Where does the pizza come from? The answer is surprising

Updated: 07/10/2020 – 16:59

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Where does the pizza actually come from?

Did the Italians really invent pizza?  The answer surprised.

Photo: iStock.com/Mariha kitchen

Did the Italians really invent pizza? The answer surprised.

Pizza is THE Italian national dish par excellence. But: is it really true? Was the very first pizza really made in Italy? We got to the bottom of the question…

Italy and pizza – they belong together like Christmas and the Christmas tree. However, critical voices and many other reflections have certainly asked themselves the question: Where does this pizza actually come from? Did the Italians really invent them, or do the origins go back even further?

The History of Pizza: Italy, Greece and Co

Well, first of all, the pizza as we know it today was actually invented by the Italians. As we know it today – it means dough covered with tomato sauce and baked with cheese. However, this did not happen until 1889. According to legend, Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi made the first pizza on June 11, after King Umberto I ordered it for his wife Margaritha in the national colors of Italy! So basil (green), mozzarella (white) and tomatoes (red) ended up on the dough.

What a romantic idea! However, this theory has now been disproved by historians. It turns out that the Queen was already a fan of pizza before this big delivery – Raffaele Esposito was just smart enough to be the only one who kept the royal receipt.

Start going back further…

According to various other reports, archaeologists have allegedly discovered that stone-baked dough was not invented by the Italians, but by the Greeks – or the Etruscans. They are said to have existed in antiquity around 800 BC. cover flat cakes made of flour, water and salt with various ingredients and bake them on a stone over an open fire. What an unpredictable turn! By the way, the flat cakes in question were probably called “pita” then – and according to several legends, the term “pizza” could have developed from this word.

And how did the pizza cult come to Italy? Theories have it that the same Etruscans bought their beloved flatbreads when they occupied Rome in 200 BC. simply brought it to the Roman man (and probably also to the woman). However, as is well known, the Romans were also quite industrious in terms of conquest – and so the most diverse archetypal forms of pizza are said to have spread throughout Europe.

How good for people – one might think. However, back then pizza was not as popular as it is today. Rather, it was considered the court of the poor. And who would have thought? Ultimately, it was the poor people who put the finishing touches on pizza that we love so much today…

How tomatoes changed pizza

What many people often don’t even realize is that tomatoes don’t come from Europe, but from Central and South America. They were first introduced to Europe during the conquest of America. However, because of their bright red color, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous – and the impoverished farmers of the region around Naples were forced to include tomatoes in their diet due to a lack of alternatives.

Apparently this also applied to the pizza topping – and thus the legend of the pizza as we know it today was born, delicious Neapolitan!

When pizza came to Germany…

By the way: It is probably thanks to the Italian emigrants that pizza found its way to the USA towards the end of the 19th century, where it is also known to be very popular, albeit with a slightly different recipe. By the way, pizza was first prepared in Germany in 1937 – at a cooking exhibition at the Frankfurt (Main) trade fair.

By the way, the first real pizzeria was opened in March 1952 in Würzburg. Nicolino di Camillo called the restaurant “Sabbie di Capri” – and you can still find it today, albeit under a different name, by visiting 1Elefant Alley… if you happen to be in the area.

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You can find out more about Italian cuisine on our topic page. And if you’re now wondering where pasta actually comes from and who invented minced meat – of course we have an answer for you too.



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