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The History of Pizza, Unlocked

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The history of pizza is filled with mystery and debate. Although many people think they know where it originated, the truth is a bit more complicated. There were precursors across the Mediterranean, with ancient Greeks and Romans enjoying various forms of flatbread.

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One of the most direct ancestors of focaccia, which the Romans called panis focacius.

The word “pizza” itself, meaning pie, emerged around 1000 AD, but the dish lacked most of the elements we associate with it today, like tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. During this time, it was mostly flatbread with oil and a few toppings, often considered food for the poor.

A significant turning point in the evolution of pizza came with Raffaele Esposito, a pizza maker in Italy. He was tasked with creating a special pie for Queen Margherita. To make something unique and patriotic, he used basil, mozzarella, and tomato to represent the Italian flag’s colors. This combination became the margherita pie, a foundational style in modern pizza.

Later, when Italians began immigrating to the United States, they brought it with them, leading to the development of uniquely American styles like deep dish and New York-style pizza. No matter which type you prefer, from wood-fired to stuffed crust, it has become a beloved staple worldwide. Just make sure to keep the anchovies off my half!

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