National Pizza Day
February 9th is National Pizza Day! Whether you prefer it the Italian way with a thin crust, deep dish, or Chicago style, no one can resist a slice of cheesy pizza, so it's no wonder this is one of the world's most popular food holidays. With all the different possibilities there are for toppings, pizza is a food that anyone can enjoy. It is foolproof party food, it brings people together, and it is also the perfect comfort food to enjoy on the sofa. Impossible to resist! And on this day, everyone has the perfect excuse to enjoy their favorite pizza.
Pizza is so popular that there are countless holidays to celebrate it. In America there is National Deep Dish Pizza Day on April 5, National Pizza Party Day on May 15, National Pepperoni Pizza Day on September 20, and International Beer and Pizza Day on October 9, among many others.
It is not clear who or when National Pizza Day was created, but like many food holidays it probably originated naturally and then grew in popularity.
The history of pizza, however, and how it arrived in the United States is extensively recorded.
A Slice of History on National Pizza Day
In ancient times, people in Rome, Egypt and Greece would eat flatbreads with various toppings. At that time, the flatbreads resembled modern focaccia more than pizza, but the origins of pizza can be traced all the way back to those flatbreads. flatbreads with different toppings on them. At that time, the flatbreads resembled modern focaccia more than pizza, but the origins of pizza can be traced all the way back to those flatbreads.
Pizza as we know it today originates from the Italian city of Naples, in the Campania region. During the 18th and 19th century, Naples was a densely populated city, which meant that there was a high population of working-class and poor people, who could only afford to eat food that was inexpensive and quick to eat. Pizza was invented to satisfy these needs - flatbreads were cheap and easy to make, and they would top them with cheese, tomatoes, garlic and oil. flatbreads were cheap and easy to make, and they would top them with cheese, tomatoes, garlic and oil.
In 1889, the Italian King and Queen (Margherita of Savoyeen) visited Naples and, tired of eating bland French food, sat for an assortment of pizzas from Pizzeria Brandi. They enjoyed it so much that the popularity of pizza rose all around Italy. The Queen's favorite pizza was one topped with mozzarella, tomato and basil, which we know today as Pizza Margherita, named after the Queen.
Pizza in the United States
During the 19th century, the United States saw a big wave of immigration coming in from Italy. Immigrants from Naples brought over their pizzas, first to New York, then gradually to other cities such as Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. Pizza flavors quickly won Americans' hearts, and the first pizzeria of the United States, G. Lombardi's, opened in New York's Little Italy in 1905.
However, it wasn't until after World War II that pizza exploded in the United States, becoming one of the most popular and favorite foods in America. Soldiers who had fought the war in Italy developed a taste for the dish, and Italian-Americans began spreading across the country, from cities to suburbs. Pizza boomed in the United States, and was now seen as a fun and delicious food, and no longer an "ethnic" treat. Funnily enough, pizza only became Italy's national food after it became popular in America.
Although of Italian origins, pizza is now a staple of American food, with many variations having been invented in different American cities. There is deep-dish, stuffed pizza, pockets and turnovers, and grilled pizza. There is also an ongoing argument about which American city offers the best slice of pizza.
According to some surveys, Americans' pizza toppings of choice are cheese, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and bacon.
Fun Facts to 'Dough-light' You!
- Busiest Pizza Day: Super Bowl Sunday is one of the busiest days for pizza delivery in the United States. Many people prefer to enjoy pizza while watching the game.
- Largest Pizza: The largest pizza ever made was created in Rome in 2012. It measured over 13,580 square feet and used 19,800 pounds of flour.
- Pizza in Space: In 2001, Pizza Hut became the first company to deliver pizza to space. They sent a pizza to the International Space Station.
- Pizza Emoji: In 2017, the Unicode Consortium officially introduced the pizza emoji ????, reflecting its cultural significance in the digital age.
- World Pizza Championships: The World Pizza Championships are held annually in Italy, featuring competitions like "Fastest Pizza Maker" and "Best Pizza Napoletana."
How to Celebrate National Pizza Day
This is the best thing about National Pizza Day: you celebrate it by eating it!
- Many of our favorite pizza places such as Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's offer National Pizza Day deals and discounts! Take advantage of it and order some takeaway pizza. You can throw a pizza party with all your friends, or enjoy your favorite pizza on the sofa while watching a movie or playing video games.
- Want to treat yourself to some fancy pizza? Use National Pizza Day as an excuse to try that Italian restaurant you've been eyeing up.
Give Pizza Making a Go!
If you're a bit of a chef and enjoy cooking, try making a pizza from scratch on National Pizza Day. Make the dough and choose the toppings and you'll have a pizza that is completely tailored to you!:
1. Prepare the Pizza Dough:
- In a bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
- Mix the ingredients until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
2. Prepare the Pizza Sauce:
- In a bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
3. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can go, usually around 475-500°F (245-260°C).
4. Assemble the Pizza:
- Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness.
- Transfer the rolled-out dough to a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
- Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Arrange slices of fresh mozzarella on top of the sauce.
- Add fresh basil leaves.
5. Bake the Pizza:
- Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Finish and Serve:
- Remove the pizza from the oven, drizzle with olive oil, and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
- Enjoy your homemade Margherita pizza!
Feel free to customize the toppings and get creative with your pizza. Enjoy your delicious homemade creation!
Hungry for more information? Read about National Fast Food Day next.
National Pizza Day - Next years
Sunday, 09 February 2025
Monday, 09 February 2026
Tuesday, 09 February 2027