There are tons of different pizza styles out there so it’s likely that you greatly enjoy at least one of them. There’s New York-style and Chicago deep-dish; there’s thin, thick, or hand-tossed crust; there’s meat lovers, extra-cheesy, vegan, classic Margherita, and so many more flavorful pizza combinations. How could anyone not love this versatile food?! 

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in almost every country. Pizza can be made in so many different ways so it’s easy for anyone to add their own twist to it. However, obviously, when pizza was invented there weren’t all these versatile options. Want to learn some interesting and fun facts about the history of pizza? We’ve got you covered in this article. 

  1. Foods that are similar to pizza have been made around the world since basically the beginning of time! Oven-baked bread and flatbreads with different toppings have been a staple food since the stone age. It’s likely that no matter where you go in the world, you’ll find either pizza or a dish similar to it. 
  2. In the 1600s, Naples was the first city to prepare the dish known as a “pizza.” It became a street food that was sold to the poorer Neapolitans. Since they only had one-room homes they would walk around while eating their pizza. This made others look at their food choice as “gross” and “disgusting”
  3. Margherita pizza was invented in 1889. King Umberto and Queen Margherita visited Naples and the Queen was looking for new food to try as they had been eating the same foods over and over. The Naples restaurant that they visited made a special pizza for her that consisted of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. They put these ingredients together because they were the colors of the Italian flag. The Queen loved it and that’s when Margherita Pizza was born. 
  4. Pizza didn’t become popular outside of Naples until the 1800s. This is because the 1800s was when some Italians started moving to America. They took their recipes and tastes with them, bringing pizza to the US. 
  5. The first pizza shop in the US was opened in 1905 in Manhattan. The restaurant has since moved locations however is still alive and in business today. They even use the same oven that they did in 1905! 
  6. Pizza became a staple dish by the 1930s. Other states gradually started opening up pizzerias and new types of pizza began to form. Different areas of the US started putting their own spin on pizzas such as Chicago deep-dish, New York-style, etc. Although pizza was becoming so popular, it was still considered a poor working man’s food. 
  7. In 1945, gas-fired pizza ovens were invented. This made it inexpensive and a lot easier to make pizzas than having to use wood or charcoal pizza ovens. Many restaurants started using gas-fired pizza ovens and selling a ton of pizza. 
  8. Next, pizza chains such as Pizza Hut, Dominos, Little Caesar’s, and Papa Johns started opening and becoming extremely successful. Dominos is currently the most popular and highest-earning pizza chain. 
  9. Frozen pizza was invented in 1957 and soon became the most popular frozen meal. 
  10. The pizza industry now brings in billions of dollars throughout the US. 

Now that you’ve learned some quick facts about the history of pizza, are you hungry for some?! NEO Pizza in Maryland has some of the most delicious brick-oven pizzas in the area. We have locations in Columbia, Annapolis, & Bel-Air. We also have a full menu filled with burgers, sandwiches, quick bites, salads, and more! Contact us with any questions you may have.