February 9 is National Pizza Day

February 9 is National Pizza Day

Feb 09, 2021Donatella Mulvoni

Let's celebrate one of America's and Italy's all-time favorite foods. Is National Pizza Day! Use #NationalPizzaDay to post on social media your favorite pizza.

When happiness comes in a round shape

It is one of the world's most popular foods. Pizza is not just another Italian delicatessen; it is a way of life! Who can live without pizza? The answer is simple: nobody! Jeffrey Miller, associate professor of hospitality management at Colorado State University, writes in the Washington Post: "There's a reason pizza is so popular. Humans are drawn to foods that are fatty, sweet, rich, and complex. Pizza has all of these components. Cheese is fatty, meat toppings tend to be rich, and the sauce is sweet." Just remember this great simple truth: money cannot buy happiness, but you can spend your money on pizza, a real tasty bite of happiness!

Raise your hand if you feel entirely addicted to pizza

Pizza – do you believe it? - is the number one 'addictive' food. As CNN reports, "In a recent study, pizza was ranked as the food most associated with symptoms of addiction, according to the Yale Food Addiction Scale, a tool that assesses the diagnostic criteria for substance-use disorders in reference to highly processed foods." Erica M. Schulte - a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan – is the study's author. According to this research, "The psychological response to pizza's ingredient combinations is partially explained by the fact that highly processed foods like pizza, with added amounts of fat, refined carbohydrates, and salt, are most associated with behavioral indicators of addiction, such as loss of control over consumption, cravings and continued consumption despite negative consequences." I don't know about you, but we are completely addicted to our beloved pizza!

Fun facts about pizza

The word originates from the ancient Latin word "pinsa," literally "flatbread."
The US's most popular choice is pepperoni pizza; it represents almost 40% of all slices ordered. Here is some more data. In this country, 350 slices are eaten every second! Yes, so many! Forty percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a week. Brace yourselves: Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year! It is much pizza!!! Pizza is indeed a colossal business; over 4 billion pizzas (baked and frozen) are sold in the US every year. Also, 17% of all restaurants in the US are pizzerias.

From Italy to the US…and the world!

Pizza came into existence in Italy around the 18th century. The first pizzeria was Antica Pizzeria. It opened in Naples in 1738. Pizza's simple ingredients are also so romantically patriotic: dough (white), tomato sauce (red), cheese, and basil (green) are the colors representing the Italian flag! Today we have Neapolitan, Roman, Sicilian, Bianca, Al Taglio, Fritta, Calzone…Remember that Italian cuisine is strongly regional, so that you will find significant variations between North and South. So, pizza in Rome is entirely different from pizza in Naples. In the US, the first pizzeria was opened by the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Gennaro Lombardi in New York. It was 1895. 

Italian or American?

Someone called this atavistic issue the elephant in the room when it comes to pizza on American soil: Italian pizza or American pizza; which one is better, which one is tastier? It is an impossible question to answer. They're two different philosophies, for sure. Whatever pizza you prefer, enjoy it to the fullest! It is one of life's most authentic pleasures!

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