a license to sell pizza in the United States. He opened up shop in New York City . Eventually people caught on to the idea that this was a profitable business so people began opening up pizzerias all over New York and then up in Connecticut and further north. It then spread down the coast. Traditionally New York style pizza has a very thin and crunchy crust. Pizza became extremely popular in the United States after World War II because many soldiers ate it when they were overseas and enjoyed it. The establishment of pizzerias across the United States began between the late 1940s-1950s.The deep dish Chicago pizza was supposedly created by Ike Sewell in 1943 . It took a while for the pizza makers to move out west; it was not until 1973 when Alice Waters started making veggie pizzas out in California.

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