History of Pizza from Naples to California

There are more than 75,000 pizzerias across the United States, this means one out of ten restaurants in the country serve pizza. The average American citizen eats 23 pounds of pizza every year. Today one in eight Americans will have pizza for dinner. We love pizza, but do we know where it comes from? How is it made? Properly?

Pizza was born in Naples, Italy, sometime in the 19th century, when the centuries-old European flatbread met American tomatoes. Pizza soon grew in popularity and immigrants brought it to America in the early years of the 20th century. Lombardi’s, in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, opened in 1905 and is recognized as the first pizzeria in the States.

 

Neapolitans take their pizza seriously, they created the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in the 80s, an international organization that dictates how an authentic Neapolitan pizza should be and how it must be made.

 

True Neapolitan pizza should be 11.8 to 13.7 inches in diameter, it must have the famous cornicione, the raised edge. The dough has to leaven twice for a total of 6 hours and ingredients must be top notch. The oven must be heated to 806°to 896° degrees, so the cooking time is incredibly short, between 60 and 90 seconds! The pie is cooked through, and the delicious mozzarella is bubbly. Ain’t this an art form.

Today there are more than 100 pizzerias in the United States who honor the traditional ways of the Neapolitan Association, but pizza is a canvas, and the traditional ways are not the only ways.

 

The same decade Italians protected their tradition with their Association, a man in California dreamt about pizza, a different kind of pizza. Pizza maker Ed LaDou developed what would later become the California-style pizza, one that can be topped with anything, from BBQ chicken to smoked salmon and caviar. Legendary chefs like Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck were also instrumental in this revolution. Without a doubt, California-style pizza is rightfully a noble pizza; the crazy Californian cousin of the traditional Neapolitan Margarita.

 

Neapolitans take their pizza seriously, they created the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in the 80s, an international organization that dictates how an authentic Neapolitan pizza should be and how it must be made.

Today the most popular pizza topping in the country is pepperoni, a crowd pleaser though evidently not the most interesting choice, but every known ingredient has been added to pizza sometime, somewhere: from bananas to chicken tikka masala.

 

Whether you like a traditional pizza or a creative pie, Know that it’s always just a phone call away at Delicious Pizza in Hollywood. Pizza anyone?