Where Was Pizza Invented?

where was pizza invented

Pizza first became a delicious treat we know and enjoy today in Naples, Italy during the 18th century. Dock and shipyard workers in this city required inexpensive yet simple food options that they could prepare quickly and cheaply.

Long before that, ancient Egypt and Greece residents consumed flat bread topped with spices, oils, cheeses and garlic for breakfast and lunch.

The Origins of Pizza

Civilizations throughout history have consumed topped flatbreads for millennia. Pizza as we know it today likely originated in Naples, Italy between 1700-1800 as working poor families sought quick and cost-effective meals that could be eaten quickly on the move.

Poor people added tomatoes (imported since Europe frowned upon nightshades) and cheese to their flour, lard, and herbs in order to create pizza. Over time, new regional variants evolved, leading to its global proliferation; further spreading as Italian Americans immigrated into America bringing recipes with them.

The Early Years

Ancient civilizations around the globe began baking leavened flatbreads 7000 years ago. Archaeological evidence indicates they soon after added other components such as meats and vegetables to this cuisine.

Pizza first gained wide-scale acceptance in Naples during the late 1880s, where tomatoes had recently been introduced from North America and chefs learned how to combine them with bread as part of a unique cuisine.

At this point, modern pizza truly began its development. First it spread among Italian-Americans who relocated across America with it; and later as American soldiers returned from Europe craving pizza as comfort food.

The Inventors

Pizza’s history is intriguing. It is thought that ancient civilizations such as Greece and Egypt consumed flatbread topped with various ingredients such as mushrooms and herbs as far back as 4500 BCE.

Pizza first made its debut in Gaeta, Italy in 997 CE; however, its roots date much further back. Today’s modern rendition is an evolution from ancient traditions; after World War II when American soldiers stationed there sampled it, its popularity spread worldwide.

Naples is widely known as the birthplace of modern pizza. It was developed by bakers looking to use up leftover dough before topping their creation with tomato, cheese, oil, anchovies and garlic for garnish.

The First International Fame

Pizza first made its debut during the 18th and 19th centuries in Naples – an industrial city filled with working poor who required quick and affordable meals to sustain themselves.

They would buy pizzas from street vendors who offered cut-to-fit options, which became an indispensable staple for Naples’ poor. Even Pompeii served its version.

As Italian immigrants emigrated to America during the 19th century, they brought pizza with them. Soon thereafter, it quickly gained immense popularity across America and became a worldwide trend.

The Hawaiian Pizza

Pizza is one of the most divisive foods on Earth, often dividing friends and families over its merits. Pineapple topping on pizza may be especially divisive due to its fans and detractors alike.

Although pizza has long been associated with Italian cuisine, its development did not stop once it reached North America. Gennaro Lombardi opened his first pizzeria in 1905 – yet his was not the only recipe to become successful in America.

Sam Panopoulous of Canada invented Hawaiian pizza in 1953 as part of the growing tiki trend that spread globally during that time period. This flatbread dish featured tomato sauce, cheese and either ham or ham with pineapple toppings; its popularity spread during that era and spread worldwide as Tiki culture spread.

The United States of America

Pizza has long been an international delicacy, yet its rise to popularity in America really began after 1943 as Italian Americans moved across cities, suburbs, and states.

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Pizza quickly gained in popularity until it lost any ethnic associations and became just another American food. Kids all over the world now crave pizza when hungry; with many variations available such as calzones being easier for street vendors in Italy to sell while standing.