A Brief History of Pizza

A Brief History of Pizza

It is popular belief that pizza was invented by the Italians. However, the history of pizza goes back to the ancient times in the Middle East. Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, Israelis, and Babylonians were making some derivative of pizza in the ancient times. They used to cook flat bread in mud ovens. Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians specifically, were topping the bread with olive oil and spices, now known as focaccia.

In 1522, tomatoes were brought back to Europe from Peru in the New World. Originally believed to be poisonous, tomatoes eventually found their way into the diets of poorer people of Naples, as they placed the tomatoes on their yeast dough, thus creating the first simple pizza we know today. These early pizzas were quite popular because these workingmen usually had only flour, olive oil, lard, cheese, and herbs with which to feed their families. It was a convenient food and all of Italy proclaimed the Neapolitan pies to be the best.

Founded around 600 B.C. as a Greek Settlement, Naples, Italy was a thriving waterfront city, and as we can see, the home of the pizza we know and love today. Although considered as a well-off city, the kingdom was densely packed with throngs of working poor, who typically had only tiny residential properties to call their own. The workers required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly, since they were consistently busy. Thus, pizza, flatbreads with various toppings, eaten for any meal and sold by street vendors or informal restaurants, met this need. Legend has it that pizza developed in Naples when bakers required to consume their excess dough for the day, or when they required something in the oven to keep it warm. By throwing this extra dough into the oven, and selling it to poorer people, they developed a food that years later is, ironically, extremely popular with a wide variety of customers. Evidently, the people in Naples were eating some of the earliest pizzas, and they often topped them with tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies and garlic.

During that time, it is believe that Raffaele Esposito developed the first pizza with tomato, mozzarella, and other toppings and seasonings. The first known pizza shop opened in Port Alba in Naples and is still there today. Esposito was called to make some pizza for the visit of King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Italy in the late 1800s. Within this taste test, Queen Margherita liked the pizza with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes so much, that Esposito named it “Pizza Margherita”. Interestingly, if the queen didn’t venture to try this “peasant bread”, then pizza may have never spread to become the phenomenon it is today. Surprisingly, pizza became a great success and spread to America, England, France, and Spain during World War Two when American and European soldiers tasted this new meal while occupying Italian territory.

The end of the ’60s denoted a change in pizza and split up into two eras: pre-delivery and post-delivery. In the post-delivery era, all of the big stories involve delivery pizza, which expanded pizza’s reach in all sorts of surprising ways. In the late ’60s, for instance, the U.S. Army’s 113th Military Intelligence Unit used fake pizza deliveries to spy on reporters and politicians.

Pizza has come down a long road and is still a common love for people all around the world. The other regions of Italy has develop distinguish style of pizza. Neapolitan Pizza, Roman Pizza, Milano Pizza or Siciliano Pizza are favourite among millions of pizza lovers. Our Zzetta – Soul Fired Pizza that is based in Canning Town in the entrance of the historical Rathbone Market serves a fusion style pizza that are rooted in Neapolitan and Roman Pizza Styles. Our aim is to standout with our mouthwatering pizzas and we are so happy with the feedback that we are receiving from our locals in Canning Town, Silvertown, Poplar, Canary Wharf, Royal Victoria Dock, City Airport, Excel London, Trinity Buoy Wharf, University of East London, Docklands Campus, North Woolwich, West Silvertown, Royal Victoria, Royal Albert, Beckton, South Quay, MillWall, East India Dock and rest of the East London.

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