There could no one who doesn’t like pizza! How could you not like that delicious crunchy, cheesiness eaten straight from the box?!
That’s why we are delighted that Friday, February 9 is National Pizza Day – let’s celebrate!
Northern Ireland’s love affair with pizza is growing rapidly as new pizzerias and takeaways open seemingly every week.
But how did the flatbread with cheese, sauce and toppings like salami, chicken, ham, or vegetables go from being an unknown dish to being the star of the show?
It’s a dish that has been experimented with in various countries and cultures, each giving it their own twist and making it uniquely delicious.
So, as we celebrate National Pizza Day by ordering our favourite, here’s all that you need to know.
Flatbreads with toppings were a popular dish consumed by Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. However, pizza originated in southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to Naples.
Street vendors would sell flatbreads topped with tomatoes, cheese, garlic, anchovies and oil.
It was cheap, quick to eat and didn’t require a plate so it could be eaten while hungry, meaning busy workers could get on with their meal quickly.
It is believed that in 1889, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples and soon got bored of their steady French diet.
So, they asked for an assortment of pizza from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi. Queen Margherita enjoyed mozzarella, a pizza with soft white cheese, red tomatoes and green basil. Since then, pizza with this particular combination of toppings is referred to as Margherita pizza.
In the 20th century, due to mass migration, the delicacy left mainland Italy and the rest of the world got a, ahem, pizza the action!
America was the first to grab a slice of pizza pie with the first pizzeria in the US being Lombardi’s in Manhattan which opened in 1905.
From the 1950s there was an increase in cars and motorbikes on the road which meant that the notion of pizza delivery was cooked up.
The next major turning point for pizza was online ordering. One of the first ever online purchases (certainly the first online food order) was for Pizza Hut in 1994.
Now, over five billion pizzas are sold worldwide every year, making it a firm favourite.