That’s right — National Pizza Party Day is coming up on May 19, and we are here for it! If it’s been too long since you last enjoyed a good old-fashioned pizza pie, you’ve got the perfect excuse coming up soon. You can throw your own party or join someone else’s, but either way, it’s the very best time to enjoy a nice hot pizza pie. Although mainly thought of as an Italian dish, pizza in various forms has existed since the earliest days of human history. The ancient Greeks used to flavor their flatbread with oils, herbs, and cheese, and Persian soldiers used to bake their own pizzas on the hot surfaces of their shields. Traditional pizza is also known as Neapolitan pizza, and it originates—as the name suggests—from Naples, around the middle of the 16th century. However, it was traditionally served with olive oil as a base—tomato sauce wasn’t popularly used until shipments of tomatoes started being sent across the Atlantic from the Americas. And around end of the 19th century, Italian immigrants began introducing the dish to their new American compatriots, and eventually, pizza became the savory crowd-pleaser we know it to be today.
Why We Love Pizza Parties (and National Pizza Party Day)
A. Pizza is delicious
There is something about the combination of standard flavors—sauce, cheese, spices and herbs—that is fundamentally appealing to us. At the same time, the recipe is so basic that it allows for endless experimentation and innovation. (Whatever your stance on whether pineapple should belong on pizza or not, you have to give folks points for creativity).
B. Pizza complements a party perfectly
Pizza is a finger-food by default, which has the effect of making any atmosphere feel more easy and comfortable. People tend to have the most fun when they feel comfortable around others, so pizza can help create the perfect atmosphere for any party. And if that party happens to be a pizza party…well, that’s just a bonus.
C. It’s the ultimate multicultural food
John Green once said that “for almost all of human history, pizza was impossible.” Pizza as we know it today requires ingredients from very disparate corners of the world. As we mentioned before, tomato sauce wasn’t used on pizza until trade routes were established between Europe and the Americas. Modern pizza requires creativity and collaboration between people of very different backgrounds—and the result is delicious.
How to Celebrate National Pizza Party Day
1. Throw your own pizza party
What better way to bond with your friends and meet new people than by inviting them to your place and feeding them pizza? You can decorate your place with pizza-themed decorations—after all, you’re celebrating a national holiday—and put together pizza-themed party games. If you’d like to serve other food in addition to pizza, that’s entirely up to you.
2. Make your own pizza
Haven’t you ever wanted to make your own pizza crust? To knead the dough into a circle and toss it into the air, just like the pros do? You can either buy ready-made pizza dough or you can mix your own—there are plenty of recipe books to help you. Don’t stress if you don’t get the spin right the first time. All the best things in life “knead” practice.
3. Do a “pizza crawl”
If you’ve ever wondered where to find the best pizza in town, today is the perfect day to do it. Gather up a group of friends or go solo. Find out where you can get a pizza in your area, and go out on the town. You can carry a notebook or you can freewheel it, but the most important thing is to have a good time and eat some great pizza.