The mouth-watering sight of pulling out a cheesy pizza slice is everyone’s favourite. In about 1000AD when “Pizza” got its name, nobody anticipated the dish would become a global delight in the long run. Of course, the unending debates regarding its pronunciation and the innumerable recipe variations have only made pizza more popular with passing time. Nowadays, pizza is being ordered in restaurants extensively by food lovers and is home delivered by pizza chains. Sometimes, it is the salty cheesy yummy way to celebrate birthdays or a perfect delicious companion for late solo/couple movie night.
How It All Began
Pizza started off as big flatbread’s topped with cheese, herbs & oil by Greek people. This simple & cheap food was ideal to fill the tummies of hungry peasants in the 18th. The peasants added a twist of taste, by layering the authentic Italian flatbread with a delicious tomato base, tomato being a New World Fruit.
So how did it come to come to the plates of people across the world?
There were two incidents that led to the Pizza going global.
The first incident occurred in the year 1889 when “King Umberto I & Queen Margherita” were on their Italian Kingdom tour. The aromatic gorgeous bright red thing that peasants were eating attracted the Queen’s attention! She tried it and her taste-buds popped with the flavoursome pizza which led to the royal kitchen pizza baking frenzy. The queen was impressed with one particular pizza which imbibed the 3 core colours of Italy’s Flag- green, white & red. The vibrant Green colour came from the fresh herb- basil, the White from the mozzarella cheese, and the Red base from the luscious juicy tomatoes. That’s how we got our Margherita Pizza.
The second incident occurred during World War 2, leading to numerous pizzerias being opened in different corners of the world. Soldiers from other Nations supporting and positioned in Italy during the 2nd World War were fed Pizza, making them a fan of its wonderful taste. Upon the soldier’s insistence, several pizza eateries were opened in their individual homeland and the dish continues to spread still.
Cooking Techniques & Toppings
Pizza is basically a baked dish that tastes best in wood-oven. To maintain the authentic taste several old pizza restaurants still cook it the ancient way using wood-fired mud ovens. With technology sweeping away the old cooking techniques for convenience and ease, pizzas are mostly made in microwaves at home or in restaurants. Recently, pan-fried pizza has also begun to appeal the foodies.
One key reason for Pizza’s popularity is its customizable toppings. Every individual has the freedom to top their pizza with their personal favourite ingredients which can be veggies like corn, mushrooms, onion, or non-vegetarian ingredients like chicken, meat, or, pepperoni. Even the herbs, cheese and tomato base can be personalized to one’s liking. Therefore, vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, all can enjoy their own unique yummy Pizza.
Pizza is a 30 billion/annum industry at present. This centuries-old cuisine will definitely continue to entice foodies for many more centuries to come.