Pizza (Italian: [ˈpittsa], Neapolitan: [ˈpittsə]) is a savory dish of Italian origin, consisting of a usually round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and various other ingredients (anchovies, olives, meat, etc.) baked at a high temperature, traditionally in a wood-fired oven. In formal settings, like a restaurant, pizza is eaten with knife and fork, but in casual settings it is cut into wedges to be eaten while held in the hand. Small pizzas are sometimes called pizzettas.
The term pizza was first recorded in the 10th century in a Latin manuscript from the Southern Italian town of Gaeta in Lazio, on the border with Campania. Modern pizza was invented in Naples, and the dish and its variants have since become popular in many countries. It has become one of the most popular foods in the world and a common fast food item in Europe and North America, available at pizzerias (restaurants specializing in pizza), restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine, and via pizza delivery. Many companies sell ready-baked frozen pizzas to be reheated in an ordinary home oven.
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (lit. True Neapolitan Pizza Association) is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 with headquarters in Naples that aims to promote traditional Neapolitan pizza. In 2009, upon Italy's request, Neapolitan pizza was registered with the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish, and in 2017 the art of its making was included on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.
Pizza Margherita, the archetype of Neapolitan pizza
|Course||Lunch or dinner|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Campania (Naples)|
|Serving temperature||Hot or warm|
|Main ingredients||Dough, sauce (usually tomato sauce), cheese|
|Variations||Calzone, panzerotti, stromboli|
The word "pizza" first appeared in a Latin text from the central Italian town of Gaeta, then still part of the Byzantine Empire, in 997 AD; the text states that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta duodecim pizze ("twelve pizzas") every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday.
Suggested etymologies include:
Foods similar to pizza have been made since the Neolithic Age. Records of people adding other ingredients to bread to make it more flavorful can be found throughout ancient history. In the 6th century BC, the Persian soldiers of Achaemenid Empire during the rule King Darius I baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields and the ancient Greeks supplemented their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese. An early reference to a pizza-like food occurs in the Aeneid, when Celaeno, queen of the Harpies, foretells that the Trojans would not find peace until they are forced by hunger to eat their tables (Book III). In Book VII, Aeneas and his men are served a meal that includes round cakes (like pita bread) topped with cooked vegetables. When they eat the bread, they realize that these are the "tables" prophesied by Celaeno.
Modern pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, in the 18th or early 19th century. Prior to that time, flatbread was often topped with ingredients such as garlic, salt, lard, cheese, and basil. It is uncertain when tomatoes were first added and there are many conflicting claims. Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and out of pizza bakeries, antecedents to modern pizzerias.
A popular contemporary legend holds that the archetypal pizza, pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colors of the Italian flag — red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen, although later research cast doubt on this legend. An official letter of recognition from the Queen's "head of service" remains on display in Esposito's shop, now called the Pizzeria Brandi.
Pizza was brought to the United States with Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth century and first appeared in areas where Italian immigrants concentrated. The country's first pizzeria, Lombardi's, opened in 1905. Following World War II, veterans returning from the Italian Campaign, who were introduced to Italy's native cuisine proved a ready market for pizza in particular. Since then pizza consumption has exploded in the United States. Pizza chains such as Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's, pizzas from take and bake pizzerias, and chilled or frozen pizzas from supermarkets make pizza readily available nationwide. 13% of the United States population consumes pizza on any given day.
Pizza is prepared fresh, frozen, and as portion-size slices or pieces. Methods have been developed to overcome challenges such as preventing the sauce from combining with the dough and producing a crust that can be frozen and reheated without becoming rigid. There are frozen pizzas with raw ingredients and self-rising crusts.
Another form of uncooked pizza is available from take and bake pizzerias. This pizza is assembled in the store, then sold to customers to bake in their own ovens. Some grocery stores sell fresh dough along with sauce and basic ingredients, to complete at home before baking in an oven.
In restaurants, pizza can be baked in an oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood or coal-fired brick oven. On deck ovens, pizza can be slid into the oven on a long paddle, called a peel, and baked directly on the hot bricks or baked on a screen (a round metal grate, typically aluminum). Prior to use, a peel may be sprinkled with cornmeal to allow pizza to easily slide onto and off of it. When made at home, it can be baked on a pizza stone in a regular oven to reproduce the effect of a brick oven. Cooking directly in a metal oven results in too rapid heat transfer to the crust, burning it. Aficionado home-chefs sometimes use a specialty wood-fired pizza oven, usually installed outdoors. Dome-shaped pizza ovens have been used for centuries, which is one way to achieve true heat distribution in a wood-fired pizza oven. Another option is grilled pizza, in which the crust is baked directly on a barbecue grill. Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.
When it comes to preparation, the dough and ingredients can be combined on any kind of table. With mass production of pizza, the process can be completely automated. Most restaurants still use standard and purpose-built pizza preparation tables. Pizzerias nowadays can even opt for hi tech pizza preparation tables that combine mass production elements with traditional techniques.
The bottom of the pizza, called the "crust", may vary widely according to style, thin as in a typical hand-tossed Neapolitan pizza or thick as in a deep-dish Chicago-style. It is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with garlic or herbs, or stuffed with cheese. The outer edge of the pizza is sometimes referred to as the cornicione. Pizza dough often contains sugar, both to help its yeast rise and enhance browning of the crust.
Mozzarella is commonly used on pizza, with the highest quality buffalo mozzarella produced in the surroundings of Naples. Eventually, other cheeses were used well as pizza ingredients, particularly Italian cheeses including provolone, pecorino romano, ricotta, and scamorza. Less expensive processed cheeses or cheese analogues have been developed for mass-market pizzas to produce desirable qualities like browning, melting, stretchiness, consistent fat and moisture content, and stable shelf life. This quest to create the ideal and economical pizza cheese has involved many studies and experiments analyzing the impact of vegetable oil, manufacturing and culture processes, denatured whey proteins and other changes in manufacture. In 1997 it was estimated that annual production of pizza cheese was 1 million tonnes (1,100,000 short tons) in the U.S. and 100,000 tonnes (110,000 short tons) in Europe.
Authentic Neapolitan pizza (pizza napoletana) is made with San Marzano tomatoes, grown on the volcanic plains south of Mount Vesuvius, and mozzarella di bufala Campana, made with milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio. This mozzarella is protected with its own European protected designation of origin. Other traditional pizzas include pizza alla marinara, which is topped with marinara sauce and is supposedly the most ancient tomato-topped pizza, pizza capricciosa, which is prepared with mozzarella cheese, baked ham, mushroom, artichoke and tomato, and pizza pugliese, prepared with tomato, mozzarella and onions.
A popular variant of pizza in Italy is Sicilian pizza (locally called sfincione or sfinciuni), a thick-crust or deep-dish pizza originating during the 17th century in Sicily: it is essentially a focaccia that is typically topped with tomato sauce and other ingredients. Until the 1860s, sfincione was the type of pizza usually consumed in Sicily, especially in the Western portion of the island. Other variations of pizzas are also found in other regions of Italy, for example pizza al padellino or pizza al tegamino, a small-sized, thick-crust and deep-dish pizza typically served in Turin, Piedmont.
Common toppings for pizza in the United States include ground beef, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni, pineapple, garlic, olives, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, anchovies, chicken, bacon, ham and sausage. Distinct regional types developed in the 20th century, including California, Chicago, Detroit, Greek, New Haven, New York and St. Louis styles. The first pizzeria in the U.S. was opened in New York's Little Italy in 1905 and since then regions throughout the U.S. offer variations, including deep-dish, stuffed, pockets, turnovers, rolled and pizza-on-a-stick, each with seemingly limitless combinations of sauce and toppings.
Another variation is grilled pizza, created by taking a fairly thin, round (more typically, irregularly shaped) sheet of yeasted pizza dough, placing it directly over the fire of a grill and then turning it over once the bottom has baked and placing a thin layer of toppings on the baked side. Toppings may be sliced thin to ensure that they heat through, and chunkier toppings such as sausage or peppers may be precooked before being placed on the pizza. Garlic, herbs, or other ingredients are sometimes added to the pizza or the crust to maximize the flavor of the dish.
Grilled pizza was offered in the United States at the Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island by owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon in 1980. Although it was inspired by a misunderstanding that confused a wood-fired brick oven with a grill, grilled pizza did exist prior to 1980, both in Italy, and in Argentina where it is known as pizza a la parrilla. It has become a popular cookout dish, and there are even some pizza restaurants that specialize in the style. The traditional style of grilled pizza employed at Al Forno restaurant uses a dough coated with olive oil, strained tomato sauce, thin slices of fresh mozzarella, and a garnish made from shaved scallions, and is served uncut. The final product can be likened to flatbread with pizza toppings. Another Providence establishment, Bob & Timmy's Grilled Pizza, was featured in a Providence-themed episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation in 2011.
Argentina, and more specifically Buenos Aires, received a massive Italian immigration at the turn of the 19th century. Immigrants from Naples and Genoa opened the first pizza bars, though over time Spanish residents came to own the majority of the pizza businesses.
Standard Argentine pizza has a thicker crust, called "media masa" (half dough) than traditional Italian style pizza and includes more cheese. Argentine gastronomy tradition, served pizza with fainá, which is a Genovese chick pea-flour dough placed over the piece of pizza, and moscato wine. The most popular variety of pizza is called "muzarela" (mozzarella), similar to Neapolitan pizza (bread, tomato sauce and cheese) but made with a thicker "media masa" crust, triple cheese and tomato sauce, usually also with olives. It can be found in nearly every corner of the country; Buenos Aires is considered the city with the most pizza bars by person of the world. Other popular varieties include jam, tomato slices, red pepper and longaniza. Two Argentine-born varieties of pizza with onion, are also very popular: fugazza with cheese and fugazzetta. The former one consists in a regular pizza crust topped with cheese and onions; the later has the cheese between two pizza crusts, with onions on top.
The world's largest pizza was prepared in Rome in December 2012, and measured 1,261 square meters (13,570 square feet). The pizza was named "Ottavia" in homage to the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus, and was made with a gluten-free base. The world's longest pizza was made in Fontana, California in 2017 and measured 1,930.39 meters (6,333.3 feet).
The world's most expensive pizza listed by Guinness World Records is a commercially available thin-crust pizza at Maze restaurant in London, United Kingdom, which costs GB£100. The pizza is wood fire-baked, and is topped with onion puree, white truffle paste, fontina cheese, baby mozzarella, pancetta, cep mushrooms, freshly picked wild mizuna lettuce, and fresh shavings of a rare Italian white truffle.
There are several instances of more expensive pizzas, such as the GB£4,200 "Pizza Royale 007" at Haggis restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, which has caviar, lobster and is topped with 24-carat gold dust, and the US$1,000 caviar pizza made by Nino's Bellissima pizzeria in New York City, New York. However, these are not officially recognized by Guinness World Records. Additionally, a pizza was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla that included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in cognac, and champagne-soaked caviar. The pizza was auctioned for charity in 2007, raising GB£2,150.
In 2017, the world pizza market was $128 billion and in the US it was $44 billion spread over 76,000 pizzerias. Overall, 13% of the U.S. population aged 2 years and over, consumed pizza on any given day.
Some mass-produced pizzas by fast food chains have been criticized as having an unhealthy balance of ingredients. Pizza can be high in salt, fat and calories (food energy). The USDA reports an average sodium content of 5,101 mg per 14 in (36 cm) pizza in fast food chains. There are concerns about negative health effects. Food chains have come under criticism at various times for the high salt content of some of their meals.
Frequent pizza eaters in Italy have been found to have a relatively low incidence of cardiovascular disease and digestive tract cancers relative to infrequent pizza eaters, although the nature of the correlation between pizza and such perceived benefits is unclear. Pizza consumption in Italy might only indicate adherence to traditional Mediterranean dietary patterns, which have been shown to have various health benefits.
Some attribute the apparent health benefits of pizza to the lycopene content in pizza sauce, which research indicates likely plays a role in protecting against cardiovascular disease and various cancers.
National Pizza Month is an annual observance that occurs for the month of October in the United States and some areas of Canada. This observance began in October 1984, and was created by Gerry Durnell, the publisher of Pizza Today magazine. During this time, some people observe National Pizza Month by consuming various types of pizzas or pizza slices, or going to various pizzerias.
A calzone (US: , UK: ; Italian: [kalˈtsoːne], "stocking" or "trouser") is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples in the 18th century. A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and is stuffed with salami, ham or vegetables, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings.Chicago-style pizza
Chicago-style pizza is pizza prepared according to several different styles developed in Chicago. The most famous is deep-dish pizza. The pan in which it is baked gives the pizza its characteristically high edge which provides ample space for large amounts of cheese and a chunky tomato sauce. Chicago-style pizza may be prepared in deep-dish style and as a stuffed pizza.Chuck E. Cheese's
Chuck E. Cheese's (formerly known as Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, and Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza) is a chain of American family entertainment centers and restaurants. The chain is the primary brand of CEC Entertainment, Inc. and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. The establishment serves pizza and other menu items, complemented by arcade games, amusement rides, and animatronic displays as a focus of family entertainment. The brand derives its name from its main animatronic character and mascot Chuck E. Cheese, a comedic mouse who sings and interacts with guests.The first location opened in San Jose, California, as Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, on May 17, 1977. The concept was created by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, credited with bringing video games such as Pong to the mainstream. The Pizza Time Theatre was the first family restaurant to integrate food, animated entertainment, and an indoor arcade. Following a filing for bankruptcy, the chain was acquired by competitor ShowBiz Pizza Place in 1984, forming ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc. In 1990, the company began unifying the two brands with the goal of renaming every location to Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza. The logo was redesigned in 1994 after pizza was dropped from each store's name. ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc. became CEC Entertainment, Inc. in 1998, and over 600 Chuck E. Cheese stores are open in 47 states and 15 countries as of 2017.Domino's Pizza
Domino's Pizza, Inc., branded as Domino's, is an American pizza restaurant chain founded in 1960. The corporation is headquartered at the Domino's Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and incorporated in Delaware. In February 2018, the chain became the largest pizza seller worldwide in terms of sales.Hawaiian pizza
Hawaiian pizza is a pizza topped with tomato sauce, cheese, pineapple, and back bacon or ham. Some versions may include peppers, mushrooms, bacon or pepperoni.Pineapple as a pizza topping divides public opinion: Hawaiian was the most popular pizza in Australia in 1999, accounting for 15% of pizza sales, and a 2015 review of independent UK takeaways operating through Just Eat found the Hawaiian pizza to be the most commonly available. However, a 2016 survey of US adults had pineapple in the top three least favourite pizza toppings, ahead of anchovies and mushrooms.History of pizza
The history of pizza begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced basic flatbreads with several toppings.
The precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza developed in Naples, when tomato was added to the focaccia in the late 18th century.The word pizza was first documented in 997 A.D. in Gaeta and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy. Pizza was mainly eaten in Italy and by emigrants from there. This changed after World War II, when Allied troops stationed in Italy came to enjoy pizza along with other Italian foods.List of fast food restaurant chains
The following is a list of notable current and former fast food restaurant chains, as distinct from fast casual restaurants (see List of casual dining restaurant chains), coffeehouses (see List of coffeehouse chains), ice cream parlors (see List of ice cream parlor chains), and pizzerias (see List of pizza chains).List of pizza chains
This list of pizza chains includes notable pizzerias and pizza chains. Pizza is a dish of Neapolitan origin and cuisine, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference.
A restaurant or takeout where pizzas are made and sold as main food is called a pizzeria (Italian pronunciation: [ˌpittseˈriːa]) or simply “pizza parlor” in English. The term pizza pie is a (mainly American) dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.Little Caesars
Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. (doing business as Little Caesars) is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza. It operates and franchises pizza restaurants in the United States and internationally in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in Detroit, Michigan, headquartered in the Fox Theatre building in Downtown. Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin (born Macaulay Carson Culkin, August 26, 1980) is an American actor and musician who began his career as a child actor, and is best known for his role as Kevin McCallister in the Christmas films Home Alone (1990), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
Along with the Home Alone series, Culkin also starred in the films My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993), The Nutcracker (1993), Getting Even with Dad (1994), The Pagemaster (1994) and Richie Rich (1994). He has been nominated for Kids' Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards and Young Artist Awards. At the height of his fame, he was regarded as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple. Culkin ranked at number two on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid-Stars" and E!'s list of the "50 Greatest Child Stars".He took a break from acting in 1994, and made his return in 2003 with a role on the television show Will and Grace and in the film Party Monster (2003). He wrote an autobiographical book, Junior, which was published in 2006.
In 2013, Culkin co-founded the New York-based, pizza-themed comedy rock band The Pizza Underground, of which he was the vocalist. They toured in 2014, beginning in Brooklyn on January 24, 2014. On July 10, 2016, Culkin said that The Pizza Underground was splitting up and their next album would be the last. Currently, Macaulay Culkin is the publisher and CEO of a satirical pop culture website and podcast, Bunny Ears.New York-style pizza
New York-style pizza is pizza made with a characteristically large hand-tossed thin crust, often sold in wide slices to go. The crust is thick and crisp only along its edge, yet soft, thin, and pliable enough beneath its toppings to be folded in half to eat. Traditional toppings are simply tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.This style evolved in the U.S. from the pizza that originated in New York City in the early 1900s, itself derived from the Neapolitan style pizza made in Italy. Today it is the dominant style eaten in the New York Metropolitan Area states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and variously popular throughout the United States. Regional variations exist throughout the Northeast and elsewhere in the U.S.Papa John's Pizza
Papa John's Pizza is an American pizza restaurant franchise. It runs the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with headquarters in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville.Pepperoni
Pepperoni is an American variety of salami, made from cured pork and beef mixed together and seasoned with paprika or other chili pepper.Pepperoni is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color. Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American-style pizzerias and is used as filling in the West Virginia pepperoni roll.PizzaExpress
PizzaExpress is a restaurant group with over 470 restaurants across the United Kingdom and 100 overseas in Europe, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore and the Middle East. It was founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot. In July 2014 the group was sold to the China-based private equity firm Hony Capital in a deal worth £900 million ($1.54 billion). PizzaExpress celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.Pizza Connection Trial
The Pizza Connection Trial stands as the longest criminal jury trial in the federal courts in U.S. history. The trial began on September 30, 1985 and ended with convictions of all but one of the 22 defendants on March 2, 1987.Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise which was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney. The company is known for its Italian-American cuisine menu, including pizza and pasta, as well as side dishes and desserts. Pizza Hut has 18,431 restaurants worldwide as of December 31, 2018, making it the world's largest pizza chain in terms of locations. It is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., one of the world's largest restaurant companies.Pizza delivery
Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria or pizza chain delivers a pizza to a customer. An order is typically made either by telephone or over the internet to the pizza chain, in which the customer can request pizza type, size and other products alongside the pizza, commonly including soft drinks. Pizzas may be delivered in pizza boxes or delivery bags, and deliveries are made with either an automobile, motorized scooter, or bicycle. Customers can, depending on the pizza chain, choose to pay online, or in person, with cash, credit card, debit card or cryptocurrency. A delivery fee is often charged with what the customer has bought.Sbarro
Sbarro, LLC is a pizzeria chain that specializes in New York style pizza sold by the slice and other Italian-American cuisine. In 2011, the company was ranked 15th in foreign system wide sales among U.S.-based quick-serve and fast-casual companies by QSR Magazine. In 2008, Sbarro was rated the #1 Quick Service Restaurant in the Italian segment by Entrepreneur magazine. Not all reports were positive, as the food quality had been criticized, with a suggestion that this was a factor that led to two bankruptcies.
Sbarro has over 800 locations in 33 countries. Sbarro stores are located in shopping malls, airports, service areas, and college campuses, as well as in The Pentagon, American naval bases, and casinos.Sicilian pizza
Sicilian pizza is pizza prepared in a manner that originated in Sicily, Italy. In the United States, the phrase Sicilian pizza is often synonymous with thick-crust pizza derived from the Sicilian sfincione [sfiŋˈtʃoːne].
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