The Evolution of Pizza You Might Not Know


Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. This one word lights up everyone's eyes, perks up everyone's ears and, makes everyone salivate. There's nothing more comforting on a Friday night than a heavenly pie with the perfect amount of flavorful tomato sauce and heaps of cheese. The dish has many variants around the world with each culture adding their own twist to the blueprint.

But where and how did pizza originate?

Pizza is dated back to ancient history where many cultures, specifically the Greek, Romans, and Egyptians, first started out making their flat breads with various toppings on them. However, the birthplace of pizza was the city of Naples. Dating back to almost 600 B.C, the people of Naples often made flat breads with various toppings as it was an inexpensive and quick option for a meal. The toppings were the toppings we love now such as tomatoes, garlic, cheese, olive oil, etc. The iconic Margherita Pizza came in 1861 when Italy had unified and Queen Margherita visited Naples to try pizza. She loved the pie topped with juicy tomatoes, stringy mozzarella cheese, and aromatic basil, and from then on this combination of ingredients on pizza was named the Margherita Pizza. On the other side of the world, the immigrants of the United States from Naples recreated their delicious pizzas in America and that's how pizza became a worldwide loved food.

Pizza from around the world

You'll be shocked to know that pizza is not just a round thin crust dish containing tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni. There is a diverse spread of the term "pizza" in various countries. From butter chicken pizza to pizza bianca, here are seven pizzas from around the world.

1. The New York Slice- New York

You cannot go wrong with the classic New York Slice. This is the most common pizza that most of the world is familiar with. From the crunchy thin crust to the red tomato sauce and a generous topping of mozzarella cheese with the ideal sauce to cheese ratio. It's a New York staple that can be consumed and enjoyed in any mood! Most of America would consider New York as the reining pizza capital of the country. Plus, it's super cheap! You can find these slices for a dollar all around New York.

2. The Chicago Deep Dish- Chicago

This greasy pie is Chicago's pride. This dish is literally cooked in a deep dish with a flaky buttery crust and layered with alternate layers of stringy mozzarella cheese, chunky tomato sauce, and sometimes your choice of meat or veg. Now, this is where the centuries-old debate of whether pizza is actually considered a pie or not comes in. The deep-dish originating from Uno Pizzeria has all the elements of a pie; a crust, a large amount of filling and, is cut into triangular pieces like a pie. However, it is up to you whether you want to regard it as a pie or just pizza, in any way the dish is extremely delicious!

3. The Margherita Pizza- Naples

You cannot say you've had a Margherita pizza unless it is from the pizza nation itself. The Margherita is basically the oldest pizza and can be deemed as the world's first pizza. In Naples, the pizza is baked in a piping hot brick oven for a maximum of two minutes before it's served in front of you on your plate. Yes, you read that right, the specialty of a true Neapolitan style pizza is that it's cooked under two minutes so that the fresh basil is still green. You will also see that the crust is thick and very airy and charred to perfection but as you get to the center of the pizza, the crust is extremely thin and cannot be held by hand as you usually would with other pizzas. The amount of sauce is also significantly more than the cheese and that's what makes it so hard to eat by hand so you will see that most Neapolitan style pizzas are typically eaten with a fork and knife.

4. Detroit Style Pizza- Detroit

Another American variation is this square thick crust deep dish pizza. Particularly known for its unique shape and cheese crust, you will not find this kind of pizza anywhere but in America. In this pizza, the cheese is first generously sprinkled onto the dough in a way that every inch of the dough is covered in cheese, especially the sides of the pan in order to achieve that crispy cheese crust. Then, the sauce is poured onto the cheese and your favourite pizza toppings usually follow. The reason the sauce is not applied onto the pizza first is to prevent the crust from getting soggy and wet. It's definitely a smart idea Detroit!

5. Fuggazetta- Argentina

If you hate onions, look away. Fugazetta is a mozzarella stuffed pizza loaded with thinly sliced onions which can be either raw or sautéed. The difference between this pizza and other pizzas is that the crust is light and airy due to the inclusion of milk in the dough, and the cheese is stuffed in the crust rather than sprinkled on top. Hence, if you pull out a slice, expect it to be oozing with cheese!

6. Khachapuri- Georgia

This Georgian flatbread is a very unique dish! It is most commonly a warm boat shaped bread stuffed with oodles of cheese and topped off with an egg. However, there are many variations of the dish depending on the region, you could have different shapes, stuffing and toppings. The bread is usually eaten by ripping off a piece of the bread and dipping it in the cheese and runny yolk.

7. Manakish- Lebanon

If you love cold pizza, you would love this. Manakish is essentially flat bread made with the same ingredients as that of a pizza dough, topped with za'atar and baked. Sometimes, it includes halloumi and minced meat as toppings as well. Typically, it is eaten cold for breakfast or for lunch.

So, would you travel the world to eat all the different kinds of pizza available in the various countries mentioned above?

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Khushi Naik

Khushi Naik is a free-spirited incoming freshman who enjoys writing, photography, and art. If you don't see her engrossed on her laptop with headphones in, you can find her in the kitchen with an aroma of baked goods!