The latest research reveals that the average American consumes at least 6,000 slices of pizza over the course of a lifetime. In fact, one-third of pizza lovers indulge in a slice or two at least once a week. Any way you slice it, it’s evident that New Yorkers are crazy for pizza! However, despite their passion, very few people are aware of the history of pizza. So, before you take a bite out of your next slice, here’s a brief background of pizza through the ages.
A History of Pizza Through the Ages
Originally founded as a Greek settlement, Naples was a thriving waterfront city in the 1700s and early 1800s. However, despite being a booming seaport, Naples was notorious for its high population of working poor (referred to as the Iazzaroni). The closer you got to the water in Naples, the denser the poor population was.
The Iazzaronis did much of their living outdoors, including consuming food on-the-go. To accommodate this lifestyle, street vendors and informal restaurants began selling flatbreads with various toppings that came to be known as pizza. The wealthy originally considered the on-the-go eating habits of the poor to be disgusting; however, when Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889 and fell in love with pizza, people of all classes began to enjoy pizza, leading to an Italy-wide pizza craze. By the way, the classic Margherita pizza was named after the Queen as she relished this pie topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
Across the pond, immigrants that came to the United States from Naples in the 1800s and early 1900s began to replicate the Neapolitan-style pizzas, and the unique and flavorful aromas of the pizza quickly captivated non-Neapolitans and non-Italians. Pizza restaurants began to pop up in the early 1900s in New York, Boston, Chicago, and other cities with high Italian American populations. Americans soon came to view pizza as a fast and fun food, and pizza restaurants began to branch out further with the variety of available toppings, including anything from barbecued chicken to smoked salmon.
Come to Brunetti for Your Own Slice of the History of Pizza
While the arguments can get heated when discussing the best place to grab a slice of pizza in New York, we’re confident that we will please your appetite at Brunetti Pizza. Influenced by our Italian ancestry and our passion for the high-quality products from this region, we founded Brunetti Pizza to provide New Yorkers with the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizza West of Italy. Not only are we passionate about crafting the very best quality pizza for our customers, but we love to talk about the history of pizza. Come see us for your own slice of Neapolitan history!