When people think of the origin of pizza they think of Italy. That makes sense, the word pizza is Italian for “pie” and Italian restaurants are always selling pizza so it must be an Italian invention right? WRONG! The origins of pizza date back to ancient times. The Romans, Egyptians, Greeks and Babylonians were cooking up flat dough over 2000 years ago.
This tradition carried on over the centuries until the 16th century when tomatoes were first brought back to Europe from the New World and people began to place them on top of their doughy bases and thus the modern pizza was born. Pizzas of the time would often feature toppings such as cheese, olive oil and anchovies, not too dissimilar to pizzas eaten today.
Now this is where it gets really cool… in the late 1800’s a baker named Raffaele Esposito who was famed for opening the first known pizza store (which is still open to this day!) was asked to prepare pizza for a visit by the King and Queen of Italy. The Queen took a particular shine to the pizza which consisted of mozzarella, basil and tomato so as a tribute Esposito named the pizza after the pizza loving Queen. Can you guess her name? Yep, you guessed it Margherita and that is how arguably the most famous pizza of all time was born.
Be sure to check back here for my next post educating everyone about the history of pizza!