Thursday Trivia (on Friday!): Pizza

Cheese pizza

A positively bizarre drawing of pizza. (Image via Wikipedia.)

We all know fairly well that every person on the entire goddamn planet loves pizza. (Well, except for lactose-intolerant people, but that’s why we invented soy cheese; or people allergic to tomatoes, but that’s why….ehhhhh….) But what may be surprising is pizza’s history. Putting stuff on baked bread has been done since ancient Greek times with oils and cheese, but the modern day cheese-topped pizza wasn’t a part of Neopolitan cuisine until 1889!

Four more facts about the wonderful glorious food that is pizza after the jump!

  • While in most of the world, pizza is paid for by the slice, in Rome and Lazio, Italy pizza al taglio (literally, “pizza by the cut”) is paid for per kilogram and served in rectangular slices.
  • Deep-dish pizza (which, as an aside, I don’t count as pizza – if anything, it’s a variation of the savory cheesecake) was first created in Chicago in 1943. Unsurprisingly, the place where it is invented was the first of a larger chain that still peddles the deep-dish pizza today – Pizzeria Uno.
  • When the Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples in 1889, basil was added to the pie in order to form the colors of the Italian flag – and thus the Margherita pizza was born.
  • The original Pizza Hut, opened in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, and has since been moved onto the campus of Wichita State University (alma mater of Mike Pelfrey) where it was rededicated in 1986 and is currently used as a meeting house for business student associations. (The original Pizza the Hutt, however, ate himself in his limousine.)

Finally, partly trivia but way too much to put into one fact, take a look at this list of variations of pizza in the United States. I never knew that New Haven had a special type of pizza.

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