Pizza Pie Day takes place on February 9. It is one of the numerous, delicious food holidays in the U.S. Obviously, Pizza Pie Day is a day for celebrating pizza, one of the most popular foods Americans enjoy. Did you know that 36% of Americans eat pizza as a breakfast meal? Historians claim that pizza-like dishes have been a common staple in the ancient Middle East, but it was Italians who perfected and popularized the recipe. As World War II troops grew fond of pizzas while they served in Italy, pizzerias also sprung up in the U.S. to meet the returning soldiers’ demands for pizzas.
History of Pizza Pie Day
Although the actual inventor of the pizza pie is unknown, some sources and food historians conclude that pizza-like flatbreads baked in mud ovens were eaten by natives in ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Israel, and other parts of the Mediterranean. However, the contemporary style of the cuisine traces its origin to the city of Naples in 18th-century Italy. Originally, pizza was considered a meal for the poor who couldn’t afford quality, nutritious food, and had to settle for cheap food sold by street vendors and roadside restaurants. Back then, pizza was eaten for any meal by the peasants, and it comprised of flatbread with toppings made from several ingredients like anchovies, cheese, garlic, tomatoes, and oil.
Baker Raffaele Esposito of Naples is mainly credited for the recipe and renown of modern pizza. In 1889, Esposito’s restaurant Pizzeria di Pietro baked a special pie topped with tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella to mark the royal visit of Italian King Umberto I and his wife. Before World War II, pizza was largely a local dish eaten and sold by Italian immigrants in the U.S. However, during the occupation of Italy by the Allied Forces, soldiers resorted to eating local Italian cuisine and eventually grew to love pizza so much that the local bakers were hardly able to keep up with the soldiers’ demand for the dish. The war veterans brought their love for the Italian delicacy idea back home and largely contributed to its popularity in America.
In 1905, Lombardi’s — originally a grocery store in New York City owned by Gennaro Lombardi — became North America’s premier pizzeria. This subsequently led to the proliferation of pizza houses in New York City and all over the U.S. in later years.
Pizza Pie Day timeline
The word ‘pizza’ first appears in a document in Gaeta, a city in Southern Italy.
Peasants in Naples, Italy, enjoy pizzas from street vendors and roadside restaurants.
Baker Raffaele Esposito of Naples bakes an open-faced pie in the colors of the Italian flag to welcome Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.
Gennaro Lombardi opens his eponymous pizzeria Lombardi’s in New York City.
Pizza Pie Day FAQs
Why is February 9 National Pizza Day?
Like most food holidays in the U.S., no one knows for certain why this particular date was chosen to celebrate National Pizza Day. What’s sure is this day specifically honors one of America’s all-time favorite foods that came all the way to the U.S. from 18th-century Naples.
Is today National Pizza Party Day 2021?
National Pizza Party Day happens every third Friday in May. It’s a day to treat your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to a special celebration with lots of pizza pies.
Who invented National Pizza Day?
This occasion was initiated by Gerry Durnell in October 1984. Gerry was the publisher of “Pizza Today” magazine at the time.
Pizza Pie Day Activities
Visit your local pizzeria
Celebrate Pizza Pie Day by visiting your local pizza place, or placing an order online. Many pizzerias often have special discounts and excellent offers on this day, and you might just get lucky. This way, you’ll not only be enjoying your favorite snack, but you’ll also be promoting local businesses. Don’t forget to give a shout-out to your favorite pizzeria on your social media channel.
Throw a pizza party
Of course, we won’t judge you if you prefer to enjoy your pizza alone. But, come to think of it — why don’t you invite your friends over, play games, and share a pizza pie? We promise you it’s more fun when you share.
Make your own pizza
Feeling adventurous? Why don’t you celebrate Pizza Pie Day your own way by making your own pizza? You’ll find many awesome recipes on the internet — especially on YouTube.
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT PIZZAS
Annual pizza sales in the U.S.
Five billion pizzas are sold every year around the world, and over three billion of those are sold in the U.S.
The world’s first pizzeria
Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, the first Pizzeria in the world, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1830.
Pizzerias in the U.S.
With more than 61,000 pizzerias all over the U.S., about 17% of all restaurants in the country are pizzerias.
The most popular pizza toppings
Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the U.S. and U.K., while squid is the most preferred in Japan.
The top pizza-eating days of the year
The most popular days for pizza eating and delivery in the U.S. are Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving Eve.
Why We Love Pizza Pie Day
It celebrates one of America’s favorite foods
Statistics say Americans consume about 350 slices of pizza every second, which makes pizza one of America’s most-loved foods. Pizza Pie Day is a food holiday to honor this favorite flatbread that has grown to global repute from humble beginnings in Naples, Italy.
It honors pizza’s humble origin
Pizza Pie Day is more than just another day to gobble up on pizzas. It’s also a day to celebrate the food’s rich history, all the way from the ancient Middle East to Italy, and then to the U.S., where its highest consumers now reside.
It’s a day to support local pizzerias
Pizzerias contribute a sizable part to local restaurants in the U.S. On Pizza Pie Day, many of them offer mouthwatering deals for pizza lovers and provide a great opportunity to support local businesses.
Pizza Pie Day dates