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October is National Pizza Month!!! I mean, let’s be honest, every month is a cause to celebrate this favorite Italian inspired dish. But, in 1984, Gerry Durnell designated this month a 31-day celebration of everyone’s favorite food and, in 1987, the U.S. Congress made it official.
So, why does Durnell get to proclaim this month a national celebration? He’s the founder of a magazine called Pizza Today and the first issue was released in October of that year. He founded the magazine, and the holiday, in order to promote his pizza shop in the small town of Santa Claus, Indiana.
Where did Pizza come from?
Well, it originated in Europe…Italy namely. But, how did it evolve and weasel its way into being a staple in the homes of millions of Americans?
There is evidence from ancient times of the Romans baking breads and adding things to it to make it more flavorful. Throughout history, in Greece, Italy, Persia and even China, there are references to round flat bread served with toppings.
But, the word pizza and the modernization of this staple food item both emerged from Italy. In A.D. 997 the word was first documented in Southern Italy. Centuries later, the delicacy began its evolution into the infamous tomato sauce and cheese delicacy that we all enjoy so much today.
In 1911, a cookbook entitled La Scienza in cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene, a recipe for “pizza alla napoletana” appeared. The dish included mozzarella, tomato, anchovies and mushrooms as toppings.
Throughout the centuries, pizza was most often enjoyed in Italy and by immigrants who migrated from there. But, during World War II, troops from America and many other countries who were stationed in Italy came to LOVE this Italian treat. And thus, it was brought home, and popularized, by the soldiers.
So…how do we celebrate National Pizza Month? We order it, we make it, we share it with friends…Or eat the whole thing alone…There is NO shame in that 🙂
If you want to make some ‘za at home, here are some tips and recipes:
A while back we shared an amazing pizza dough recipe.
Then, for the sauce. This Classic Marinara is SO easy and SO delicious.
For toppings? We just so happen to have some spectacular cheeses, meats and specialty items to take your pizza to the next level!