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Pizza Evolution and Facts

While tomatoes arrived in Italy from the New World in the 1500s it wasn't until three hundred years later that the first "pizza" was created. The original Italian creation, known as the "Neapolitan," was traditionally made with a thin crust topped with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and basil and baked in a stone oven. It is said that chef Don Raffaele Esposito created it for Italy's Queen Margherita di Savonia and even today, Pizza Magherita remains a favorite in Italy.

Although pizza is now common in America, it didn't gain its popularity until after World War II. American GIs discovered this simple but delicous fare while stationed in Italy. When they returned home the taste for pizza returned with them. Today the popularity of pizza is worldwide. So much so that Pizza Today Magazine and the National Association of Pizza Operators are sponsoring Pizza Festival and an international pizza contest in October.

Information from: Learning Resources

Pizza Facts

  • National Pizza Month is October. We began National Pizza Month in 1987.
  • The people of America eat around 350 slices of pizza each second, or 100 acres per day.

  • Each year, pizza is a $30 billion industry.
  • In the U.S., there are about 61,269 pizza parlors.
  • Everyone in the United States eats about 23 lbs., or 46 slices, every year.
  • Each year in the United States, 3 billion pizzas are sold.
  • In America, the most popular ethnic food is Italian.

  • Children ages 3-11 prefer pizza over all other foods for lunch and dinner,  according to a recent Gallup Poll.
  • 36 percent of all pizza orders want their pizza topping pepperoni.
  • We consume around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperonis every year. 

  • A few popular pizzas toppings are:
Mushrooms, Extra cheese, Sausage, Green Pepper, and Onion. In the list of most popular pizza toppings in America, the last one is anchovies. New gourmet pizza toppings have rapidly became popular. Some of those toppings include: Chicken, Oysters, Crayfish, Dandelions, Sprouts, Eggplant, Cajun Shrimp, Artichoke Hearts, Venison, Duck, Canadian-Style Bacon and Tuna. Pratically every kind of pizza topping has been tried by pizza chefs, some of those toppings being peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, and mashed potatoes.
  • Americans prefer meat toppings to veggie toppings by a ratio of 62 to 100. Women order twice as much vegetable toppings than men.

  • Some popular pizza toppings in Japan are squid and Mayo Jaga (mayonaise, potato and bacon).

  • In India they like pickled ginger, minced mutton and tofu. The people of Brazil prefer green peas for their topping. Russians serve pizza covered in mockba (a mix of sardines, tuna, mackeral, salmon and onions.)

Information from: Oracle Think Quest

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