Pizza is a beloved dish by many around the world. It’s the ultimate comfort food that can be enjoyed in various ways. From its humble beginnings in Italy, pizza has evolved into different styles and toppings that cater to everyone’s taste buds.
History of Pizza
The history of pizza dates back over 1000 years ago, where it was commonly eaten by peasants in Naples, Italy. The first recorded use of the word “pizza” was in 997 AD when it was mentioned in a Latin text from Gaeta, a coastal town south of Rome.
In the early days, pizza was simple with only basic ingredients like tomatoes and cheese on top of flatbread dough. But as more people discovered this tasty meal, variations began to appear.
Traditional Italian Pizza
Traditional Italian pizza is still highly regarded worldwide for its simplicity yet deliciousness. It usually consists of San Marzano tomatoes grown on volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius topped with mozzarella di bufala or fior di latte cheese.
The crust is thin and crispy due to being cooked at high temperatures for short periods. Many Italians opt not to have any toppings other than marinara sauce (tomato sauce) because they believe that simplicity is key when it comes to making great pizza!
New York Style Pizza
New York style pizza is another popular type of pizza that originated in the United States. It’s famous for its large triangular slices, thin and crispy crust, and plenty of toppings. The toppings can include pepperoni, mushrooms, onions or even pineapple.
Unlike traditional Italian pizzas that are cooked in a wood-fired oven at high temperatures for a short time, New York style pizzas are cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods. This results in a softer dough that’s crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
The Chicago deep dish pizza is one of America’s most famous pies! It has a thick buttery crust with heaps of cheese melted on top.
The pie is so deep you sometimes require utensils just to eat it! Many people liken it to more like eating lasagna than what they typically think as “pizza.” The classic topping choice here usually consists of sausage but there are many other options available too depending on your taste preference!
Margherita pizza is named after Queen Margherita who was married to King Umberto I of Italy in the 1800s. The story goes that she was so taken by pizza while visiting Naples, that she requested a personal pie be made for her by the most famous pizza maker in town. He created a special pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil which represented the colors of the Italian flag and named it after her.
Margherita pizza is now considered one of the classic styles of Italian pizza. It’s often served on a thin crust with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese and basil leaves on top.
The Best Pizza Toppings
Now we’ve covered some popular types of pizzas; it’s time to talk about toppings because without them, our beloved food wouldn’t be complete!
Pepperoni is arguably America’s favorite topping choice for their pizzas! The cured meat offers a smoky and slightly spicy flavor profile that many people adore. It’s usually sliced thinly and placed on top of the sauce with some cheese, creating a delicious combination.
Another popular topping choice is mushrooms which are often sauteed beforehand to bring out their natural umami flavor. They pair well with other toppings like onions, peppers or even spinach!
There has been much debate about whether pineapple should be allowed as a pizza topping or not! Those who love it on their pies argue that it brings sweetness and acidity to the pizza that creates an interesting contrast against salty meats like ham or bacon.
Bacon is another popular topping choice for many pizza lovers! It provides a smoky flavor that goes well with other meats like pepperoni or sausage. Some people even use it as the main topping for their pies!
The Bottom Line
Pizza is a food that transcends cultural boundaries and has become one of the world’s most popular comfort foods. Whether you prefer traditional Italian pizzas or new American-style ones, there’s something out there for everyone.
So next time you order your favorite pie, remember to experiment with different toppings and styles to truly experience what makes pizza so special!