History of Pizza : Google Celebrates Most Popular Dishes—Pizza With Interactive Doodle
The history of pizza begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced basic flatbreads with several toppings.
A precursor of pizza was probably the focaccia, a flatbread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, in the 18th or early 19th century.
The word pizza was first documented in A.D. 997 in Gaeta and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy. Pizza was mainly eaten in Italy and by emigrants from there. This changed after World War II when Allied troops stationed in Italy came to enjoy pizza along with other Italian foods.
In Sardinia, French and Italian archaeologists have found bread baked over 7,000 years ago. According to Philippe Marinval, the local islanders leavened this bread.
Foods similar to pizza have been made since antiquity. Records of people adding other ingredients to bread to make it more flavorful can be found throughout ancient history.
In the 6th century BC, Persian soldiers serving under Darius the Great baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields.
In Ancient Greece, citizens made a flat bread called plakous (πλακοῦς, gen. πλακοῦντος—plakountos)which was flavored with toppings like herbs, onion, cheese and garlic.
An early reference to a pizza-like food occurs in the Aeneid (ca. 19 BC), when Celaeno, the Harpy queen, foretells that the Trojans would not find peace until they are forced by hunger to eat their tables (Book III). In Book VII, Aeneas and his men are served a meal that includes round cakes (like pita bread) topped with cooked vegetables. When they eat the bread, they realize that these are the “tables” prophesied by Celaeno.
Some commentators have suggested that the origins of modern pizza can be traced to pizzarelle, which were kosher for Passover cookies eaten by Roman Jews after returning from the synagogue on that holiday, though some also trace its origins to other Italian paschal breads. Abba Eban writes “some scholars think [pizza] was first made more than 2,000 years ago when Roman soldiers added cheese and olive oil to matzah”
Pizza in the United States
Pizza first made its appearance in the United States with the arrival of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century and was popular among large Italian populations in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Trenton and St. Louis.
Pizza chains sprang up with pizza’s popularity rising. Leading early pizza chains were Shakey’s Pizza, founded in 1954 in Sacramento, California; Pizza Hut, founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas; and Little Caesars, founded in 1959 in Garden City, Michigan.
Later restaurant chains in the dine-in pizza market were Bertucci’s, Happy Joe’s, Monical’s Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, Godfather’s Pizza, and Round Table Pizza, as well as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and Papa John’s. Pizzas from take and bake pizzerias, and chilled or frozen pizzas from supermarkets make pizza readily available nationwide. 13% of the US population consumes pizza on any given day.
Today’s interactive Doodle celebrates one of the world’s most popular dishes
Today’s animated Doodle is dedicated to one of the most popular foods on the planet—pizza! On this day in 2007, the culinary art of Neapolitan “Pizzaiuolo” was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This pizza puzzle game provides a selection of the world’s most popular pizza toppings and challenges you to slice the pizza according to the kind ordered. However, pay special attention to the toppings and slice count requested—the more exact the order, the more stars you receive!
Although ancient civilizations from Egypt to Rome devoured flatbread with toppings for ages, the southwestern Italian city of Naples is widely credited with inventing the modern pizza (dough layered with tomatoes and cheese) in the late 1700s. This is the beginning of the storey of pizza: one that is baked into millennia of global movement, economic progress, and technological evolution.
Internationally, approximately five billion pizzas are consumed each year (350 slices each second in the United States alone). Pizza is here to stay, no matter how you slice it!