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20 Fun Facts about Pizza

Are you looking for interesting facts about pizza in Italy? Because there’s always something new to learn about what you love! And pizza, oh the pizza is something we really love! So, what facts about pizza do you already know? Let’s see if we can add some more information to what you’ve already had! Here are 20 fun facts about pizza!

20 fun facts about pizza – interesting facts about pizza in Italy

fun facts about pizza
Fun Facts about Pizza: Pizza is iconic! Photo: Salvatore Monetti/Pixabay

#1 fact about pizza: the Etruscans already enjoyed pizza

It seems the Etruscans — who lived in modern-day Tuscany and Latium between the 9th and 1st centuries BC — were the first people in Europe to enjoy baked, pizza-like flatbreads. But let’s not forget the ones who invented baking were the Egyptians!

#2 fun fact: the word pizza is (at the very least) 1000 years old

One of the most interesting facts about pizza in Italy is the written word pizza!The first written attestation of the word pizza dates back to 997 AD. It comes from the Latin pinsa, past participle of the verb pinsare, which means “to flatten out” and likely refers to the shape of pizza itself.

#3 The oldest type of pizza is pizza Marinara

Among tomato-based pizzas, Marinara is the oldest of them all, as it was created in 1734. Simple and wholesome, it was topped — and still is today — with tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. And it was called “marinara” because it was a favorite among fishermen!

#4 The first pizzeria was in Naples

Indeed, the oldest pizza place in the world opened in 1738 in Naples and it’s still up and running. Pizzeria Port’Alba started as a stand for peddlers but then, in 1830, it turned into a full-fledged pizza restaurant. Among its most famous customers Gabriele d’Annunzio, Ferdinand of Bourbon, Francesco Crispi and Benedetto Croce.

#5 pizza Margherita is named after Italy’s first queen (or is it?)

Because Vittorio Emanuele II was already a widower when he became the first king of unified Italy, it was his son’s wife, Margherita di Savoia, to be the country’s first queen.

The story says that in 1889, while in Naples, a famous pizzaiolo called Raffaele Esposito offered three varieties of pizza to the queen, who expressed her preference for the one topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, to symbolize the colors of the Italian flag. Thus the name pizza Margherita.

To be honest, many believe the story was a ploy to attract business to Esposito’s restaurant, but it really doesn’t matter: this is a case where legend has become more real than reality.

interesting facts about pizza in Italy – Margherita of Savoy, first queen of Italy: pizza Margherita was named after her (Photo: Wikimedia)

#6 fact about pizza: Alexandre Dumas knew pizza was to become iconic

How did Alexandre Dumas know already one of these interesting facts about pizza in Italy? The Three Musketeers’ author traveled to Naples in 1835. While there he noticed that Neapolitans had peculiar eating habits: loads of watermelon in the Summer and loads of pizza during the rest of the year.

#7 America’s first pizza parlor is still open

The first pizzeria in the US opened in 1905 in New York City. A mere 16 years after the invention of pizza Margherita, Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi opened his own pizza parlor, Lombardi’s, and it became an immediate hit. Lombardi’s is still open today.

#8 Pizzaioli share a special lingo

Yes, they do: a stretched piece of dough ready to receive its toppings is called a skin, mushrooms are called screamers and iconic pepperoni slices are flyers. Definitely one of those interesting facts about pizza in Italy that we should know!

fun facts about pizza
Fun Facts about Pizza

#9 the fastest pizzaiolo is from the UK

Pali Grewal, from the UK, won a competition held in Las Vegas in 2014 and was elected the fastest pizza maker in the world: he made and put in the oven three pizzas in just over 32 seconds.

More fun facts about pizza – interesting facts about pizza in Italy

#10 every country adds something personal to pizzas

Italy may be its fatherland, but pizza is popular all over the globe, so it’s not that surprising to know each country gives it a special twist. Peas are a common topping in Brazil, eggs in France, and the Chinese love pizza crusts made with mini-hot dogs.

#11 the Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada by a Greek

Love it or hate it, Hawaiian pizza is bound to make people talk, even when it comes to its origins. Not many know that it was not created in the US, but in Canada where, in 1962, Greece-born Sam Panopoulos added it to the menu of its pizza parlor.

#12 fun fact about pizza: Once, pizza was delivered in space

Did you ask for interesting facts about pizza in Italy? Well, pizza was delivered in space! Not in a movie. In real life. It was 2001 when Pizza Hut delivered a 6-inch salami pizza to the International Space Station.

#13 pizza in space could become the norm

Anjan Contractors received 125.000 dollars from NASA to develop a 3D printer able to print pizza in space, using some basic powdered ingredients and water. If everything goes well, it will make astronauts very happy.

#14 the most expensive pizza in the world is worth 10k

Created by Italian pizzaiolo Renato Viola, the Luigi XIII is made with a special dough that needs to rise for 72 hours and it’s topped with Mozzarella di Bufala DOP, pink Australian salt, caviar, lobster, prawns, and champagne.

#15 Americans are the biggest pizza eaters

With their 23 pounds per capita each year, Americans are the biggest pizza lovers in the world. Their favorite? Pepperoni, of course!

fun facts about pizza
Pepperoni pizza is America’s favorite (Photo: Shutterbug75/Pixabay)

#16 fun fact about pizza: … and Italians gets the silver medal

With their 16 pounds each every year, Italians reach second place in the list of people eating the most pizza. Might be one of the most interesting facts about pizza in Italy, that Italians aren’t actually the ones who eat the most pizza. They are just the second!

#17 Saturday is the best day…

Saturday is the best day to eat pizza. According to research, Saturdays are the day of the week people enjoy pizza the most. This is one of the most interesting facts about pizza in Italy, and it is really true. Italians as well, go to eat pizza mostly on Saturday nights.

#18 the majority of people prefer thin pizza crust

One more from the interesting facts about pizza in Italy! 61% of pizza eaters do, to be precise. Chicago style and Napoletana take the back seat, then… Honestly, I personally enjoy more the thin pizza too. Anyway, it’s really difficult to eat a pizza by yourself if you’ve got the thick crust. At least, I can’t do it.

#19 you can loose weight eating pizza!

Definitely the top of the interesting facts about pizza in Italy! You can lose weight by eating pizza? There is a low calories diet where you can eat pizza once a day. But forget pepperoni and double cheese: we are talking thin crust, only tomato and veggies, maybe a sprinkling of mozzarella…and that’s it.

#20 the last of the interesting facts about pizza in Italy: Pizza for a united world!

Pizza is a word that is the same all over Earth! From Antarctica to Greenland, from California to China the word Pizza has the same meaning! 🙂

So these are the main fun facts about the pizza! Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and you’re ready to order a pizza right away!

Wrapping up: 20 interesting facts about pizza in Italy

When it comes to fun facts about pizza, well, we could speak much much more about it than we just did. These 20 though are definitely some of the most interesting facts about pizza in Italy, and about pizza in usual. Learn on our website more about making pizza dough, and pizza in Naples, as well as the event of the Pizzafest and more!

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