Pizza might not be an American dish, but our obsession with it is almost as American as apple pie and hamburgers. So how did a dish whose origins date back to 17th century flatbread dishes from Italy become such a staple of the American diet?
First let’s look at some interesting pizza facts:
- Pizza is the Italian term for pie.
- Bakers from Naples Italy were the first to prepare a dish they called ‘pizza’ back in the 1600s (and they based their recipes on Greek dishes dating back centuries more).
- The pizza was considered a peasant meal in Italy through the 1800s.
- Pizza first came to the east coast of America in the late 1800s with the arrival of Italian immigrants.
- The first pizzeria in the United States opened in New York City in 1905.
- The shape of the original Italian pizzas was square.
- The most pizzerias per capita in the United States are found in West Virginia
- The United States celebrates pizza month in October.
- A single slice of cheese pizza typically contains around 272 calories.
- Pizza is the second leading calorie source for American children.
So just how popular is pizza in America? According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Americans consume about 350 slices of pizza per second—that’s right, per SECOND—and about 40% of Americans eat pizza at least once a week.
It wasn’t always this way. Before millions of Italian immigrants came to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, pizza was an uncommon dish in America. However, with the arrival of Italian immigrants, first on the east coast and then moving westward after World War II, pizza became more and more popular. The invention of the pizza slice only added to its popularity, making the pizza not only delicious but easily portable – especially convenient for busy workers who might only have time (and money) for a slice on the go.
There’s more than just convenience that makes pizza so popular. As most readers of this article undoubtedly know from personal experience, pizza happens to be delicious, too. In fact, it comes in so many varieties that pizza can accommodate virtually any palate imaginable. Scientific studies of our dietary habits and preferences reveal that we’re naturally drawn to fatty and sweet foods that are rich and filled with complex carbohydrates. Pizza checks all those boxes and more.
Does that make pizza the perfect food? The answer to that question is in the eye (or in this case, the mouth) of the beholder. At Tommy’s Pizza and Subs, we and our customers sure like to think so. That’s why we do our best with every pizza we bake and serve to make it taste-bud-worthy in every way.
Bring Family and Friends Together with Tommy’s
From family dining, takeout and delivery, to custom events and fine catering, Tommy’s serves a wide range of delicious foods made from freshest ingredients. We’ve been doing so for more than 30 years and want to be your favorite place for pizza and other authentic Italian menu items.
You can check out our menu and order online or by phone (619-499-5273) or stop by our restaurant on Magnolia Avenue in Santee, California. We also offer daily specials, and Tommy’s now delivers in the El Cajon/Santee, California area Thursday through Sunday.