Pizza – The Universal Food
Pizza undoubtedly is one of the most popular and universal foods there is. It may be due to it’s long history, or maybe it’s just the fact that it tastes so darn good. You can find restaurants that serve pizza in nearly every country in the world!
The initial recording of the word “pizza” was around 997AD in Southern Italy. It’s thought to have been derived from the word “pitta”, which is a Middle Eastern flat bread. It was made regularly in Naples and typically included a tomato based sauce, fish and cheese. But, it wasn’t until 1889 when a chef in Naples baked a pizza for Queen Margherita (and named it “Margherita pizza”after her), that pizza became well accepted. This Margherita pizza was topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag. Prior to that, pizza was a peasant food. But after being sampled by a queen, everyone wanted to try it, and it became a tourist draw. Naples became famous for pizza and many vendors set up “pizzerias” Pizza went on to become one of the national foods of Italy.
Pizza first started to appear in the United States when Italian immigrants began arriving in the late 19th century. It started to gain popularity in cities such as Chicago and New York, where the population of Italian immigrants was the largest. However, it got it’s biggest boost in popularity in the United States in the 1940’s when soldiers returning from World War II took their appreciation of pizza back home with them. The troops stationed in Italy, tired of the rations, were on the lookout for good food. Once the soldiers discovered pizza, the local bakers could hardly keep up with the demands for it. Even Dwight D. Eisenhower expressed his appreciation for the dish.
Today’s pizza “industry” got it’s start in 1958 with the birth of Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas. Pizzerias became very popular in the 50’s & 60’s and cars would line up for miles just to get pizza. With the rising popularity, pizza chains were born. And that has led to the globalization of pizza.
Today there are 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, and more than 5,600 store locations in 94 other countries and territories around the world. They aren’t the only chain that has gone global either. Dominoes claims 15,000 restaurants globally. It seems the world just can’t get enough pizza!
Pizza is very easy to make, especially if you own a stand mixer. Using a mixer you can produce your own pizza crust with very little work at all. The mixer does all the kneading for you! If you have the pasta roller attachment with your mixer you can roll out the pizza dough to make a very thin crust. It’s also very cheap to make your own.
Approved by queens, presidents, and people world-wide you can’t go wrong with pizza!