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In Pizza, We Crust

Will you be celebrating today as we celebrate National Pizza Day!? It’s hard to imagine that before World War II, pizza was little known outside of Italy or Italian immigrant communities. This cheesy disc went from a niche cultural meal to the star of the show anywhere it turns up! Let’s hear it for pizza!

Though flatbreads with toppings were consumed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, the modern birthplace of the pizza is southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to Naples. Founded around 600 BC as a Greek settlement, Naples in the 1700s and early 1800s was a thriving waterfront city. Technically an independent kingdom, it was notorious for its throngs of working poor, or lazzaroni. These Neapolitans required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza — flatbreads with toppings that can be eaten for every meal — fulfilled this need. These early pizzas featured tasty toppings such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies, and garlic. More well off Italian authors judged Naples’ innovation, often calling their eating habits disgusting.

In 1861, Italy finally unified, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend says that the traveling pair became bored with their steady diet of French cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed the most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with the soft white cheese, red tomatoes, and green basil — much resembling the Italian flag. Since then, this particular choice of toppings has been dubbed the Margherita pizza.

However, even with the Queen’s love for the dish, pizza would remain little known in Italy beyond Naples’ borders until the 1940s. Across the sea, immigrants to the United States from Naples were replicating their flatbreads in New York and other American cities. They were coming for factory jobs, but accidentally made a culinary statement. Relatively quickly, the flavors and aromas of pizza began to intrigue non-Neapolitans and non-Italians alike.

According to a 2020 survey, 3% of Americans would rather eat pizza than have a boyfriend or girlfriend. The response among females was slightly higher—4% would rather eat pizza than have a boyfriend, compared to 3% of males who say the same.

#1: Pizza Hut (31%)
#2: Papa John’s (22%)
#3: Domino’s (17%)
#4: Papa Murphy’s (10%)
#5: Little Caesar’s (8%)
#6: Sbarro (3%)
#7: Cici’s Pizza (2.8%)
#8: California Pizza Kitchen (2.8%)
#9: Round Table (2.6%)
#10: Chuck E. Cheese’s (1%)

**Chef Mike, maybe we need to start having pizza night at Tom Foolery’s? Who is in??

#1: Pizza ranks the #2 most popular fast food in America behind hamburgers. (43% of Americans rank pizza as their favorite.)
#2: Pizza is my favorite food. (18%)
#3: I like to have a glass of wine with my pizza. (10%)
#4: My idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day is sharing a pizza. (9%)
#5: I don’t like pizza. (2%)


350 slices
That’s how many slices of pizza are sold in the U.S. every second. Roughly 120 of those slices per second are delivered to the National Today offices.

17% are pizzerias
17% of all restaurants in the U.S. are pizzerias and more than 10% of those are located in New York City.

251.7 million pounds
This is how many pounds of pepperoni are consumed in the U.S. every year. Most of which ends up on a pizza.


  1. Pizza Paar-tay!

    I mean, why mess with a good thing? No matter what age you are, the words “pizza party” are guaranteed to delight and put a smile on everyone’s face.

  2. Dare to Pizza All the Time

    Pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Yes—that is the kind of perfect world we live in today. Crack an egg on it in the morning. Toss that salad on top for lunch. And why not go for the meat-lovers’ dinner?

  3. Rediscover Pizza For the First Time

    Chances are, you know your perfect slice down to the finest details. (Mine includes corn, pasilla chiles and feta cheese). But why not break out of the routine on National Pizza Day? We know you’ve been curious about that artichoke pesto pie at the place around the corner.


  1. 350 slices eaten each second

    As one of the most popular foods in America, approximately 350 slices of pizza are consumed by Americans every second.

  2. Pass the Pizza

    During the Super Bowl, more than 2 million pizzas are sold by franchise Pizza Hut.

  3. Lombardi’s Pizzeria

    Lombardi’s was America’s first pizzeria, with its outlet in New York

  4. Pizza makes up a part of your daily nutritional value.

    A standard serving of pizza makes up half of the dietary requirement of Lycopene.

  5. Most expensive Pizza in the world

    The world’s most expensive pizza named ‘Louis XIII,’ is prepared by Chef Renato Viola at this gourmet pizzeria in Italy.


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