The History of Pizza

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5 Questions

When did the first major development in the evolution of pizza occur?

Around 1520, with the arrival of tomatoes from South America

What did the first pizzas lack that we commonly associate with pizza today?

Toppings

Who added tomatoes to their pizza dough for the first time?

The poor people of Naples

What was the initial reaction of most Europeans to tomatoes?

They wouldn't eat them

What transformed pizza from peasant fare to a dish fit for royalty?

Baking a pizza for Italy's Queen Margherita

Study Notes

The Evolution of Pizza

  • The first major development in the evolution of pizza occurred in ancient times, with the Greeks and Romans baking flatbreads topped with olive oil, herbs, and other ingredients.

Early Pizzas

  • The first pizzas lacked two ingredients commonly associated with pizza today: tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

The Addition of Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes were first added to pizza dough by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the 16th century, after he brought back tomatoes from the New World.

European Reaction to Tomatoes

  • Initially, most Europeans believed tomatoes were poisonous due to their bright red color and because they belonged to the nightshade family, which also includes poisonous plants like belladonna.

The Transformation of Pizza

  • The visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy to Naples in 1889 transformed pizza from peasant fare to a dish fit for royalty, as a local baker created a pizza resembling the Italian flag, with red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil, in her honor.

Test your knowledge of the history of pizza with this fun quiz! Discover fascinating facts about the origins of pizza and its evolution into the beloved dish we know today. From Greek colonies to modern pizzerias, uncover the intriguing story behind everyone's favorite pie.

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