Chances are, if you ask people what their favourite food is, pizza is bound to come up. Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world and whether it’s takeaway for a chill Friday night from your local Gladstone Park pizza store or at a sit-down meal at a quaint Italian restaurant, we can all agree that there’s nothing better than a hot, cheesy slice. While we all know that this simple blend of bread, tomato, and cheese is delicious, here are some things you probably didn’t know about it until now!
1. There’s an official organisation that verifies “authentic” Neapolitan pizza. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, or True Neapolitan Pizza Association, has a set of rules that pizzerias must meet before it can call its pizza authentic Neapolitan. Among the rules are: it must be baked in a wood-fired domed oven, must be made entirely by hand, and must measure no more than 35 cm in diameter.
2. Five billion pizzas are consumed throughout the world each year. That’s a lot of pizzas!
3. Pizza is highly associated with Italian cuisine so it’s a not a surprise that most people think that it’s an Italian word. But, in reality, nobody really knows how the word originated. Some say that it came from the ancient Greek words “pitke” (which means “fermented pastry”) and pitta (“bran bread”) while others say that it was derived from the Italian word “pizzaicare” (“to pluck”) or from the Old High German word “pizzo” (“mouthful”).
4. Pizza, as we know it today, was invented in Naples in the 1700s. Peasants started topping flat focaccia bread with fresh tomatoes and, thus, the modern pizza was born.
5. The outer edge is called cornicione, meaning the cornice or the moulding. It’s different from the crust, which is the name for the base where toppings are added to.
6. Pizza was brought to the masses during the Second World War by American soldiers who discovered it while stationed in Italy. They fell in love with the dish and brought it back to the States, where it became widely popular. Back then, pizza was mostly limited to Italian neighbourhoods.
7. The largest pizza was made in Rome, Italy on 13 December 2012 by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte. It was named “Ottavia” (a Roman word that means “eighth son”) as a tribute to the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus.
Now you have some trivia to impress your friends next time you’re eating at your local Gladstone Park pizza store!