We have a confession to make; we are slightly suspicious of people who say they do not like pizza. There, we said it, and we know we are not alone. There are very few dishes that have travelled around the world as pizza has. The original Italian dish has also been reimagined in many ways around the globe. If Hawaii is throwing pineapples on their pizzas, Indians are giving it their own spin with tikkas. Pizza is one comfort food that works as an instant pick-me-up for anyone, anywhere. You have ordered it for parties, you have ordered it for yourself for a cosy night in and seldom have you regretted the decision. World Pizza Day is one such day meant to celebrate pizza in all its glory. Here's everything you need to know about the special day.
(Also Read: 12 Best Pizza Recipes | Easy Pizza Recipes)
World Pizza Day, Date, History And Significance
We all know that pizzas belong to Italy. However, prior to this flatbread with toppings was consumed by citizens of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. According to food historians, these loaded flatbreads could be seen as origins of modern-day pizzas that were born in Naples somewhere around the sixteenth century. There are many exotic pizzas around today, but it is said that pizza was initially a food for the commons. The working class needed something quick and cheap. Pizzas, which were essentially flatbreads with tasty toppings, fitted the bill. It took another century or so for the nobility to warm up to this dish that required no cutlery.
According to another popular legend, when in 1889 King Umberto 1 and Queen Margherita visited Naples, they tried a range of pizzas because they were bored with their regular gourmet offerings. The Queen particularly loved the simple pizza with just tomato sauce, green basil and mozzarella cheese, and since then this particular variety of pizza is known as the Margherita pizza.
The pizza was still confined to the realms of Italy until the 1940s. The wars caused displacement in massive numbers, the home-sick Italian immigrants in the US tried recreating their favourite flatbread with whatever toppings were available, and it was only a matter of time before it got picked up by native citizens. The post-war New York loved this Italian treat, giving rise to the many US-bases versions of the dish like the Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza.
The World Pizza Day, celebrate don 9th February each year, is essentially a celebration of pizza and its journey. Pizza lovers and popular pizzerias have been celebrating this day since 2000.
Here are 6 more facts about Pizzas that'll surely blow your mind:
1. The word pizza was first recorded in the 10th century Latin manuscript from the Southern Italian town of Gaeta in Lazio.
2. According to the legends, America's first pizzeria was Lombardi's, which was originally a grocery store that started selling pizzas in 1905 much before it got popular in the 1940s.
3. In the year 2009, Neapolitan pizza was registered with the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish, and in the year 2017, the art of making Neopolitan Pizza was included on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.
4. In Scotland, you would find something called 'deep-fried' pizza. Instead of baking the pizza, chefs just deep fry the whole pizza and toppings resulting in a delectable treat
5. In 2013, NASA funded a prototype 3D printer that could create food for astronauts on long-duration space missions; Pizza was one of the foods that was on the device.
6. A person who makes pizza is also referred to as a pizzaiolo.
Happy World Pizza Day!
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.