A slice of history… everything you need to know about pizza


February 9 is World Pizza Day, a global celebration of one of the world’s most beloved foods.

Cheesy, doughy, and topped with delicious ingredients, pizza is one of the world’s most recognised foods. In Australia, we consume a whopping 264 million* pizzas every year and while that’s certainly a lot of dough, the country taking out first place for the most pizza consumed each year is, surprisingly, Norway.

Norwegians eat the highest amount of pizza each year per capita with individuals consuming approximately 5 kgs of pizza in 12 months, Mamamia!

The history of this international food favourite is as rich as the tomato paste often used on its base (or BBQ if you aren’t a pizza purist). Pizza wasn’t so much invented as it was an evolution from the food-topped flatbreads eaten in ancient Greece, Rome, Persia, and Egypt. Pizza as we know it today was first served in Naples in the 18th century by street vendors trying to fill the bellies of the many starving peasants migrating to Naples from the countryside. By the late 1800s, the world’s first documented pizzeria had opened in Naples, Antica Pizzeria.

Pizza didn’t become the national sensation it is today until the 1940s when hundreds of thousands of Europeans immigrated to Australia after the Second World War. This rich history is an important part of Australian culture today, with approximately 171,520 Australian residents having been born in Italy (according to the 2021 Australian census).

So, grab a slice and shout “salute”!

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