Heres What You Didnt Know About Pizza

Pizza is a universal favorite, beloved for its crispy crust, tangy tomato sauce, and gooey cheese. But did you know its history goes back thousands of years? The earliest ancestor of pizza can be traced to Sardinia, where 3,000-year-old bread containing yeast was discovered. This ancient flatbread was the forerunner to the pizzas we enjoy today.

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The ancient Greeks and Romans had their versions of pizza, with flatbreads topped with olive oil, herbs, garlic, or cheese. By the 3rd century BCE, Roman historian Cato the Elder mentioned a similar flatbread, suggesting a continuous culinary tradition through time.

The name “pizza” first appeared in 997 CE in a document from Gaeta, Italy. However, these early pizzas were still quite rustic and different from the ones we know. It wasn’t until after Columbus brought tomatoes to Europe that pizza began to resemble its modern form. By the 1800s, Italians were spreading tomato sauce on their flatbreads, giving birth to Pizza Marinara.

A turning point came in 1889 when Raffaele Esposito crafted a pizza with the colors of the Italian flag to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy. This creation, known as Pizza Margherita, combined tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, laying the foundation for modern pizza.

With Italian immigration to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, pizza crossed the Atlantic and gained popularity. The first American pizzeria opened in 1905 in New York City, and after World War II, pizza became a cultural phenomenon in the United States.

So the next time you enjoy a slice, remember that pizza has a rich history that spans millennia, evolving from ancient flatbreads to the diverse and delicious treat we love today.

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