Need an excuse to eat more pizza? Of course you do! In that case, you might want to set a calendar reminder for September 5th, because that’s National Cheese Pizza Day.
Sure, we all like pizzas with lots of toppings, but this is a day to honor a humble classic, the plain cheese pizza, in all its savory, saucy, stretchy glory.
Pizza is pretty popular, and here's the proof:
People have been putting yummy ingredients on flattened dough and baking it since the Neolithic age, but we can thank the Byzantine Greeks for the name we use today. They called it πίτα, or pita, which translates simply to “pie.” The first recorded use of the word "pizza" in Italy was found in texts from 997 AD, in which a baker promised to pay a fee of 24 pizzas per year to the bishop.
You won’t find pre-sliced circular pies with an endless selection of toppings in Italy. Pizza is either served whole at a restaurant and eaten with a knife and fork, or you can order it from a pizzeria, where it’s cut into squares from a large tray and served to go. This is known as pizza al taglio, or pizza by the slice.
In the states, many places proudly sport their own styles of this enduring favorite. New York-style pizza has a flexible, thin crust that’s easily foldable to eat on the go. It was developed by immigrants from Naples, Italy. Chicago-style pizza is typically deep-dish or has a stuffed crust. Greek pizza is cooked with oil in a metal pan and has a bubbly puffed-up crust. If a restaurant is called a “House of Pizza,” they serve this style.
Pizza is so universally popular that countries all over the globe have developed their own take on it to suit local tastes.
The first-ever pizza delivery went to the doorstep of Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889. In those days, Italian nobles turned their noses up at pizza because it was considered peasant food. On a visit to Naples, however, the queen grew sick of rich dishes and wanted to sample some simple local comfort food. So, Tavern owner Raffaele Esposito made a patriotic pizza for her using the colors of the Italian flag: red tomato sauce, white mozzarella, and green basil. Queen Margherita loved it so much that they named it after her.
Can you top this?
For a cool $12,000, you can order the “Louis XIII Pizza” created by master chef Renata Viola in Salerno, Italy. Unsurprisingly, it's the most expensive pizza in the world. Despite being less than 8 inches in diameter, it takes almost 72 hours to make from start to finish. Toppings include Australian pink salt, mantis shrimp, lobster, and three kinds of caviar.
Everyone knows the best way to celebrate cheese pizza day is to eat cheese pizza! Whether you go frozen, delivery, or made from scratch, here are a few sneaky ways to take your cheese pizza to the next level.