Pizza is an Italian dish consisting of a flattened disc of bread dough topped with a mixture of olive oil, oregano, tomato, olives, mozzarella or other cheese, and a variety of other ingredients, baked quickly and served hot—usually in a commercial setting using a wood-fired oven heated to a very high temperature.
The Margherita pizza, which is topped with tomatoes or tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, is one of the most basic and traditional pizzas. According to folklore, it was named after Queen Margherita, Umberto I’s wife, who was supposed to enjoy its mild fresh flavour and to have noticed that the topping colors—green, white, and red—were similar to those of the Italian flag.
The word “pizza” has a long and illustrious history.
The word pizza as we know it first appears in English in the early 1800s, while in his historically significant 1598 Italian-English dictionary, early English lexicographer John Florio defines pizza as “a tiny cake or wafer.” Pizza is, of course, Italian, but the deeper components of the word, if you will, remain a mystery. Some believe the derivation is the Greek pita (pita, with a root meaning “bran bread”). Others turn to the Langobardic bizzo, which means “bite” in Langobardic (an ancient German language spoken in northern Italy).
Who was the first to make a pizza?
The invention of modern pizza is credited to the Italians, however a baked bread with toppings has many different origins in various cuisines.
We are most familiar with the cuisine from Italy, particularly from Naples, however pissaladière from Provence, coca from Catalonia, and lahmacun (among other variations) from the Middle East all have a striking resemblance to pizza.
According to mythology, Raffaele Esposito, a baker in Naples, gave us contemporary pizza—an open-faced pie drenched with tomato sauce and mozzarella. In honour of King Umberto and Queen Margherita’s visit in 1889, he baked a patriotic pie topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, all in the colours of the Italian flag. The pie is said to have been appreciated by the Queen, and as a result, it was given the name Margherita.
In the United States, Italian immigrants sold pizza in their stores, and Gennaro Lombardi founded the first pizzeria (Lombardi’s) on Spring Street in New York City in 1905, but pizza did not completely take off until World War II. Many American and European soldiers who were stationed in Italy had pizza and returned home with a taste for the now-ubiquitous meal.
What’s the difference between a pie, a pizza, and a pizza pie?
What’s the name of your pizza? On the East Coast of the United States, the terms “pie” and “pizza pie” are commonly used to refer to an entire pizza. These words would never be used in other regions (or beyond the United States). The use of pie for pizza, on the other hand, dates back to the 1800s. “Pie has traditionally been considered a Yankee dish exclusively,” according to a 1903 New York Tribune article, which goes on to describe a “pomidore pizza,” a dough and tomato dish. Za is a different type of pizza. A clipping is when an entire term is abbreviated while maintaining its original meaning.
To sound like a true pizzaiolo, name your wasted crust bones and rate a pizza by its leopard spots (black patches on the crust) or hole structure (holes in the bread’s core).