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  • Darshan Mech

Pizza

Pizza is an Italian meal prepared using an oven-baked, flat, often circular bread that is frequently topped with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese. Other toppings vary by area, culture, or personal choice. Originating in Italian cuisine, the dish has grown in popularity around the world, notably in the United States, where several versions have been produced, pizza restaurant chains have thrived, and pizza has become a home delivery item as well as a frozen snack ready to bake at home.


One of the simplest and most classic pizzas is the Margherita, which is topped with tomatoes or tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. According to popular tradition, it was named after Queen Margherita, Umberto I's wife, who was claimed to have enjoyed its mild fresh flavour and to have noticed that its topping colours green, white, and red were those of the Italian flag.


Pizza-like meals have existed since the Neolithic era. Throughout history, there are records of individuals putting different substances to bread to make it tastier. During the leadership of Darius the Great, the Persian troops of the Achaemenid Empire toasted flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields while the ancient Greeks filled their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese in the 6th century BC. The Aeneid contains an early mention of a pizza-like snack when Celaeno, queen of the Harpies, predicts that the Trojans would not find peace until they are compelled by hunger to devour their tables in Book III. Aeneas and his troops are served a dinner in Book VII that comprises circular cakes similar to pita bread covered with sautéed veggies. When they consume the bread, they understand that these are the "tables" that Celaeno predicted. The term "pizza" first appears in a notarial document written in Latin and dated May 997 AD from Gaeta, requesting "12 pizzas, a hog shoulder, and a swine kidney on Christmas, and 12 pizzas and a couple of chickens on Easter."


Similar flatbread foods in Naples, Italy, in the 18th or early 19th century evolved into modern pizza. Previously, flatbread was frequently covered with toppings such as garlic, salt, fat, and cheese. It is unclear when tomatoes were initially introduced, and there are several competing accounts. Pizza was offered from open-air stands and pizza shops until approximately 1830. It is amazing that an item like pizza which was invented centuries ago, continued to be an all-time favourite dish for people from all around the world.


That is the history of pizza as we know it today.


Bibliography:


  1. n.a. “ A History of Pizza | History Today.” Historytoday.com. n.d. Web. 31 Jul, 2022. <https://www.historytoday.com/archive/historians-cookbook/history-pizza>

  2. n.a. “The Delicious Story Of The Pizza | Food & Drink | Blog | Elite World Hotels” Elite World Hotels. n.d. Web. 31 Jul, 2022. <https://www.eliteworldhotels.com.tr/blog-en/food-drink/the-delicious-story-of-the-pizza.4.23.aspx>


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