Culinary

Why Pizza is the Best Food


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I’ve been trying to think of a blog post to write all day long, and no matter what I did, all I could come up with was one word: Pizza. How do I write a blog post on pizza? Pizza is the best food in the world! Do a I write a recipe? A history? Do I order a pizza and see what inspires me? Pizza deserves all that and more, pizza deserves a love letter.

Ok, I’m not actually going to sit here and waste both our time with a love letter to pizza, but I am going to tell you all about pizza and why its the best food in the world.

The History of Pizza

To truly love pizza the way it deserves to be loved, we must first learn about its origins. To do this, we need to go back to Naples, Italy circa the 1700s. Naples is a waterfront city known for its working class residents. “The closer you got to the bay, the more dense their population, and much of their living was done outdoors, sometimes in homes that were little more than a room,” said Carol Helstosky, author of “Pizza: A Global History”. These poor working class neapolitans needed quick and cheap food, enter pizza. Flatbreads topped with sauce, garlic, cheese and anchovies was widely made by street vendors as a quick bite. The wealthy Italians would turn their noses to pizza, it was food for commoners.

In 1889 King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples. Having grown tired of their usual feasts, they requested an assortment of pizzas with all kinds of toppings. Queen Margherita’s favorite was topped with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil- hence the name Pizza Margherita.

Pizza is the best food
Close up of slices of pizza margherita with basil.

Pizza eventually made its way across the Atlantic, to the United States with Italian immigrants. Most Italians weren’t opening up restaurants though, so it remained a meal that was eaten at home. The first pizza shop in the United states didn’t open until 1905 in Manhattan.

If you want to try real Neapolitan pizza, we learn how to make it from scratch on our Cooking and Wine on the Amalfi Coast Vacation.

3 Reasons why Pizza is the Best Food

  1. It’s easily personalized
  2. Pizza is cheesy
  3. It’s internationally appreciated

It’s Easily personalized

The Best Pizza Flavors
All kinds of pizza toppings in Italy

There is literally a pizza for everyone. Even Vegans! Even Gluten Free! I mean, what you make the dough from and what you top the pizza with, is entirely up to you. There’s thin crust pizza, deep dish pizza, New York pizza, Neapolitan pizza, roman pizza, the list goes on and on.

Want pineapple on your pizza, don’t let me stop you, its YOUR creation. White sauce, red sauce, no sauce, meat lovers, veggie, even dessert pizza! Have you had pizza topped with nutella? We have that for dessert on pizza night on our Wine and Cooking Under the Tuscan and Umbrian Sun Vacations. We have traditional pizza Margherita, pizza with potatoes and sausage, fennel and tomato, red onions, ricotta and nutella and then you can even top our pizzas with whatever you want. In the mornings in Italy, people eat focaccia, which is just the pizza dough topped with a little olive oil and salt.

Pizza with potatoes and rosemary
Pizza with potatoes and rosemary – because your carbs need carbs

You can have Pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have something different every time. There is no reason to not like pizza, because you are the one who decides what goes on top.

It’s Cheesy

Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

It’s internationally appreciated

Every single place that I’ve been, anywhere in the world, I have been able to EASILY find a pizza place. That is because everyone loves pizza, pizza is the best food. Its undeniable. The toppings and ingredients can be influenced by any culture and any cuisine.

Pizza in Thailand
Pizza in Thailand

Weird Pizza Toppings

Knowing that there’s a bunch of crazy toppings out there for pizza, I did a quick Google search and found a list of the most bizarre pizzas from around the world. Some of the most interesting pizzas from that list are:

  • Blackberry and Fennel Pizza (I would eat this)
  • Cicada Pizza (Missouri, USA) – read that again, IT’S BUGS ON PIZZA OMG
  • Pizza in a cone (New York, USA) – this is apparently a thing in New York…Pass
  • Cookie Crust Pizza (South Korea)- This sounds good, but upon further investigation, its a cookie crust topped with prawns and veggies, served with a blueberry dipping sauce. Pass.
  • Banana Curry Pizza (Sweden)- and you thought pineapple on pizza was bad.
  • Cauliflower pizza- The crust of this pizza is made of cauliflower, so it’s lower in carbs.
Nutella Pizza is the best
Pizza with Nutella

Surprisingly enough, Italian people are cautiously adventurous with their pizza toppings. In Soriano, where one of our Cooking and Wine Vacations are located, there is a pizza shop that offers something like 100 different toppings. Different types of cheeses, vegetables, even hot dogs or french fries. So, don’t feel too embarrassed about your favorite pizza toppings, whether you’re adventurous or a pizza purist.

Pizza Recipe

On our Soriano Cooking and Wine Vacations, we make pizza from scratch on Fridays and have a big pizza party. All our guides come down with their families, people bring their friends, sometimes the mayor of Soriano and his wife are even there. It’s a real family affair. The recipe for our pizza is on our Italian Food Recipe Blog. You can truly put whatever you want on top of the pizza, but maybe skip the cicadas.

Making Pizza from scratch at the Villa
One of our guests making pizza at the Villa
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Nancy Paluch
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Nancy Paluch

Love reading your blogs! My office sometimes order a Breakfast Pizza – Sicilian pizza dough topped with eggs, bacon, sausage. YUMMM!

Kathy Salopek
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Kathy Salopek

my favorite food!!

Michael,
oops….I tried to hit all 5 stars, but it stopped me at around 3.5 stars so maybe you can fix this to show all 5 stars

Michael Kovnick
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hahah I cannot change it, but thanks anyway 🙂

Michael Kovnick
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OK, so I have to add that every Italian I have ever met has absolutely cringed when they have heard about putting pineapple on their pizza, as though you are breaking international law, and should suffer the death penalty. That said, while I am not personally a fan of pineapple on pizza (actually, Yuck), I quickly note that here in Italy I have seen a well-respected pizzeria with a pizza on their menu that is topped with Hot Dogs, French Fries and Ketchup! So while I may be a purist (Pizza Marghertia for me every time), there is no pedestal… Read more »