Whether you're enjoying a movie night with friends or working late at the office, there's something universally glee-inducing about hearing a knock at the door and knowing your hot pizza has arrived.
But while pizza delivery might seem like a modern convenience, the truth is that there's a 19th-century Italian queen you should thank. In 1889, Margherita of Savoy, was visiting Naples as part of a countrywide tour to celebrate the unification of Italy. The previously separate regions and states weren't exactly used to open borders, but one of the benefits of coming together was the sharing of cuisine -- something all of Italy has been prized for.
Seeing an opportunity to show that royals could be just like regular folk, the queen snubbed fancy food and demanded a local specialty -- something any Neapolitan might dine on. Enter Raffaele Esposito, owner and chef of "Pizzeria di Pietro e basta così". In what is almost certainly the first known pizza delivery, Esposito brought Queen Margherita three pizzas, including one made with toppings representing the colors of the Italian flag: mozzarella (white), tomatoes (red), and basil (green). The queen declared it one of the best dishes she'd ever eaten.
According to culinary legend, Esposito named the colorful pizza after her: pizza Margherita. So it turns out that not only did Naples (probably) invent the pizza, it also was the first place to see it delivered.
A slice of pizza facts:
- Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza every day, and most pizza eaters have a pie at least once a month.
- According to a Harris Poll, the most popular pizza topping is pepperoni; sausage comes in second.
- In 2004, Lucy Clough of Domino’s Pizza in London delivered a pizza to Melbourne, Australia -- a record 10,532 miles (16,950 km).