HAPPY NATIONAL PIZZA DAY!
To celebrate, grab your favorite frozen pizza, order out, or maybe make your own at home with the family!
Happy National Pizza Day! Pizza is easily one of America's favorite foods. We as a nation consume eat 3 billion pizzas per year, for a total of $38 billion spent by Americans annually on pizza. The average American eats 40 pizzas a year. But how did this dish become the food of choice for millions of people across the country? Well, to figure that out, we need to go thousands of years back to southwestern Italy.
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. Naples was founded in 600 B.C. as a Greek settlement, and by the 1700s it was a thriving waterfront city. Naples became notorious for its multitudes of the poor class citizens, or "lazzaroni" as they were called. They required inexpensive food that could be eaten quickly. Pizza became the food of choice, and was sometimes eaten at every meal of the day. The earliest pizzas were compiled with simple yet delicious toppings, such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, garlic and anchovies. The jury is still out on anchovies, but you get the picture.
In the 1900s, pizza finally began to creep across the sea. Italian immigrants came to the United States and began replicating their signature pizzas in New York, Chicago, and other American cities. Originally, they came for factory jobs, but accidently made a culinary statement. According to a 2009 response published in a column on Serious Eats, the first printed reference to "pizza" served in the US is a 1904 article in The Boston Journal. Giovanni and Gennaro Bruno came to America from Naples, Italy, in 1903 and introduced the Neapolitan pizza to Boston. Later, Vincent Bruno (Giovanni's son) went on to open the first pizzeria in Chicago.
Today, pizza is easily one of the most popular foods in the U.S. A survey compiled by National Today asked 1,000 people if they liked pizza, 98% of the respondents answered yes. I'd definitely answer yes as well! Pizza has been my personal favorite for some time now, and you can bet that I'll be celebrating this national pizza day by enjoying a slice! If you're interested, check out these pizza statistics below about American pizza habits.
Pizza by the numbers:
By the slice:
Americans eat an average of 46 slices of pizza per year (packaged facts, New York). This amounts to 23 pounds of pizza per year.
Americans eat 350 slices of pizza per second
By the pie:
Americans eat 3 billion pizzas per year, for a total of $38 billion spent by Americans annually on pizza
The average American eats 40 pizzas a year
Over a lifetime
The average American will eat 6,000 slices of pizza, according to one national chain’s survey
If you do some math here, that breaks down to an average of eight slices a month, every month of your life
Every day, 13% of the population eats some form of pizza
In the US, a whopping 17% of restaurants are pizzerias (Food Industry News)
New York City has 9,000 pizzerias
And the country as a whole has 70,000 (Pizza Today)