At the end of a long week if you ask your family what you should order in for dinner, it is likely you will hear (excited shrieks for) pizza. Who doesn’t love it? Pizza can be simple with basic ingredients like tomato sauce and cheese on a puffy white dough. Or opt for more of a gourmet twist and ingredients may be fruit, specialty cheeses and cured meats on artisanal flatbreads. They can be individual serving sizes, or shareable large party-size style pizzas that can be divided to allow for multiple toppings to suit everyone’s individual tastes. For the more adventurous in the kitchen, some choose to make their own at home.
Pizza is not new. Its roots can be traced back to Naples in the 1700s. Naples was an overcrowded, working-class port city. Many Neapolitans required quick, and inexpensive meals that street vendors were there to provide in flatbread/pizza with varied toppings. As migrants left for America in the 1900s, they brought their recipes with them and over time made America the capital of pizza making. As pizza’s popularity expanded and migrated it became a global phenomenon and interestingly, post-war pizza finally reached Italy and beyond. According to food critic John Mariani, “Like blue jeans and rock and roll, the rest of the world, including the Italians, picked up on pizza just because it was American,” Whether you are in Naples or Toronto, and regardless of it being prepared at home or in a restaurant or home, pizza is delicious, versatile and fun.