For millions of people all over the world, pizza is likely to be one of the tastiest treats on the menu. Diverse, easy to make and even easier to cook, it’s an Italian dish which has grown into a dinner and lunchtime staple.
There are lots of ways to make pizza, and you can even make it super-healthy if you want! Eaten by the slice, there are plenty of fun facts about pizza to serve, so without further ado, let’s get started!
The Super Bowl in the USA is a huge deal for pizza houses. In fact, Pizza Hut reports that they sell around two million pizzas every year, just during the football match alone.
Pizza has been a staple of European food and culture for centuries. It’s thought that the first pizzeria of its kind in the world dates back to the late 19th Century, in Naples, Italy.
Pizza itself, of course, dates back even further. Historic texts appear to refer to the dish emerging in Italy around the turn of the second century!
It’s actually thought that pizza has stronger origins in Greece than it does in Italy, thanks to evidence that suggests Greek people used to bake bread and top it with oil and vegetables.
However, the famous ‘deep dish’ pizza trend you see across the UK and US started in Chicago. In 1943, Pizzeria Uno’s original owners debuted a style of pizza with high sides and curves.
As you’ll likely know, plenty of pizza topping is made up from cheese. This is to such an extent that, according to figures, US pizza eaters have driven up cheese sales and intake in the county by 41% since the mid-90s.
It’s thought that eating pizza once a week could help to prevent you from developing oesophageal cancer.
There’s a law in Italy that defines whether or not a pizza can be considered as authentic and traditional to the country. This is based on ingredients, toppings, and the way it is prepared. It’s safe to say that Italy cares very deeply about its pizza on the whole!
Different countries and communities have different ways of serving pizza. Thanks to its flexible format – bread, sauce and cheese – you can throw almost anything you like on top! In Japan, for example, it is common to eat pizza with squid and mayonnaise!
It’s possible to get a pizza delivery up in space, or at least it was on the one occasion the International Space Station ordered the dish in 2001. Pizza Hut fulfilled the order.
It’s thought that the American love for pizza has also helped to drive up the pepperoni trade no end. Around 251 million lbs worth of pepperoni are consumed each year, just in the States alone!
When it comes to crusts, US pizza lovers actually prefer to go thin-base. Around 61% of pizza eaters stateside prefer their dishes this way. It’s actually a really good choice if you want to cut down on the calories served in pizza, as a lot of it will come from its intensive carbohydrate.
There’s actually a lot more to the art of making and baking pizza than you think. This is to such an extent that you’ll find pizza makers have their own secret code and language! It’s not so secret any more, of course, but if you want to start learning how to make pizza for real, you’re likely going to need to brush up on your lingo!
You might not think it, but pizza is an amazing source of protein. While toppings may vary, it’s thought that the average slice of pizza is likely to host up to 25% protein. That’s mainly thanks to the cheese, of course!
If you think Hawaiian pizza is so-called because it originates from the state, you’d be wrong. It doesn’t have any kind of connection to Hawaii at all – in fact, ham and pineapple pizza was invented in Canada!
The US loves pizza so much that it actually dedicates an entire month in its honour. Travel to the States in October, and you’ll be able to take part in National Pizza Month.
Domino’s Pizza is one of the most popular chain pizzerias in the world. In fact, they boast an apparent potential for up to 34 million different pizza combinations, thanks to the sheer number of toppings they serve.
Pepperoni makes up around 36% of pizza orders – there’s no wonder the US goes through so much each year!
If you eat pizza in Brazil, you are likely going to find plenty of options packed with corn and peas.
However, pizzas aren’t traditionally meant to be circular or round. In Italy, they started out square. Pizza purists and traditionalists will likely still argue that this is the one true way to serve and enjoy the dish!
Spinning pizza dough looks like a lot of fun, but there’s definitely an art and a skill behind it. Chefs will spin dough carefully to ensure that they get the perfect balance in the crust and in the base. It’s become so much of an art form that there are competitions and contests out there to see who’s the best!
The Scottish always have an intriguing way to add their own twists to cuisine, and one of their perhaps least palatable options is – at least on the surface – deep fried pizza. That’s right – as well as being able to munch on a deep-fried Mars bar at a Scottish fishery, you might be able to ask for your pizza to get dunked in oil, too.
Ordering a pizza online seems to be a relatively modern phenomenon. However, Pizza Hut have supposedly been offering online pizza services since the 90s.
However, a computer pizza ordering test actually took place as far back as 1974! It was at Michigan State University where engineers were working to create a talking computer. They used it to speak out a pizza order down the phone to a local pizzeria!
It’s thought that around 10% of all food sales in the US come from pizza alone.
If there’s one day a year when Americans don’t eat pizza – or when it’s devoured the least – it’s Thanksgiving. Therefore, this is one time of year pizzerias and delivery companies have to work particularly hard!
There are many different ways in which you can reduce the number of calories you eat in a pizza. Believe it or not, yes – blotting some of the grease off a pizza will help. Therefore, get ready to grab some kitchen roll the next time you order in.
How popular is pizza in the US? So much so, it’s likely to turn over $30 billion each year. Make no mistake – a lot of Americans would miss the dish if it disappeared overnight.
Vegetarian pizza options are popular with millions of people, but it seems women are more likely to order these toppings than men – twice as likely, in fact!
There’s a world-record pizza holder, and his name is Christian Dumitru. He’s reportedly eaten over 200lbs of the stuff.
You can top your pizza with all kinds of things – in fact, the limit only really stops with your imagination. For inspiration, you are likely to find popular ‘alternative’ toppings in the form of aubergine, prawns, baked beans and more besides. If you can top a pizza with it, it’s likely there is an option for it.
Mozzarella tends to be the cheese of choice when making any kind of pizza, to the extent that there are studies confirming it’s the best cheese for these recipes.
Philadelphia, US, has its own pizza museum. It’s called Pizza Brain, and it’s dedicated to the incredible array of different memorabilia and merchandising that surrounds the saucy, cheesy treat.
There’s also a pizza convention which is held in Las Vegas every year. It’s here where you can take part in the International Pizza Expo, and find out more about different toppings, tastes and more besides.
The most popular day of the week to eat pizza is – unsurprisingly – a Saturday, when it’s likely most people will be tucking into takeaway food!
There is a pizza out there which has been called the most extravagant on the planet. You’ll find it on sale at Nino’s Bellissima restaurant in New York. You’ll find that the luxury pizza here costs $1,000 per pie, and that’s thanks to the fact it comes crammed with chives, lobster, and six different twists of caviar – as well as crème fraiche. It’s safe to say there are probably no other pizzas that come close to being quite this luxurious!
Many people enjoy eating eggs on pizza, too! It’s a common staple in many chain pizzerias in the UK, but it’s actually more of a common topping in Australian pizzerias. You’d find egg as an option alongside plenty of regular toppings, such as pepperoni and extra cheese!
Cambodia has a fairly interesting way of cooking pizza, to say the least. Head out East and you might just find that you can buy pizza which is cooked in marijuana! It’s called the ‘happy pizza’, but proceed with caution!
NASA created their own 3D-printed pizza oven which allows them to create a fresh dish in just over a minute. Not bad to have up at the International Space Station in a pinch!
Many American citizens will be aware of the Chuck E Cheese pizza company – a popular chain of kids’ pizza restaurants. However, the chain was first set up not to sell pizza, but to encourage kids to play video games and to buy consoles. That’s because Chuck E Cheese was created by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.
There’s a restaurant in Alaska which will deliver pizza to you by airplane!
Pizza has found its way into a variety of products looking to flavour themselves after the dish. For example, it’s perfectly possible to find pizza-flavoured vapes and e-cigarettes, and even beer and ice cream.
Domino’s Pizza once ran a pizza-ology degree certification. Only three people have ever graduated from the Domino’s College of Pizza-ology, and one of those is Tom Monaghan, who owns and runs the brand!
Around 17% of all restaurants in the US are pizzerias.
You’re also likely to tuck into pizza if you travel to India. However, here, the toppings may raise a few eyebrows if you’ve never sampled the local cuisine before! You can sample pizza here which is topped with pickled ginger and tofu. As we’ve already stated – if it’s edible, you can probably go ahead and top your pizza with it, it’s your choice!
There’s an internal build to a pizza that chefs will refer to as its crumb. Pizza crumb is something that many chefs strive to get just right, and if you study to become a fully-fledged pizza chef, it’s likely you are going to need to focus on the crumb.
But what makes the best crumb? That all depends on who you speak to. However, light and airy with plenty of holes seems to be a firm favourite amongst connoisseurs!
Pizza Hut might already be one of the most popular brands on the planet for the dish, but they actively wanted to engrave their logo onto the Moon’s surface, too. Plans for this fell through when it emerged they’d need to create an image thousands and thousands of miles wide.
Think pineapple on pizza is a strange choice? Take a look at a pizzeria out in Costa Rica, where you’ll be able to tuck into a slice or two of coconut pizza.
The biggest pizza ever made was a whopper – it supposedly weighed more than 50,000lbs, and had a diameter of around 131 feet in length! Better grab the cutter and start sharing!
Before you tuck into your next slice, make sure to check out the following nutrition facts of pizza – which might well help you to plan your meals for the foreseeable future!
Generally, the number of calories you can expect from each slice of pizza will vary. That’s because it all depends on the cheese you use, the toppings you put on, and how deep your crust is. However, you can expect most pizza to be high in fat and carbohydrates.
Pizza likely to contain the most calories are those topped with pepperoni and other meats. In fact, some of the healthiest meat you can put on a pizza include chorizo, a Spanish alternative to pepperoni, and chicken.
Pizza can be a fantastic source of vegetables. If you are struggling to cram your greens into your diet, then it makes sense to pile it high with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and more.
In fact, a great way you can make pizza healthier is to cut down on the cheese. Just 50% less cheese on your pizza, melted, is still likely to give you enough to bite into!
There have also been moves to switch dough bases completely for veggie-based crusts instead. These could be made of spinach, cauliflower or beetroot, for example.
Pizza tends to be unhealthy when it is loaded with grease and oil. The pizza you will buy from a fast food restaurant or through a takeaway, for example, is likely to be the greasiest and most fattening. Therefore, you may wish to dab some of the grease off with some kitchen roll, to buy a smaller size in pizza, or just to buy in from the supermarket instead!
Eating a ready-made pizza every day? You’ll soon be piling on the pounds. A study found that those people who ate more than 70g of pizza and other ready-made foods a day were likely to have more belly fat. However, this may not apply if you make a few healthy substitutions.
If you really can’t be without that delicious bread crust, however, you can replace it with a whole-wheat alternative. This is likely to save you calories, and increase your fibre intake, too.
Believe it or not, crust thickness contributes more than 100 calories extra per slice of pizza. By switching to thin crust, you could save a quarter to a third of calories you’d expect per slice.
There is also plenty of calories in the sauce. Tomato sauce doesn’t tend to be high in calories or particularly bad for you. However, avoid olive oils and pestos, for example, if you want to really go for a healthy option.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about pizza that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!