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The History of Pizza
By Mani Niall

Roman soldiers tasted matzo and thought it lacked FOCUS (the Latin word for hearth). On a hearth, along with oil, herbs and cheese ... pizze was born ..

The root word in Latin is PICEA, which describes the blackening of the crust caused by the fire underneath.

The modern precursor to what we call pizza occurred in pre-Renaissance Naples. Poor housewives had only flour, olive oil, lard, cheese and herbs with which to feed their families, so combining them in a tasty and delicious manner became the goal. All of Italy proclaimed the Neapolitan pies to be the best.

Chronological history of pizza:
  • post Columbus - Tomatoes were brought back to Europe from the New World. Originally they were thought to be poisonous, but later became accepted and added to pizza.
  • 16th century - Maria Carolina, the Queen of Naples convinced her husband, King Ferdinand IV to allow the peasant dish pizza to be made in the royal oven.
  • 1889 Raffaele Esposito, themost famous PIZZAIOLO (pizza chef) created a pie for Queen Margherita - tomato, basil and cheese, (to resemble the Italian flag) which remains the basis for American pizza.
  • 1905 - 1st US Pizzeria opens in New York City at 53 1/2 Spring St.
  • 1945 - Soldiers returning from WWII brought with them a taste for certain foods--pizza was at the top of their list.
  • In the Italian Bible, Elijahs manna is called focaccia.
  • Americans eat 90 acres of pizza per day.
  • During TV news broadcasts, most pizza is ordered during the weather, and the delivery folks report that women are better tippers!
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, when Hillary is out-of-town, White House staffers order more pizza!

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