Pizza in the Stone Age

We all have eaten pizza at least once, for many it became an instant favorite from the first time it touched one of their taste buds. Kids dream about being allowed to eat pizza every day and some college students actually live mostly on it. Many associate pizza with the marketing revolution, fast food chains and Italian restaurants, but the origins of pizza go well back into the Stone Age.

Researcher have found that in the Italian island of Sardinia, bread has been baked for more than 7,000 years and the local tribes already leavened their bread. Ancient Greeks also had a flat bread called “plakous” which was flavored by adding herbs, garlic, and onions. Many other flat breads were developed by many tribes and settlements across the old world.

The first modern pizza was created around the mid-19th century, once tomato was introduced to the European cuisine from the Americas. Although many Europeans thought that tomatoes were poisonous, in the poor area of Naples people started using it as topping for the flat bread. The dish gained popularity very fast and it became a tourist attraction.

The oldest pizza known is called Mariana and includes tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Mariana is the word Italians use for the wife of the Seamen, they would usually receive them with this dish after a day of hard work in the Mediterranean Sea.

Pizza was one of the first foods brought by the Italian immigrants in the United Stated in the 19th century. The Boston Journal was the first to reference pizza in the new world. It became a traditional dish among the Italian immigrants living in the U.S. During the Second World War many Americans that fought in Europe discovered pizza. When they were back home, they had been enchanted by the flavors and the dish rapidly gained popularity across the U.S.

The next time you enjoy a slice of pizza think about the years it took for this dish to be completed and the great opportunity you have to be able to enjoy it now.