When we at the diner began talking up pies, I wasn't thinking apple, pumpkin or pecan but...PIZZA!
That's right! Pizza besides being delish and nutrish has been around in one incarnation or another for a very long time. Although associated with Italy,you can trace it's roots back to Greece and even further. But the more modern version of this ancient food dates back to 1889 when Queen Margherita toured her country and saw locals Napolitanos (people from the city of Naples) munching down the local cuisine of flat bread rubbed with olive oil and herbs. When the queen requested a taste, she loved it! And who wouldn't?
Local pizza chef, Rafaelle Esposito, was summoned to court where he concocted the first "modern" pizza, topping the dough with tomatoes, mozerella cheese and basil leaves representing the colors of the Italian flag. Brava! Fantastica!
Pizza migrated to the new world with great immigration of Italians who entered this country at the turn of the 20th century but the foodstuff entered the American culture after World War II. All those hungry American soldiers who brought their stomachs to Italy when they liberated it, brought back to America their yearning for pizza.
Today, on average, Americans eat 23 lbs of pizza per person, per year. That's a lotta Pizza! Pizza! There is even a National Pizza Day celebrated on February 9th. In my town, Valentine's Day is a huge pizza day where a local pizzeria offers a balloon and heart-shaped pies to patrons.
So, are you a thick or thin crust lover? Meat or veggie? Regular or white?