Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, round bread typically topped with a tomato based sauce, cheese and various toppings. Pizza was originally invented in Naples, Italy, and the dish has since become popular in many parts of the world. An establishment that makes and sells pizzas is called a “pizzeria”. Many varieties of pizza exist worldwide, along with several dish variants based upon pizza. In 2009, upon Italy’s request, Neapolitan pizza was safeguarded in the European Union as a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed dish.
History of the Pizza
Pizza, from the Latin verb pĂŹnsere, to press and from the Greek pÄktos, ÏÎ·ÎșÏÏÏ, meaning “solid” or “clotted” is Greek in origin. The ancient Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs and cheese. In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled ÏÎŻÏÎ±, pita, or ÏÎŻÏÏÎ±, pitta, meaning pie. The word has also spread to Turkish as pide, and Bulgarian, Croatian and Serbian as pita, Albanian as pite and Modern Hebrew pittÄh. The Romans developed placenta, a sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey and flavoured with bay leaves. Modern pizza originated in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread. A popular urban legend holds that the archetypal pizza, Pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honour of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pie swathed in the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). Supposedly, this kind of pizza was then named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.
Pizza Cooking Methods and Ingredients
In restaurants, pizza can be baked in an oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or coal-fired brick oven. On deck ovens, the pizza can be slid into the oven on a long paddle, called a peel, and baked directly on the hot bricks or baked on a screen (a round metal grate, typically aluminium). When made at home, it can be baked on a pizza stone in a regular oven to reproduce the effect of a brick oven. Another option is grilled pizza, in which the crust is baked directly on a barbecue grill. Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.
Pizza Crust – Pizza Base
The bottom of the pizza, called the “crust”, may vary widely according to style â thin as in a typical hand-tossed pizza or Roman pizza, or thick as in a typical pan pizza or Chicago-style pizza. It is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with garlic or herbs, or stuffed with cheese.
The most popular cheeses to use on pizza are mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and Parmesan. Romano and Ricotta are often used as toppings and processed cheese manufactured specifically for pizza is used in mass-produced environments. Processed pizza cheese is manufactured to produce preferable qualities like browning, melting, stretchiness and fat and moisture content. Many studies and experiments have analyzed the impact of vegetable oil, manufacturing and culture processes, denatured whey proteins and other changes to creating the ideal and economical pizza cheese. The International Dictionary of Food and Cooking defines pizza cheese as “a soft spun-curd cheese similar to Mozzarella made from cow’s milk…” that is “…used particularly for pizzas and contains somewhat less water than real Mozzarella…” Most pizza cheeses are at least 95 percent Mozzarella, with different moisture and fat densities. Cheese for frozen pizzas may be comminuted, in which the cheese is processed into minute granules or fragments. Many varieties such as low-moisture Mozzarella are formulated specifically for pizza. Others are processed into blocks, from which the product can be grated, made into granules or sliced for use on pizza and in the preparation of other foods. Pizza cheese frequently consists of a blend of two or more cheeses. Low-moisture Mozzarella and Provolone is the most common blend.
- Mozzarella – Globally, the most popular pizza cheese.
- Provolone – The second most popular and sometimes mixed with Mozzarella.
- Cheddar – Usually mixed with Mozzarella to preserve chewiness.
- Parmesan – Usually finely grated and added to the top of the pizza, because it doesn’t melt well.
- Others – Romano, Ricotta for calzones or as a topping.
- Processed – A diverse variety of processed and analogue pizza cheeses are produced. Provel is one example.
Refer to List of Pizza Toppings and List of Pizza Types Pizza toppings are normally placed upon a pizza in a specific order, not because it is tidy but because the pizza sauce keeps the pizza dough moist, the cheese then provides a bed for the toppings to rest on and they do not dry out or fall off as the pizza slice is held. More cheese is added to keep the dough moist and the garnish is not cooked so it is applied last after baking. To list all toppings for pizza is impossible as the list is only restricted to the restrictions imposed by your imagination. Even popular pizza toppings are not easy to categorise.
Italian Pizza Types
Neapolitan pizza (pizza napoletana) – Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are typically made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. They can be made with ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, which grow on the volcanic plains to the south of Mount Vesuvius, and mozzarella di bufala Campana, made with the milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio in a semi-wild state (this mozzarella is protected with its own European protected designation of origin). According to the rules proposed by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour (type 0 or 00, or a mixture of both), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer’s yeast, salt and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine, and may be no more than 3 millimetres thick. The pizza must be baked for 60â90 seconds in a 485 Â°C stone oven with an oak-wood fire. When cooked, it should be crispy, tender and fragrant. There are three official variants: pizza marinara, which is made with tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil, pizza Margherita, made with tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and pizza Margherita extra made with tomato, mozzarella from Campania in fillets, basil and extra virgin olive oil. The pizza napoletana is a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (SpecialitĂ Tradizionale Garantita, STG) product in Europe.
Lazio style – Pizza in Lazio (Rome), as well as in many other parts of Italy, is available in two different styles. Take-away shops sell pizza rustica (a tart-like pizza) or pizza al taglio (by-the-slice pizza). This pizza is cooked in long, rectangular baking pans and relatively thick (1â2 cm). The pizza is often cooked in an electric oven. It is usually cut with scissors or a knife and sold by weight. In pizzerias, pizza is served in a dish in its traditional round shape. It has a thin, crisp base quite different from the thicker and softer Neapolitan style base. It is usually cooked in a wood-fired oven, giving the pizza its unique flavour and texture. In Rome, a pizza napoletana is topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and oil (thus, what in Naples is called pizza romana, in Rome is called pizza napoletana). Other types of Lazio-style pizza include:
- Pizza romana – Roma tomato, buffalo mozzarella, anchovies, fresh basil, prosciutto, oil
- Pizza viennese – Tomato, mozzarella, German sausage, oregano, oil
- Pizza capricciosa – Mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, artichokes, cooked ham, olives, oil
- Pizza quattro formaggi (Four cheese pizza) – Tomatoes, and the cheeses mozzarella, stracchino, fontina, and gorgonzola. Sometimes ricotta is swapped for one of the last three.
- Pizza bianca – In Rome, the term pizza bianca refers to a type of bread topped with olive oil, salt and, occasionally, rosemary sprigs. It is also a Roman style to add figs to the pizza, the result being known as pizza e fichi
- Pizza alla casalinga (“Grandma pizza”) – Consists of a thin layer of dough which is stretched into an oiled, square “Sicilian” pan, topped sparingly with shredded mozzarella, crushed uncooked canned tomatoes, chopped garlic and olive oil, and baked until the top bubbles and the bottom is crisp.
Global overview of pizza
During the latter half of the 20th century, pizza become a globally accessible dish, mainly due to Italian immigrants that had brought their dishes to new people with resounding success, often in racially and culturally resistive environments.
The usual Italian varieties are available, though more common is the style popular with more and richer topping than Italian style. A common unique type is the Aussie Pizza which has the usual tomato sauce base and mozzarella cheese with bacon and egg (seen as quintessentially Australian breakfast fare). Pizzas with seafood such as prawns are also popular. In the 1980s some Australian pizza shops and restaurants began selling “gourmet pizzas”, that is, pizzas with more expensive ingredients such2C to press and from the Greek p, tiger prawns, or unconventional toppings such as kangaroo, emu and Crocodile. “Wood-fired pizzas”, that is, those cooked in a ceramic oven heated by wood fuel, are well-regarded.
SĂŁo Paulo has 6,000 pizza establishments and 1.4 million pizzas are consumed daily. It is said that the first Brazilian pizzas were baked in the BrĂĄs district of SĂŁo Paulo in the early part of the 20th century. Until the 1950s, they were only found in the Italian communities. Since then, pizza became increasingly popular among the rest of the population. The most traditional pizzerias are still found in the Italian neighbourhoods, such as Bexiga (official name: Bela Vista). Both Neapolitan (thick crust) and Roman (thin crust) varieties are common in Brazil, with traditional versions using tomato sauce and mozzarella as a base. Brazilian pizza in general, though, tends to have little or no tomato sauce, or uses slices of tomato in place of sauce. Brazilian pizzerias offer also Brazilian variants such as “pizza comcatupiry”. July 10 is “Pizza Day” in SĂŁo Paulo, marking the final day of an annual competition among “pizzaiolos”. In Brazil, pizza quatro queijos (pizza quattro formaggi) uses mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and gorgonzola, and there is also a variety with five cheeses, which adds catupiry.
Pizza is an emerging fast food in Indian urban areas. With the arrival of branded pizza such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut in early to mid-1990s, it has reached almost all major cities in India by 2010. There are some domestic pizza brands such as Smokin’ Joes and Pop-Tates. Pizza outlets serve pizzas with several Indian-style toppings like Tandoori Chicken. Along with Indian variations, more conventional pizzas are also eaten. Pizzas available in India range from localised basic variants available in neighbourhood bakeries to gourmet pizzas with exotic and imported ingredients available at specialty Italian restaurants.
Many Israeli pizza stores and chains, including Pizza Hut and Sbarro, have both kosher and non-kosher locations. Kosher locations either have no meat or use imitation meat because of the Jewish religious dietary prohibition against mixing meat and dairy products, such as cheese. Kosher pizza locations must also close during the holiday of Passover, when no bread products other than matza are allowed in kosher locations. Some Israeli pizza differs from pizza in other countries because of the very large portions of vegetable toppings such as mushrooms or onions, and some unusual toppings, like corn or labane, and middle-Eastern spices, such as za’atar. Like most foods in Israel, pizza choices reflect multiple cultures.
American pizza chains entered Japan in the 1970s (e.g. Shakey’s Pizza and Pizza Hut 1973, Dominoâs pizza in 1985). The largest Japanese pizza chain is Pizza-La. Local types of pizza are popular, with many using mayonnaise sauces, and sometimes other ingredients such as corn, potatoes, avocado, eel, or even honey or chocolate (as in dessert). “Side orders” also often include items such as french fries, fried chicken, baked pasta, as well as vegetable soups, green salads, desserts, and soda or Japanese tea. There is also a strong connection to using Tabasco sauce on cooked pizzas.
Local crust variants also exist, for instance mochi pizza (crust made with Japanese mochi cakes). Traditional pizza served in Italian-style restaurants are also popular, and the most popular pizza chain promoting Italian style artisanal pizza is Salvatore Cuomo. The Italian association Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana also has an independent branch in Japan.
Manakish is a popular Lebanese food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can either be served for breakfast or lunch. The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqĆ«shah (from the root verb naqasha ‘to sculpt, carve out’), meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in.
Pizza is becoming more popular as a fast food in the urban areas of Nepal, particularly in the capital city, Kathmandu. There are a number of restaurants that serve pizzas in Kathmandu. With the opening of a number of international pizza brands, the popularity as well as consumption has markedly increased in recent times.
The first pizzerias opened up in Karachi and Islamabad in the late 1980s, with Pappasall is serving pizza in Islamabad since 1990. Pizza has gained a measure of popularity in the eastern regions of Pakistan â namely, the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, and Azad Kashmir, as well as the autonomous territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. Pizza has not penetrated into western Pakistan; of the remaining provinces and territories of Pakistan, only one (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) has seen much of the dish, in the form of a single Pizza Hut in Peshawar. In the regions where pizza is known, spicy chicken and sausage-based pizzas are very popular, as they cater to the local palate.
Pizza is a popular snack food in South Korea, especially among younger people. Major American brands such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s Pizza compete against domestic brands such as Mr. Pizza and Pizza Etang, offering traditional as well as local varieties which may include toppings such as Bulgogi and dak galbi. Korean-style pizza tends to be complicated, and often has non-traditional toppings such as corn, potato wedges, sweet potato, shrimp, or crab. The super-deluxe “Grand Prix” at Mr. Pizza has Cajun shrimp, bell peppers, olives, and mushrooms on one side, and potato wedges, bacon, crushed tortilla chips, and sour cream on the other side. Its potato mousse-filled cookie dough crust is sprinkled with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and raisins, and can be dipped in a blueberry sauce that is provided. Traditional Italian-style thin-crust pizza is served in the many Italian restaurants in Seoul and other major cities. North Korea’s first pizzeria opened in its capital Pyongyang in 2009.
Pizza arrived in Sweden with Italian guest workers and became popular around 1970. Swedish pizza is mainly of the Neapolitan type and most pizzerias in Sweden have pizzas Margherita, Capricciosa and Quattro Stagioni at the top of the menu, although with altered recipes. For example, a Swedish Margherita uses Swedish hard cheese instead of mozzarella and dried oregano instead of fresh basil. The Swedish pizza has been developed with lots of inventions and styles, creating a tradition distinct from the Italian one, although some names may coincide. Occasionally pizzerias offer “Italian pizza” imitating Italian recipes in addition to the Swedish ones. A typical Swedish pizzeria offers 40-50 different named varieties in the menu, even up to 100, and personal modifications are offered. Besides, many pizzerias also serve salads, lasagne, kebab and hamburgers, especially if there is a facility so sit and eat. Italian style restaurants often combine a restaurant menu with a pizza menu. Some popular varieties common in most of Sweden, mostly with the same name, all having tomato sauce and cheese to start with and additional toppings:
- Capricciosa – Mushrooms, ham
- Quattro Stagioni – Ham, shrimps, mussels, mushrooms, artichoke
- Vegetariana – Mushrooms, onion, pineapple, artichoke, asparagus, paprika
- Marinara – Mixed seafood, capers, yellow capsicum, fresh marjoram, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, black olives
- Frutti di mare – Tuna, shrimps, mussels
- Napolitana – Anchovies, olives, caper
- Hawaii – Ham, pineapple
- Ciao-ciao (folded) – Beef, garlic, onion
- Calzone (folded) – Ham
- Bolognese – Minced meat, onion, fresh tomato
- Africana – Ham/beef/chicken, banana, pineapple, onion, curry powder
- Kebab pizza – DĂ¶ner kebab, onion, green peperoni, kebab sauce poured over after baking
- Mexicana – Various recipes with minced beef, jalapeĂ±os, onion, spicy sauce and other hot ingredients
- Varieties with filet of beef or pork and sauce BĂ©arnaise and onion
One of the most popular types of pizza in Sweden since the 1990s is kebab-pizza, and a song in the Swedish Eurovision song contest 2008 was “Kebabpizza slivovitza”. The invention ought to be a result of the common tendency of pizza bakers to create their own flagship compositions and novel flavours, using whatever might be available in their kitchen. Since the last years one can find pizza with fresh lettuce or chips (French fries) put on top after baking. The amount of topping compared to the crust is rather high in international comparison. The typical side order with Swedish pizza is a free Pizza Salad, made with shredded cabbage, coarse pepper and sometimes red paprika, slightly pickled (fermented) in vinaigrette for a few days. In general, Swedish pizzerias are private enterprises and not franchise, often owned as a family business by immigrants, but very seldom Italians. Of international restaurant chains only Pizza Hut is well established, although Vapiano has a few restaurants in Stockholm and Domino’s have been trying to establish in southern Sweden since 2008. Many pizzerias offer affordable (about 1-2 âŹ total, or free with large order) home delivery in less than 30 minutes and many are connected to an on-line ordering service. The take-away price of one standard size (30 cm) pizza is 5 to 8 âŹ depending on topping, about the double for a “family pizza” of double size (weight), and about the half for a “children’s pizza” (mostly served in restaurants). Pizza has become a staple food in Sweden (1,1 kg/year), although most people prepare their own food, as home cooking skills generally are good, and is largely considered as an acceptable occasional fast food alternative to a proper meal. .
Refer to : Pizza in the United States
In 1905, the first pizza establishment in the United States was opened in New York’s Little Italy. Due to the wide influence of Italian immigrants in American culture, the US has developed regional forms of pizza, some bearing only a casual resemblance to the Italian original. Chicago has its own style of a deep-dish pizza. Detroit also has its unique twice-baked style, with cheese all the way to the edge of the crust, and New York City has its own distinct variety of pizza. New Haven-style pizza is a thin crust variety that does not include cheese unless the customer asks for it as an additional topping.
Pizza is available frozen, as round traditional pizzas or in portion size pieces. Methods have been developed to overcome challenges such as preventing the sauce from combining with the dough and producing a crust that can be frozen and reheated without becoming rigid. Modified corn starch is commonly used as a moisture barrier between the sauce and crust. Traditionally the dough is partially baked and other ingredients are also sometimes precooked. There are frozen pizzas with raw ingredients and self-rising crusts. A form of uncooked pizza is available from take and bake pizzerias. This pizza is created fresh using raw ingredients, then sold to customers to bake in their own ovens or microwave ovens. Another approach is using a fresh dough, sold with sauce and basic ingredients, to complete before baking in oven.