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The History of Pizza

Follow the evolution of America's favorite food

Since MF revealed how fit guys can eat pizza, we thought you'd be interested in its history.

Circa 1000 A.D.: Pizza gets its start when peasants begin baking leftover, covered dough.

Early 1500s: Spanish conquistadors bring tomatoes to Europe from the New World.

Late 1500s: The first known recipes for the production of mozzarella cheese begin popping up in cookbooks.

Late 1600s: Although tomatoes are feared to be poisonous, peasants in Naples are the first to add them to their pizza.

1830: Port'Alba the world's first pizzeria, opens in Naples. The proprietor bakes pizzas in an oven lined with lava harvested from Mount Vesuvius.

1889: Naples chef Raffaele Esposito prepares a red, white, and green pizza of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to honor a visit by Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanna. He names the pie the margherita.

1905: Gennaro Lombardi opens the first American pizzeria: Lombardi's pizzeria, which was located at 53 &frac12 Spring St. in New York City. (The restaurant would later move to 32 Spring St.).

1943: Ric Riccardo Sr. and Ike Sewell invent a deep-dish pizza and begin serving it at their new Chicago restaurant, Pizzeria Uno — creating a flagship for the future chain.

1945: Buying a slice becomes increasingly popular as WWII veterans return from Italy and spread the pizza gospel.

1957: The first frozen pizza — Celentano's — appears in supermarkets.

1958: The first Pizza Hut opens in Wichita, Kansas. The first Domino's opens just two years later in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Mid-1970s: Chicago pizzerias add a top layer to their deep-dish pie, creating the miracle of stuffed pizza.

Early 1980s: Pizza goes gourmet, with upscale toppings such as duck and Gorgonzola.

1995: Kraft introduces DiGiorno pizza, the first "self-rising" frozen pie.

See Also:
Why Fit Guys Can Still Eat Pizza

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