Home Food & Drink Who Invented Pizza? Did Italians Invent It or Not?

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There is nothing bad about a tasty slice of pizza. This crusty pie is almost flawless. Pizza is such a delicious treat that it has gained a lot of popularity ever since it was invented. Nowadays, most people eat pizza alone, with their families, friends, relatives, work colleagues, etc. It is the perfect excuse to take a break and socialize over a hot piece of Italian pie. But wait! Have you ever wondered who invented pizza? According to many, it is an Italian dish, first made in Naples. Here are some interesting details about this topic.

a tasty hot and huge pizza pie with a lot of toppings on it and some vegetables on the side

Who Invented Pizza? The Beginnings

There are so many different pizza types out there, from simple ones to pies full of meat and other ingredients. However, when it was first created, pizza didn’t have so many ingredients on it. In fact, some say that it was prepared as a meal for the poor, with only tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella cheese. This pie was named Pizza Margherita, in honor of Margherita of Savoy, who was the Queen consort of Italy.

But let’s look back and discover what pizza’s precursors were. The pizza that resembles the one you know today was created as a flat bread once the tomato was delivered from America and used as a topping. Until then, Italians were eating focaccia, which still exists today.

Who Invented Pizza First?

This is a question I have been asking myself since I discovered that other nations were eating something similar too. For example, the ancient Greeks used to eat a flatbread that they called plakous. Moreover, they added different toppings such as onion, herbs, and garlic to create a tastier and more flavored bread.

Last year, an entire buzz was created around the subject of who invented pizza, because of something a historian said. His name is Giuseppe Nocca, and he works at the Alberghiero di Formia Institute. He claims that pizza is in fact created by Italians, but not in the region of Naples, as it was originally thought. Mister Nocca seems to believe that this crusty pie was first made 80 kilometers far from Naples, in the Gaeta region. It is needless to say that the Naples people were not pleased to hear that. This conflict arose because Naples citizens continue stating that Raffaele Esposito, a Naples baker, should receive credit for creating the first and original pizza pie.

We can state that Italian have indeed invented pizza. So, if you have always associated pizza with Italian cuisine, you were right. As you can see, although we know that pizza was created in Italy, we don’t really know for sure the exact region in which it was invented. Like any other mystery, this also lacks a straightforward answer. Some even come up with more than just one right answer, depending on your definition of pizza. This happens because flat bread recipes were prepared by many nations such as Greeks, Italians, Egyptians, Israelites, and more.

How Did Pizza Arrive in The United States?

a woman eating a pizza

Immigrants from Italy brought pizza to the United States. This happened at the 20th century’s dawn. Gennaro Lombari, a grocer, is said to have opened the first pizza place in America, in 1905, in New York. However, the idea of a pizzeria restaurant was created in the 1930s, when he added chairs and tables in his establishment. Moreover, he even included other items in his menu such as spaghetti. In 1940, Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno introduced a higher pizza pie. It would rise above the plate. This way, it could accommodate more toppings and ingredients.

Despite all these attempts and beginnings, pizza became a true American pop culture in the 1950s. Then is when pizza gained a lot of popularity even outside the American-Italian community. It went so far with being promoted that nowadays, pizza is the main rival of the American burger.

Pizza in Modern Times

Like I previously mentioned, the pizza was invented many decades ago by Italians. However, since then, this tasty dish has gone a long way. Nowadays, it comes in a wide range of tastes, forms, and versions. For example, one of the most popular modern pizza types is the stuffed crust pizza. I know the question that is probably popping in your head right now. Who invented stuffed crust pizza? We all know that Pizza Hut promotes this kind of dish. You can find pizza crust filled with cheese and enriched with spices. However, did they invent it or not?

Stuffed crust pizza has gained a lot of popularity soon after it was first created, and it has become one of the favorites American dishes. However, there is quite a controversy surrounding the subject of who invented it. Most people think that Pizza Hut was the first restaurant that included it on their menu. But who was the person that came up with the idea?

You might not be surprised by the fact that stuffed crust pizza was invented in someone’s basements. After all, even huge software companies were created in a similar way. Chaz Romano is the one that thought of combining a simple breadstick with cheese. When he was 24 years old, he stuffed a leftover Olive Garden breadstick with string cheese and warmed it up in the microwave. Pizza Hut was the first to serve this dish to its clients because it bought the rights to produce this idea from Chaz.

Who Invented Pizza Hut?

a close-up detail of a pizza pie

I have mentioned the well-known restaurant chain Pizza Hut. We know now that they were the first to serve stuffed crust pizza in their menus. But how did Pizza Hut start? It was established 1958, by two brothers, Dan and Frank Carney. Their location was in Wichita, Kansas, where they were also studying at the local State University. The concept of Pizza Hut is providing an American-Italian cuisine that includes dishes such as pasta, pizza, and Buffalo wings. Nowadays, this restaurant chain is present all over the globe in countries like Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK, Spain, Turkey, and others.

Bringing It All Together

So, who invented pizza? As you can see pizza pies go way back since the Ancient times. It is true, however, that the pizza we know today was created in the modern times. There are a lot of facts and myths regarding pizzas. However, one thing is for sure: pizza pie was invented by Italians. And we all thank them for that! Because of them, we can now enjoy a tasty slice of pizza with plenty of delicious toppings. If you know other interesting facts about this topic, feel free to share them with us, in the comments section below.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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