Friday, April 19, 2024

Nine Pizza Facts You Didn’t Know – LifeSavvy

A classic oven baked pizza sits on a wooden board.
V. Matthiesen/

Pizza is arguably one of the most universally loved foods in the world. Cultures and countries around the globe have made this versatile meal their own by experimenting with different crusts, cheeses, and toppings.

But where did pizza originate and what are some of the most popular pizza toppings? Here are some pizza facts you may not know about your favorite Friday night dinner.

Pizza’s Birthplace is Naples, Italy

Although flatbread with toppings was enjoyed by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, modern-day pizza is credited to the Italians. In the late 1700s, Naples was a thriving city, and it was mostly made up of a poorer working class. As a result, much of life was lived outdoors during long work hours, and homes were often limited to single rooms—so a full kitchen and dining room for dinners weren’t really an option.

Without a proper kitchen and dining room, dining options were limited. Food needed to be cheap to make and easy to consume on the go. Ultimately, street vendors and makeshift restaurants began selling what we now know today as pizza. It even included many of the same staple toppings like tomato, cheese, and garlic.

Pizza Became Popular in the United States Before Spreading Throughout Italy

Although pizza was a staple in Naples since the 1700s, the food didn’t spread quickly throughout the country. Instead, it garnered popularity in the United States thanks to Italian immigrants who brought the dish to New York in the early 1900s. The dish took off in areas—like New York—that had a high concentration of Italian immigrants.

Soon, though, the dish would spread throughout the United States thanks to both a migration in Italy ad the boom of tourism. After WWII, many Italians in southern cities like Naples migrated north to more industrialized cities and carried pizza with them. Then, add in a tourism boom in the country, and pizza started to become the popular dish it is today.

13% of Americans Eat Pizza on Any Given Day

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 13% of adults over the age of two eat pizza on any given day. Of the people consuming the dish, most were children under 18 and the smallest number were adults over 60. As for when eating it is most popular, dinner wins out among adults, but kids love the dish at lunch, too.

The Most Expensive Pizza Costs Almost $10,000

Master pizza chef Renato Viola is known for making Louis XIII, the most expensive pizza in the world. The pizza is meant to feed two people but is only 8 inches in diameter. It’s the ingredients, though, that run up the costs, not the size.

On the Louis XIII pizza, you’ll find three types of rare caviar, fresh lobster, prawns, and buffalo mozzarella seasoned with imported pink sea salt from Australia. Plus, it’s meant to be served with three types of alcohol including cognac, champagne, and brandy.

Overall, the pizza costs €8,300 euros or $9,250.

Halloween Is One Of the Most Popular Ordering Days

Most people think of Super Bowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve as the most popular days to order pizza. Those are up there, but Halloween is rising in the ranks.

Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal nutrition site ran a study in 2017 that determined people in the U.S. like to order a pie before or after trick or treating. The night before Thanksgiving is also a popular day, with most people tired of meal prepping for the big day.

Americans Love Their Meat

According to a study by the Culinary Visions Panel conducted in 2014, 76% of the Americans surveyed preferred meat lovers pizza over any other kind. The next most popular was four-cheese. However, it should be noted that pepperoni was not an option in this study.

When you break toppings down into individuals (instead of combined flavors like meat lovers), pepperoni comes out on top. It’s followed by sausage, mushroom, and extra cheese. Basically, if you’re looking to buy pizza for a group, stick with cheese and meat to place things safe (so skip the pineapple).

Toppings Vary Around the World

While cheese, cured meats, and vegetables make up most American pizzas, toppings are unique all over the world.

In Japan, squid and mayonnaise are the Unites States’ equivalent of pepperoni. Green peas and hard-boiled eggs are popular in Brazil while pickled ginger and paneer cover most pizzas in India. Not a fan of fish? Maybe don’t opt for pizza in Russia which often features a plethora of fish like sardines and salmon.

One country you might want to try the pizza if American versions are your favorite? France. French pizza features bacon, onion, and fresh cream. Delicious, right?

Pizza is A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Americans spend $37 billion a year on pizza. Prices per pie vary from state to state even for the same chains. On average, the median cost for a cheese pizza in the United States ranges from $7.25-$15. However, those numbers were compiled in 2017, and with inflation raging, you can expect higher prices if you’re looking to snag a pizza for dinner tonight.

Hawaiian Pizza Originated in Canada

The source of one of the biggest food controversies in the world was started in none other than Canada. Sam Panopoulos, a cook working for the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, was bored with the same old pizza toppings and decided to add the fruit to the next pizza he made. And just like that, Hawaiian pizza was born. You’ll never see it in Italy, but this is an extremely popular pizza choice in the United States.

If you’re craving pizza for dinner, why not try adding some new and interesting topics from around the world? Or hey, just stick to pepperoni! No matter what you choose, it’s pizza. It’ll be delicious.


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