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PIZZA, Pizza, Pizza. We should think about Italy every time we eat pizza. Here are some interesting facts about pizza.

The pizza of Napels is regarded as the true pizza of Italy. These first pizzas of the Neapolitans where made with garlic, lard, salt and anchovies (Yum Yum!). It was only with the arrival of the tomato (from South America) that the pizza of Napels took off. The Neapolitan where the first Europeans to embrace this new fruit when they successfully grew them from seeds brought from the New World.

By the mid-nineteenth century pizzerias had opened in Napels and wandering vendors sold slices to people on the streets. Pizza began to achieve a wider notoriety with visitors venturing into the poor neighbourhoods to sample this new strange food.

In 1889 Queen Margherita visited and wanted to try the by now famous pizza. Raffaele Esposito, a local pizzaiolo, was summoned and created a pizza of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil based on the colours of the Italian flag. This was later named after her and is now world famous, except most foreign places now use oregano instead of basil.

Associazione Vera Pizza Napoeltana.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association has been set up to safeguard the pizza. There guidelines are strict and to get approved your dough must be only made from flour, yeast, salt and water, and not be worked by machine. Pizzas are to be cooked directly on the floor of a brick or stone-lined wood fired oven and the temperature must exceed 400 degrees Celsius. The corniciore (border) must be high and soft and the whole crust not too crisp. A pizza should take only 2 minutes to cook and be brown and crispy with all ingredients melted together.

Emigrating Neapolitans took pizza to America and by the late 1950’s pizza could be found more easily in America than in the north of Italy. The Italians have adapted the pizza to their regions own tastes (hopefully they don’t use too much lard), for example the Roman pizza has more toppings, is thinner and crispier, does not have a corniciore and is sold by weight.

Some useless pizza facts to finish this Blog:

-Americans eat about 100 acres (over 400 000 square meters) of pizza each day (or about 350 slices per second!)
-Americans eat 114 201 000kg of pepperoni, their favourite pizza topping, each year.
-Red herring is the most popular pizza topping in Russia.
-Most unusual toppings created by pizza makers include: peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs and mashed potatoes.
-There are over 9000 pizzerias in New York.
-94% of the population of the USA eat pizza.

Thanks to Ripley’s, Believe It Or Not 2006 for the useless information!

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