Each year on the third Friday in May, millions of pizza lovers across the nation join in extolling the qualities of pizza on National Pizza Party Day. Celebrate by inviting friends and family to share a night of fun at your favorite pizzeria. Another way to celebrate is with a homemade pizza with fresh toppings or by having one delivered.
- The modern pizza had its beginning in Italy as the Neapolitan flatbread.
- The original pizza used only mozzarella cheese, mainly the highest quality buffalo mozzarella variant which was produced in the surroundings of Naples.
- It was estimated that the annual production of pizza cheese in the United States in 1997 was 2 billion pounds.
- According to the USDA, nearly 1 out of every 8 Americans consume pizza on any given day.
- Americans order 350 slices of pizza every second.
- There are 70,000 pizzerias in the U.S.—over 17% of all restaurants.
- Pizza was essentially considered a vegetable in 2011 by the United States government. This came as a result of a regulation that stated school meals that are subsidized by the government must contain a certain portion of vegetables. One serving of pizza that contains about two tablespoons of tomato sauce actually meets the government’s vegetable requirements.
- The first American cities to start selling pizza were New York, Boston, New Haven, Conn., and Trenton, N.J. All four of these cities had an influx of Southern Italian immigrants around the turn of the century.
- At first, pizzas were sold exclusively by the pie. But in 1933, Patsy Lancieri (of Patsy’s Pizzeria in New York City) started selling pizza by the slice—a trend that was quickly picked up by other pizzerias.
- The first pizza ordered by computer happened in 1974: The Artificial Language Laboratory at Michigan State needed to test out its new “speaking computer,” so they used it to order a pepperoni, mushroom, ham, and sausage pizza from a local pizza joint.
- When pizza chefs around the world need help with their recipes, they turn to “Dough Doctor” Tom Lehmann. Lehmann, who lives in Manhattan, Kansas, is a pizza expert who’s been working with the American Institute of Baking since 1967. One of the biggest challenges he’s faced? Low-carb dough requests during the height of the Atkins diet craze.
- There’s a pizza museum in Philadelphia called Pizza Brain that is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia.
- Pizza Hut became the first restaurant to deliver a pizza to space when it rocketed a pizza to astronaut Yuri Usachov at the International Space Station. The pizza was topped with extra spices (since tastebuds are dulled in space) and salami, so it wouldn‘t mold.