According to one study, 98% of Americans eat pizza.
Have you ever thought about how pizza became so prevalent in the United States so that you could find it at almost every restaurant?
Thankfully, we have the history of pizza in America for you, so keep reading to find out how this delicious dinner came to this country.
Pizza Shows Up in America
In the 19th century, immigrants from Naples, Italy came over to New York, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Trenton, and New Haven. Along with these immigrants, they started bringing their cuisine and recipes as well.
They came over to find some of the factory jobs that were opening up, and they didn’t intend to leave such a culinary imprint on the country. However, when more immigrants came over, they started making pizza, and some of them even opened up bakeries and restaurants to feed the other Italians.
This was their way of remaining close to each other and keeping their ties to their home country.
The first pizzeria in the United States was founded by Filippo Milone. He came to the states in the 1890s, and he started six pizzerias. However, Gennaro Lombardi took over some of these restaurants.
He actually got a business license in 1905 for his pizzeria to open up in New York City. Some people credit Gennaro Lombardi with the title of the father of American pizza because there is actual documentation to back up the pizzeria claims.
Milone doesn’t have as many official records, and some of the notes are misspelled. However, there are some records that he was advertising pizza at some of its grocery stores.
Because of this, it can really be hard to trace down the exact origin of who started pizza in America.
New Jersey Pizzas
You can also find another American style of pizzas is New Jersey pizza. These can be traced back to 1910, where Joe Tomato’s Pies was established.
The second pizzeria in New Jersey was established in 1912 by a man who was only seventeen years old. He actually worked at Joe’s Tomato Pies for a few years before opening his own restaurant.
In 1943, pizza that had flaky crust used to rise an inch above the plate so it could create a deep bowl for a lot of toppings.
Many people credit Ike Sewell with inventing this type of pizza at a bar and grill. This bar was called Pizzeria Uno.
As non-immigrants started going to these pizzerias and buying them at bakeries, they started popping up everywhere.
However, they became even more popular after World War II. The soldiers who were stationed in Italy during the war ate a lot of pizza over there, and then they craved it when they got sent back home to America.
Pizzerias were all over the country at this point, but so many more people started eating there and they blew up. After that, even your average person loved enjoying a pizza every now and then.
Five years later, the first commercial pizza pie mix was available for people to buy and make at home. This was called the Roman Pizza Mix. This was made by Frank Fiorello in Worcester, Massachusetts.
In the 1950s, almost everyone knew about pizzas. Celebrities really helped to promote the popularity of pizzas as well. Celebrities included Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, Joe DiMaggio, and Jerry Colonna.
Dean Martin also sang about eating pizzas, which really helped to make them even more popular.
In 1957, people invented frozen pizzas, and you could find them in almost every local grocery store. The Celentano Brothers marketed this type of pizza, and it quickly became one of the most popular frozen food dinners. Many variations of the pizza, like Bagel Bites, became even more popular.
After pizza started becoming more popular in America, people started creating American-style pizzas. They’re very different from the traditional Italian form that first came over in the nineteenth century.
The American pizza you can buy has shortening or vegetable oil mixed into the dough. If you buy pizza with a Chicago-style, this normally has a little bit less oil and the dough is fluffier.
American pizza is also made with flour that is high in gluten. This gluten is normally what’s used to make bagels. That’s because it’s very elastic, which means that they can easily stretch it to form it into a pie.
If you are in the area, you can go and visit some of the first pizzerias that opened in the country. Many of them are actually still open to eat at as well.
Opened in 1910, you can visit Joe’s Tomato Pie. This is in Trenton, New Jersey. Also in Trenton, is Papa’s Tomato Pie, which was opened in 1912.
If you’re in New York City, you should visit Pasty’s. This opened in 1933 in East Harlem.
If you’re craving a pizza after reading about the history, check out the pizzas here!
Learn More About the History of Pizza in America
These are only a few things to know about the history of pizza in America, but there are many more things to know about pizza in America.
We know that learning the history of all the food can be stressful and overwhelming, but thankfully we’re here to help you out.
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