History of National Pizza Day
Though flatbreads with toppings were consumed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, the modern birthplace of the pizza is southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to Naples. Founded around 600 BC as a Greek settlement, Naples in the 1700s and early 1800s was a thriving waterfront city. Technically an independent kingdom, it was notorious for its throngs of working poor, or lazzaroni. These Neapolitans required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza — flatbreads with toppings that can be eaten for every meal — fulfilled this need. These early pizzas featured tasty toppings such as tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies, and garlic. More well off Italian authors judged Naples’ innovation, often calling their eating habits disgusting.
In 1861, Italy finally unified, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend says that the traveling pair became bored with their steady diet of French cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed the most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with the soft white cheese, red tomatoes, and green basil — much resembling the Italian flag. Since then, this particular choice of toppings has been dubbed the Margherita pizza.
However, even with the Queen’s love for the dish, pizza would remain little known in Italy beyond Naples’ borders until the 1940s. Across the sea, immigrants to the United States from Naples were replicating their flatbreads in New York and other American cities. They were coming for factory jobs, but accidentally made a culinary statement. Relatively quickly, the flavors and aromas of pizza began to intrigue non-Neapolitans and non-Italians alike.
National Pizza Day timeline
Pizza the Hut
The leading chain pizza restaurant was founded in Wichita, Kansas
Deep Dish Comes on the Scene
Pizzeria Uno in Chicago invents the deep dish pizza, sparking the still unsettled debate of whether a casserole can really be a pizza.
- Late 1940s
Immigrants to New York in the 1940s brought along the Neopolitan delight that is pizza.
Queen Margherita Lends Her Name
King Umberto and Queen Margherita of the newly unified Italy visit Naples and the Margherita pizza gets its name.
National Pizza Day - Survey Results
Info gathered by one of the top Chicago PR Firms:
Additional Survey Findings
SOME AMERICANS TAKE THEIR PIZZA LOVE TO NEW EXTREMES
According to the survey, 3% of Americans would rather eat pizza than have a boyfriend or girlfriend. The response among females was slightly higher—4% would rather eat pizza than have a boyfriend, compared to 3% of males who say the same.
FULL RANKING OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE PIZZA BRANDS
#1: Pizza Hut (31%)
#2: Papa John’s (22%)
#3: Domino’s (17%)
#4: Papa Murphy’s (10%)
#5: Little Caesar’s (8%)
#6: Sbarro (3%)
#7: Cici’s Pizza (2.8%)
#8: California Pizza Kitchen (2.8%)
#9: Round Table (2.6%)
#10: Chuck E. Cheese’s (1%)
OTHER INTERESTING INSIGHTS ABOUT PIZZA
#1: Pizza ranks the #2 most popular fast food in America behind hamburgers. (43% of Americans rank pizza as their favorite.)
#2: Pizza is my favorite food. (18%)
#3: I like to have a glass of wine with my pizza. (10%)
#4: My idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day is sharing a pizza. (9%)
#5: I don’t like pizza. (2%)
National Pizza Day Stats
That’s how many slices of pizza are sold in the U.S. every second. Roughly 120 of those slices per second are delivered to the National Today offices.
17% are pizzerias
17% of all restaurants in the U.S. are pizzerias and more than 10% of those are located in New York City.
251.7 million pounds
This is how many pounds of pepperoni are consumed in the U.S. every year. Most of which ends up on a pizza.
National Pizza Day FAQs
Is there a National Pizza Day?
What day is National Pepperoni Pizza Day?
What day is National Pizza Day 2020?
National Pizza Day Activities
I mean, why mess with a good thing? No matter what age you are, the words “pizza party” are guaranteed to delight and put a smile on everyone’s face.
Dare to Pizza All the Time
Pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Yes—that is the kind of perfect world we live in today. Crack an egg on it in the morning. Toss that salad on top for lunch. And why not go for the meat-lovers’ dinner?
Rediscover Pizza For the First Time
Chances are, you know your perfect slice down to the finest details. (Mine includes corn, pasilla chiles and feta cheese). But why not break out of the routine on National Pizza Day? We know you’ve been curious about that artichoke pesto pie at the place around the corner.
Take The National Pizza Day Quiz
Why We Love National Pizza Day
There’s Something For Everyone
Thin crust or deep dish? Sauce or no sauce? Classic mozzarella or that new provolone? Wood-fired or out of the oven? Part of pizza’s appeal is that it’s never the same and can easily be adapted to changing tastes, preferences, and diets.
Admit it, you still remember those grade school pizza parties with a certain sense of child-like glee. Whether it’s the red, white and green of a classic margherita pizza or the sparkle of perfectly cooked pepperoni, pizza adds something extra special, wherever you are.
Perfect Salty, Sweet, Carb-Y Goodness
The interplay of cheese to sauce to crust creates an almost addictive food bomb of different aromas, textures and flavors. Other foods are hard pressed to do the same.
National Pizza Day Featured Video
Feb. 9th is National Pizza Day