Who Invented Pizza?

Pizza has a hanker history. Flatbreads with toppings were consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. ( The latter ate a adaptation with herb and petroleum, alike to today ’ randomness focaccia. ) But the modern birthplace of pizza is southwestern Italy ‘s Campania region, dwelling to the city of Naples. Founded around 600 B.C. as a greek liquidation, Naples in the 1700s and early 1800s was a booming waterfront city. technically an independent kingdom, it was ill-famed for its throngs of working poor, or lazzaroni. “ The close you got to the bay, the more dense their population, and much of their exist was done outdoors, sometimes in homes that were little more than a board, ” says Carol Helstosky, generator of Pizza : A Global History and companion professor of history at the University of Denver. These Neapolitans required cheap food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza—flatbreads with respective toppings, eaten for any meal and sold by street vendors or cozy restaurants—met this need. “ judgmental italian authors much called their eat habits ‘ disgusting, ’ ” Helstosky notes. These early pizza consumed by Naples ’ poor featured the tasty garnishes beloved nowadays, such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies and garlic.

WATCH: Full episodes of The Food That Built America online now. New episodes premiere Sundays at 9/8c on HISTORY. Italy unified in 1861, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend has it that the traveling pair became bored with their firm diet of french haute cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizza from the city ’ s Pizzeria Brandi, the successor to Da Pietro pizzeria, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with soft white tall mallow, red tomatoes and green basil. ( possibly it was no coincidence that her favorite pie featured the colors of the italian ease up. ) From then on, the story goes, that particular topping combination was dubbed pizza Margherita. Queen Margherita ’ sulfur blessing could have been the start of an Italy-wide pizza fad. But pizza would remain little known in Italy beyond Naples ’ borders until the 1940s. An ocean away, though, immigrants to the United States from Naples were replicating their trusty, crusty pizza in New York and other american cities, including Trenton, New Haven, Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. The Neapolitans were coming for factory jobs, as did millions of Europeans in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries ; they weren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seeking to make a culinary statement. But relatively quickly, the flavors and olfactory property of pizza began to intrigue non-Neapolitans and non-Italians.

One of the first documented United States pizzeria was G. ( for Gennaro ) Lombardi ’ sulfur on Spring Street in Manhattan, licensed to sell pizza in 1905. ( anterior to that, the cup of tea was homemade or purveyed by unaccredited vendors. ) Lombardi ’ sulfur, still in operation today though nobelium longer at its 1905 placement, “ has the lapp oven as it did originally, ” notes food critic John Mariani, writer of How italian Food Conquered the World. READ MORE: Meet a Long-Lost Father of New York City Pizza Debates over the finest slice in town can be heated, as any pizza fan knows. But Mariani credited three East Coast pizzeria with continuing to churn out pies in the century-old tradition : Totonno ’ south ( Coney Island, Brooklyn, opened 1924 ) ; Mario ’ sulfur ( Arthur Avenue, the Bronx, opened 1919 ) ; and Pepe ’ s ( New Haven, opened 1925 ). As Italian-Americans, and their food, migrated from city to suburb, east to west, specially after World War II, pizza ’ s popularity in the United States boomed. no long seen as an “ ethnic ” treat, it was increasingly identified as fast, fun food. Regional, decidedly non-Neapolitan variations emerged, finally including California-gourmet pizza topped with anything from barbecued chicken to smoked salmon.

Postwar pizza ultimately reached Italy and beyond. “ Like blue jeans and rock ‘n’ roll and bun, the respite of the worldly concern, including the Italians, picked up on pizza equitable because it was american, ” explains Mariani. today external outposts of american chains like Domino ’ s and Pizza Hut thrive in about 60 different countries. Reflecting local anesthetic tastes, global pizza toppings can run the gamut from Gouda cheese in Curaçao to hardboiled eggs in Brazil. WATCH: Full episodes of The Food That Built America online now.