Ah, pizza. It’s round, but we eat them in triangles and put them in a square box. And also you need a pizza peel to bring out from the oven. Plain, thin-crust, deep-dish, New York slice, meaty, vegetarian, cheesy – whatever pizza you want, there’s something for everyone. It’s the food of the people.
But how much do you really know about everyone’s favorite food? Well, here are some facts you didn’t know about pizza to refill your knowledge tank and start a factual conversation for your next pizza party.
The word “pizza” is over a thousand years old.
We love Italians for bringing pizza to the world, and of course, the first mention of the word came from them. The term “pizza” dates back to over a thousand years, as it was seen in a Latin text written in southern Italy in 997 CE.
The first pizza place in America is still operating today.
Well, if your business is pizza, you will surely get a lot of customers (given that it’s good). Lombardi’s in New York City is the first pizza place in the United States that started selling pizza in 1905. The establishment initially opened as a grocery store.
The popularity of pizza in the United States began with Italian immigrants.
Of course, the Italians love their pizza. During the first few decades of the 20th century, it was predominantly eaten and sold by working-class immigrants from Italy.
American GIs were partly responsible for bringing pizza to America.
After World War II, American GIs came home from Italy, craving pizza. They were responsible for bringing the food to a broader consumer base for the first time.
Italian is the most popular ethnic food category in America.
In America, people eat Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Thai, French, Indian, Spanish, and more – but Italian reigns supreme. Surely, it’s because of Americans’ love for pasta and pizza, but most notably, pizza.
Pizzas were only initially sold by the pie.
At first, the pizzas were sold only by the pie. But during 1933, Patsy’s Pizzeria in New York City started selling pizza by the slice. Other pizzerias quickly adopted this trend.
The deep-dish pizza was invented in Chicago.
Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizzas. It was created by the restaurant that was later branded as the Pizzeria Uno chain.
Domino’s pizza is the world leader in delivery.
Need I say more? Domino’s was founded in 1960 and is everywhere around the world. Undoubtedly, their delivery biz is tried and tested by the decades.
Domino’s “30 minutes or less” delivery guarantee caused unsafe driving conditions.
Domino’s Pizza had a “30 minutes or less” guarantee, but the company dropped it in 1993 after several lawsuits accused the company of promoting unsafe driving. That guarantee is still in effect, though, in other countries around the world.
Domino’s founder is one of the three people in the world who holds a degree in “Pizza-ology.”
Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s, is one of the three people in the world who holds an advanced degree in “Pizza-ology” from the Domino’s College of Pizza-ology. This is a business management program he founded in the 1980s.
Hawaiian pizza was not invented in Hawaii but Canada.
Despite its tropical name, Hawaiian pizza is created in Canada. The pineapple-laden pie is invented in 1962 by Sam Panopoulos, a native of Greece. He first served pineapple on pizza at Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. He named it “Hawaiian” after the brand of canned pineapple used on the pizza.
Frozen pizza started in 1962.
In 1962, the first frozen pizza was sold in the market. It mostly tasted like cardboard, until Rose Totino, a genius food inventor, improved the recipe.
Politicians use pizza deliveries to spy on reporters.
The US Army’s 113th Military Intelligence Unit spied on politicians and reporters using fake pizza deliveries in the late 1960s.
Americans order 350 slices of pizza every second.
There are around 70,000 pizzerias in the US, and it comprises over 17% of all restaurants.
An average American eats 23 pounds of pizza every year.
Some people eat that much in one day.
Saturday is pizza night.
People order pizza every day, but most people eat pizza on a Saturday night. Perhaps the next in line is Friday?
Women are more likely to order vegetable toppings rather than men.
According to statistics, women are twice as likely as men to order healthy, green, and leafy toppings. Men, in general, prefer meaty toppings.
61% of people prefer thin crust.
When it comes to thin or thick crust, the thin crust is more preferred. Sorry, deep dish pizzas of Chicago.
The world’s fastest maker of pizza can create 14 pizzas in just two minutes and 35 seconds.
That’s an impressive feat!
Pizzas are sold best during New Year and Halloween.
Pizza sells every day, but the top sales happen during Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Thanks to all the parties! Other occasions wherein pizzerias are extra busy happen during Thanksgiving Eve and Super Bowl Sunday.
Kids aged 3 to 11 want pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.
Americans’ love for pizza starts really early, huh?
The world’s most extravagant pizza is found in New York.
What is called the “World’s Most Extravagant Pizza” is sold at Nino’s Bellissima restaurant in New York. This pizza is topped with six varieties of caviar, fresh lobster, chives, and crème Fraiche. This 12-inch pie is listed as the “Luxury Pizza,” and is priced at $1,000, or $125 per slice.
America’s love for pizza began on the East Coast.
The first cities in America to start selling pizza were New York; Boston; Trenton, N.J. and New Haven, Conn. All these four cities had an influx of southern Italian immigrants around the 1900s.
The first online pizza order happened in 1974.
The first pizza ordered from a computer happened in 1974 when researchers at Michigan State Artificial Language Laboratory tested out their new speaking computer. They used it order ham, sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom pizza from a local pizza joint.
Pizzerias were used as fronts for illegal activities.
During the 1980s, the Pizza Connection trial became the longest-running criminal jury trial in America. It prosecuted a group of mafia members who used pizzerias as a front for drug trafficking.
Pizza has been delivered to space.
Pizza is delivered anywhere, but do you know that it has reached space? No, not brought by astronauts but delivered to astronauts. Pizza Hut became the first restaurant in the world to deliver a pizza to outer space. In 2001, one of the Russian cosmonauts named Yuri Usachov ate a pizza that was sent to the International Space Station by Pizza Hut. Since spending a long time with space weakens taste buds, the pizza had extra salt, and spices added, plus salami has to be used instead of pepperoni because the latter lacked the necessary shelf life.
Mozzarella is the best pizza cheese.
Food scientists have studied what makes the best cheese topping for pizza, and the winner was mozzarella. This study in 2014 investigated the baking properties of different kinds of cheeses and solidified the commonly known fact with scientific evidence.
Queen Margherita inspired the name Pizza Margherita.
Legend has it that the “Pizza Margherita” took its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy, Italy. In 1889, the Queen sampled three pizza flavors created by master pizza chef Raffaele Esposito. The Queen liked the version topped with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, which was designed to resemble the Italian flag. However, this story has no evidence of what was on the menu, and if the pizza was eaten by the Queen really shows the Italian flag.