We’ve said it before, and we’ll have no qualms with saying it again: pizza brings people together. The cheesy slices topped with any ingredient your heart desires is the perfect mediator between anyone with a hearty love of food, especially those not afraid to get sauce and cheese all over their face.
Have you ever wondered about some of the fun history that goes beyond that slice of ‘za you’re about to devour? We found some interesting facts and history behind pizza for your mind to chew on as your mouth nibbles on that scrumptious pie.
First Pizzeria in U.S.
The Pizza Hall of Fame calls Lombardi’s Pizzeria in Manhattan, New York, the first pizzeria in the United States. The business started in 1897 as a grocery store until 1905 where it got a business license to become a pizzeria.
Origin of the word “Pizza”
The word “pizza” in Italian translates literally to “pie.” The word “pizza” itself was first recorded as far a back as 997 AD, in Gaeta as well as regions of Central and Southern Italy.
American GI’s brough pizza into mainstream
During World War II, many American GI’s popularized the dish after trying it overseas for the first time. They came home craving pizza and sought pizzerias in Italian neighborhoods to share with their friends and family. People loved it.
First Chicago Deep Dish
While the origin of Chicago Deep Dish pizza is a subject of great debate, some say it was first created at Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno in 1943. This variation of pizza is baked in a high pan with tons of extra cheese and tomato sauce. Sure it takes longer to make, but it’ll definitely take you longer to also eat and enjoy a deep-dish than a regular pizza.
Domino’s had to drop their “30 minutes or less”
The popular promise Domino’s made in 1984 of delivering pizza in 30 minutes or less or customers would get a free refund if not was dropped in 1993. There was a lawsuit against the pizza chain claiming they promoted unsafe driving. This was after a Domino’s driver hit someone during a delivery. Now, pizza takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to reach their final destination.
How many slices of pizza are eaten every second?
As of 2017, approximately 350 slices of pizza are eaten each second. The average number of pizza slices a person eats in a year is roughly 46. Man, looking at those stas makes us want to hit the gym - after a few more slices of pizza that is.
There is an expo devoted entirely to the pizza industry
Pizza Expo is a business-to-business trade show that lets both independent and chain pizza restaurants network with manufacturers and service providers in the industry. The annual convention holds seminars, pizza-making workshops, and panel discussions. You can bet there will be tons of free pizza to “sample” on the convention floor. The world’s largest pizza expo is held at a variety of locations annually, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
National Pizza Day falls on February 2 in the U.S.
If your entire life is about that perfect slice of pizza, and you’re the type of person who loves any kind of variation of the pie, mark your calendar. In the United States, February 2 is National Pizza Day. On this day, be encouraged to grab a friend or loved one and split an extra large between yourselves.
The World’s Oldest Pizzeria
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples, Italy, was the oldest recorded pizzeria. It opened in 1830 and is still open today. The restaurant serves wood-fired pizzas in an oven lined with lava rocks taken from Mount Vesuvius.
The World’s Longest Pizza
The record for the world’s longest pizza was broken in 2017 in Fontana, California. The pizza measured more than a mile long at 6,331 feet. It roughly boats 17,756 lbs of dough, more than 5,000 pounds of sauce, and 3,900 pounds of cheese.