Jazz, baseball, and comic books are all, at their cores, American. And now, the new addition to things All-American is pizza. Pizza originates outside the physical confines of the states’ borders, but with more than 30 million ways to customize a pie in the US, America has made it its own. Americans spend about $30 billion yearly on pizza. America consumes 350 slices of it every second. Americans eat an average of 23 pounds of the cheesy, saucy pies per year. If regarded as a gross domestic product, it would rank into the world’s top 100 GDPs — we as Americans are obsessed with pizza! Who can we thank for the nation’s most popular food? Pizza history and its exact origins are unclear, but the word, ‘picea’ which was used to describe a round, flat piece of dough dressed with toppings before being baked, was first documented in the Italian city of Gaeta in 997 CE.
After that, nothing about pizza history was recorded until Neapolitan restaurant Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba opened its doors in 1738, filling its patrons with a variation of today’s Magherita pizza. But pizza history wasn’t markedly placed into remembrance until 1889 when Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni visited Naples and tried the then strictly peasant-meal. When she returned home, she ordered a chef, Raffaele Esposito of Naples, to bake flatbread pies consisting of tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese, and basil for her and the king.
Modern pizza history and Earth, Wind & Flour’s place in it:
Pizza history becomes clearer at the turn of the 20th century. In Manhattan’s Little Italy, Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi introduced the US to pizza with his pizzeria, Lombardi’s. Shortly after, an employee of Lombardi’s left the restaurant and opened up his own pizzeria called Totonno’s. The first pizza chains opened that are still in operation today are Shakey’s, whom opened in 1954 in Sacramento, California followed by Pizza Hut, whom opened in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas.
In 1981, we opened our doors and began serving pizza and Californian Italian food. Stop by today and try our reliably delicious Classic pepperoni and mushroom pizza, or customize your pie from the 25 toppings offered. More importantly, we have an open invitation to classrooms of kindergarteners and first graders to come to our restaurant to learn about the industry, and at the end of the day, make their own pizza.