National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day falls on November 12 and is also known as National Pizza With Everything (Except Anchovies) Day. Pizza is the most eaten — and best liked — food item in the U.S. Each American eats about 46 pizza slices a year. Anchovy is a small fish that usually comes in a can. Pizza fans feel it does not go well with a classic, deliciously topped pizza, since its flavor tends to overpower the more delicate nuances of the ingredients used as toppings. Bring out the chef in you and top your personal pizza with your favorites, minus the anchovy, of course.
History of National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day
Although there is no factual origin of this cod-less Pizza day and people continue to wonder about its origin, it does not mean this day cannot still be celebrated. In fact, if we go into the details of pizza making its way to America, we can find that the first restaurant pizza was made in New York City’s Little Italy in 1905.
But where does the idea of putting fish (anchovies) on the pizza come from? Well, if we go back in time and see what the Ancient Romans did, we would see that they used to put fermented fish on their flat breads. The Greeks had a pie which they called a “pita”, which could have led to the word entering the Roman (later Italian) vocabulary. The recipe stayed around the early days of pizza, and mozzarella was used as the cheese of choice. As pizza became more popular, and people added their own preferences, different ingredients were experimented with, and this is where anchovies crept in as a topping.
Pizza has been described as the favorite meal of Americans, especially since World War II. Since then, there have been different recipes and varieties of pizza, with a wide array of toppings. There always has been a group of people who have ridiculed the beloved pizza with anchovies as topping choice – so much so that only 3 in every 1,000 people would admit to selecting anchovy as a topping of choice. So this day celebrates the mainstream taste regarding pizza.
National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day timeline
The first pizza establishment in the U.S. is opened in New York City by Gennaro Lombardi.
During the Second World War, those soldiers who fought at the Italian front regularly ate pizza and from there brought the original recipe back to the U.S.
On October 11, 1987, Lorenzo Amato and Louis Piancone make the largest pizza ever — 44,500 pounds — and spread over an area of 10,000 square feet.
Although there is no confirmed date as to when the nation started celebrating this beautiful day, as far as published records go, the first National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day was celebrated in 2010.
National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day FAQs
What kind of pizza is made with anchovies?
This is basically a Napoletana-style pizza where a few high-quality anchovies are added to Margherita pizza.
How long does it take to bake anchovy pizza?
Bake the pizza for about 8 to 10 minutes first, and then add anchovies. Bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, and the crust is golden brown.
Can you add pineapple slices to anchovy pizza?
For some people, anchovy and pineapple pizza is a heavenly creation because the sweet pineapple cuts through a salty anchovy. But others hate this flavor combination.
How to celebrate National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day
Make a Pizza
Create and make pizzas, or have a pizza-making competition for family and friends to share the creativity of each. And turn a blind eye to the one who might slip in that topping-that-shall-not-be-mentioned. Create public awareness by sharing photos of the fun on social media.
Donate those pizzas
Make your pizzas and share them with your local senior centre, group home or some NPO. You could involve friends and family, your colleagues, or members of the community and make this day delicious for people who would not normally get the chance to eat pizza.
Build your own pizza oven and teach others
Clay pizza ovens are all the rage in the natural building fraternity, so impress those around you and design and make your own. That way, you have a talking and social point, and learn a new skill. You could use it for years to come, making pizza in the authentic way.
5 Facts About Pizza (and Anchovies) Everyone Should Know
The origin of pizza
In the times of ancient Greeks and Egyptians, pizza was a flatbread seasoned with cheese, oil, and herbs.
Pizza is a 37 billion dollar industry
There are over a million people working in the pizza industry in the U.S., which generates $37 billion every year.
Pizza was delivered in space
In 2001, a six-inch pizza was delivered to the International Space Station, where Yuri Usachov was the recipient.
Some love anchovies on their pizza
0.003% of Americans select anchovies as a topping of their choice on a pizza.
Fisherman prefer fishing at night for anchovy
Anchovies shine in the water because of their silvery scales and are easier to catch at night.
Why Do We Celebrate National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day?
It’s our favorite meal
Pizza is definitely America’s favorite meal — roughly 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second, are consumed. So even a funny day that makes fun of a topping, in this case anchovies, is part of what we celebrate daily.
The focus is on the ‘works’
This day is about concentrating on the ‘works’ which point towards appreciating the toppings. Instead of an average pizza, this day celebrates the effort of selecting gorgeous, mouth-watering toppings and really savoring them.
It helps us appreciate those who love anchovies
There are so few true blue anchovy lovers that it may be a good idea to get them to celebrate this day with you — without their fishy love. Then do a turn-around and let them make you a pizza with their favorite topping on it and give it a chance. You may love it and be hailed as a bridge builder across the topping divide in the pizza world.
National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day dates