There is no clear reason why Neapolitan chefs started spreading tomato sauce and cheese on thinly rolled out dough and then baking the whole thing. What is certain, however, is that they had invented the most popular delivery food of all time, without even knowing it yet.
However, the the very first percursor dish that would later become the pizza can already be found in Byzantine Greece, where the pita bread, which is still used today, was first drizzled with oil and then baked with herbs and cheese. What we now call "pizza" was invented by the Neapolitans in 1889. Before that, a kind of pizza “dumpling” (crispy dough filled with tomatoes) was particularly popular amongst the lower class of the population.
During a visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoyen was served a pizza with toppings in the Italian national colours - tomatoes represented the colour red, mozzarella the colour white and basil stood for the green part of the flag. If you haven’t already guessed it by the name of the queen: This was of course the birth of the Pizza Margherita!
After the tasty treat had earned royal approval in Italy, it didn’t take long for the pizza to be discovered as a culinary delight in England, France, Spain and last, but not least, America. Pizza was very popular with the soldiers who came home from their missions in Italy after the Second World War. They were raving to family and friends about their "new favourite food".
On everyone’s lips
But when did the popular pizza actually become the classic delivery service food that we still love to order to our front door today?
Many pizzerias began to deliver food to customers’ homes as early as the 1950s. At that time, it was possible for the owners to buy their own company car for the first time and soon it became clear among the suppliers that there was an increasing demand for "home delivery" of pizzas. From then on, the pizza delivery service has developed into an everyday business that is used by millions of hungry people every year in the industrial nations.
In America, the popularity of Southern European delicacies meant that Italian immigrants began to open pizzerias outside their own neighborhoods. Soon, the love for pizza was ignited throughout the whole country. The passion for pizza has remained with Americans to this day. Fun Fact: Americans eat around 350 pizzas per second, every day!
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