Pizza Slices of Diversity Socially Sparked® our lives in countless ways. Today, pizza comes in all shapes, sizes, styles and flavors, making it one of the most versatile food favorites of every age group – from toddler through senior. In honor of National Pizza Day, here’s a bit of trivia on the diversity of the world’s favorite food and snack.

pizza slices of diversity
photo: Christian Jensen, [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

PIZZA ORIGINS

1889 – Legend has it that in 1889 the Queen of Italy, Marghuerita of Savoy and King Umberto I visited Naples in search of alternative fare from their haute French cuisine. When at the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, they asked Neapolitan pizza-maker Raffaele Esposito for an assortment of pizzas to try. The Queen’s favorite variety was called Pizza Mozzarella — a pie topped with the soft white cheese (buffalo mozzarella), red tomatoes and green basil. (coincidently those are the colors of the Italian Flag). From then on, the pie was called Pizza Margherita and Raffaele Esposito is credited with inventing it.

LATE 19th and EARLY 20th CENTURIES: Italian immigrants began coming to the United States for factory jobs. So did millions of Europeans. Now in America, the Neapolitans began creating their crusty pizzas in New York and other American cities of Trenton, NJ; New Haven, CT; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL, and St. Louis, MO. Although not intentional, the pizza aromas began infiltrating these cities enticing soon-to-be pizza consumers of diverse nationalities.

1st US PIZZERIA (1905) – The first documented pizzeria in the United States dates back to 1905. It was called G. LOMBARDI’S on Spring Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Before then, pizzas in the US were homemade or sold by unlicensed sellers. LOMBARDI’S became the first establishment licensed to sell pizza in 1905. America’s first pizzeria is still in existence today, still in Little Italy and still adding that Socially Sparked flavor to our lives.

POST WORLD WAR II in US – As the Italian-American US population continued to increase, so did the cities and states offering their pizza. They settled in the east, west, south, north and everywhere in between. Soon after World War II, pizza’s popularity boomed. People began identifying the cheesy fare as a fast, fun food. Depending on which part of the country you hailed, pizza variations emerged as California-gourmet pizzas, Chicago’s deep dish, et al. Diversity in toppings grew as well: barbecued chicken, chocolate, pineapple, avocado to smoked salmon.

THE PIZZA WARS BETWEEN CITIES

Pizza Wars continue between two of America’s great cities — New York City and Chicago –- both claiming to have the best pizza. ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>A recent Time Out Magazine City Index Survey can be very telling unless you live in the losing city.

According to the survey, Chicagoans love their pizza 3% more than New Yorkers do. Chicagoans 30% vs. New Yorkers 27%. And, it is written repeatedly that each city’s residence believe their pizza is best. So the war will continue.

pizza slices of diversity

PIZZA DIVERSITY ACROSS THE GLOBE

EIGHT SHADES OF PIZZA YOU SHOULD KNOW

    Pizza Margherita
    Napoleon Pizza
    Flatbread Pizza
    Sicilian Pizza
    Deep Dish Pizza
    California Gourmet Pizza
    Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
    NY Style Thin Crust Pizza

Pizza has certainly diversified since the birth of Pizza Margherita and certainly Socially Sparked our lives all over the world. My personal fave happens to be the original Margherita. – Abbe is Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01.