It’s undeniably (and unsurprisingly) our favourite food and now we love it a little more after discovering these fun facts about pizza!
1. You’d be forgiven for thinking pizza originated in Italy. In fact, it dates back to the ancient times in the Middle East. Specifically, the Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, Israelis, and Babylonians are known to have made some derivative of pizza by cooking flat bread in mud ovens. Favoured for its thriftiness and convenience, the base was often topped with olive oil and spices, now known as focaccia.
2. Tomatoes were brought back to Europe from Peru in the New World. Initially believed to be poisonous, it was the poorer of Naples who created the original pizza, by adding tomatoes to their yeast dough. These families often only had flour, olive oil, lard, cheese, and herbs, which turns out is the perfect concoction!
3. History tells us that the pizza craze started in Naples when bakers needed to use up their excess dough, or when they required something in the oven to keep it warm. The doughy baked goodness was then sold to the poorer people, which ironically, became loved by a wide variety of customers around the world.
4. The first known pizza shop opened in Port Alba in Naples and is still there today.
5. Although pizza didn’t infiltrate America until the 1950s, of the 5 billion pizzas sold every year around the world, roughly 3 billion of these are sold in the US. In fact, pizza is a $30-35 billion industry in the states, with pizzerias making up 17% of restaurants.
6. Pizza was originally sold by the whole pie. In 1933, Patsy Lancieri started selling pizza by the slice sparking a popular trend amongst pizzerias. At Greens, we still prefer the entire pie! And if you can’t finish it all in one sitting, it makes an excellent breakfast.
7. New Zealander Josh Anderson holds the world record as the world’s fastest pizza consumer, eating a 12-inch pizza in just one minute and 45 seconds. While Romanian Cristian Dumitru, ate 200 pounds of pizza (more than his body weight!) in a single week, back in 2006. You’ll struggle to find anyone who loves pizza more than these two.
8. There are approximately 34 million ways that you can order a pizza, with the size, crust, sauce, cheese, and topping options. Oh my!
9. Squid is the most popular pizza topping in Japan, while in the US and UK, pepperoni comes out on top.
10. Pizza has been known to cure diseases and mend a broken heart.*
*Not 100% accurate.