"Questo pizza be grandioso!" In other words, "This pizza is magnificent!" Pizza is the Italian dish that has swept the world. We all love it and can't deny it, but, really, how much do you know about it? Well, we can find out by reading about the history of it, the ingredients in and on it, and my personal comparison of two frozen brands.
Pizza has been around for ages. We all think of the place of origin of this popular dish to be Italy, but, really, it originated in many different places. It is believed that the "first pizza" was made by a Stone Aged civilization that baked bread on an open fire, and used the bread as a plate to soak up things such as excess gravy. The Greeks also used baked bread as plates. This early variety of pizza is known as plankuntos. The plankuntos were seasoned and topped before they were baked. Ancient Persians used their round shields as pans to bake their seasoned bread on. They put things like dates and cheese on it. First century Romans made loaf of bread, hollowed it out, and filled it with cheese, chicken, garlic, pepper, mint, and oil, among other things. In 1522, tomatoes were brought from Europe to Peru and were put on bread in the form of a sauce. This was also when they started to call this dish "pizza."
Pizza started to become popular in Italy when a pizzaioli, or pizza maker, named Raffaele Esposito was to make pizza for the King and Queen of Italy. He made three kinds of pizza, but Queen Margherita particularly liked the one with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil because these three ingredients are the colors of the Italian flag. This particular pizza is now known as "Pizza Margherita."
Even though pizza had been around for centuries, as you know now, it wasn't very poplar in America until the 1950s. People noticed how famous Americans with Italian heritage, such as Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio, were eating pizza. Americans also began to eat more pizza because of the Dean Martin song, "That's Amore", with the lyrics, "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore." It was in the late 1950s when food companies started to produce frozen pizzas.
There are many different ingredients that make up a pizza. First there is the crust, the foundation of the whole dish. Then there's the tomato sauce that gives the pizza a little flavor, as well as color. After the sauce, there is the all-important cheese. Last, but not least, there is the toppings, of course, ranging from mushrooms to bacon, that is, if you choose to have any on top of the cheese.
The crust is the base of the pizza. It is most popular as hand-tossed yeast bread. It is also common to have mozzarella cheese stuffed into the hand-tossed crust. Many people also like the pan baked variety. There is also a deep dish kind of pan baked crust. But, people just don't use those four kinds of crust. They also use things such as French bread, English muffins, tortillas, and bagels.
The next layer of the pizza is the sauce. It is made with tomatoes mixed with herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Some people also put in thyme, rosemary, basil, and parsley. People also use different kinds of tomatoes for different flavors. For instance, some people use store-bought, canned tomatoes and tomato sauces. There are others who use fresh, garden tomatoes such as romas, plums, and beefsteaks. Also, even though most pizzas do have a tomato sauce on them, such things like Pizza Ranch's pizza sticks have no sauce on them at all!
Another ingredient all pizzas have is cheese. Real Italian pizza has fresh buffalo or goat's milk cheese. Here in America, mozzarella cheese is primarily used, although sometimes cheddar or American cheese is used to give the pizza a twist.
Pizza can be just plain cheese, but is much more tasteful and interesting with a topping or two. Some of America's favorites are pepperoni, sausage, of both the pork and Italian varieties, Canadian bacon, and supreme. Some people also like green peppers, shrimp, beef, chicken, and sauerkraut. There are also toppings of the more interesting variety. Pineapple, anchovy, broccoli, chicken Alfredo, jalepeľo pepper, and taco pizzas are just a few.
Lastly, here is my comparison of two different brands of frozen pizzas by the Kraft Foods Company. Since sausage is one of my favorite types of pizza, I chose two different brands to compare and contrast. I chose the Jack's sausage pizza and Tombstone's classic sausage pizza.
These two pizzas are very similar in taste and texture. I only really found two differences between the two pizzas. The Tombstone pizza had a softer, thicker crust and spicier sausage. These two frozen pizzas both had mozzarella cheese on them. I personally could find no difference in flavor between the two cheeses. Because of the two differences, I liked the Tombstone one better because I am partial to thicker crust and spicier sausage.
So, as you see, from Stone Age plate kind to the store-bought frozen variety, pizza has changed how the world lives and eats.