About this time the idea of baking
in special brick ovens came into existence and the bread, as it is today,
was a rather simple combination of flour, oil, salt and yeast.
Pizza spread to America, France,
England and Spain, where it was little known until after World War II.
While occupying Italian territories, many American and European soldiers
tasted Pizza for the first time. It was love at first taste! Italian
immigrants had been selling Pizzas in their American stores for some
time, but it was the returning soldiers with a lust for the saucy delight
that drew the Pizzas out of the quiet Italian neighborhoods into the
main stream of city life all over the continent. In fact, the square
"Sicilian Pizza" which is so popular and was the forerunner
of the now well-promoted "Party Pizza" is an American invention.
Real Sicilian Pizza has no cheese or anchovies.
Today we celebrate Pizza. February
9 is International Pizza Day and the Guinness Book of Records states
that the largest Pizza ever made and eaten was created in Havana, Florida
and was 100 feet and 1 inch across!
American and Canadian citizens will
eat an average 23 pounds of Pizza, per person, per year. Pepperoni and
Cheese is the favorite combination, especially with the younger set,
and is second only to the hamburger as this continent's favorite
Pizzas can be made either healthy
or fatty, depending upon what you use for the toppings. They come in
many forms such as Calzones (half the dough is topped then the other
half folded over to form a large half-moon shaped Pizza Pocket, which
is then baked). It also comes in various forms such as breads, rolls,
pan pizza, stuffed crust pizza, thin crust Pizza and thick crust pizza,
wholewheat crust, and bagel crust.
The concept has also taken many
forms such as Mexican Pizza (a pizza dough topped with chili or taco
filling, shredded Cheddar, chopped onions, tomatoes and Jalapeno peppers),
Ice Cream Pizza, Candy Pizza and even Pizza cake as well as Pizza flavored
items such as Potato Chips and Tortilla Snacks!
So, next time you eat a Pizza, stop
and think of Queen Margherita and Chef Rafaelle and be grateful that
a Queen would dare stoop to eat peasant bread.
the name: The word
"pie" does not refer to the crust, nor even to the shape or
position of the crust. The Oxford English, the Webster's unabridged,and
lexicographer Charles Earl Funk, all agree that the elemental word "pie"
relates to the Magpie, a bird with feathers splotched in two colors,
a bird called "Pica" by the Romans, whence the English "Pie"
and the alteration of "Pica" to "Pizza". The name
relates to the bird's double color and its habit of gathering odds and
ends as does a Pizza, or Pie, gather, and consist of, varied ingredients.