Although there are just a few simple similarities when compared to what we have today the cultures in the Middle East were known to be eating a flat, unleavened bread many hundreds of year ago. It was baked in mud ovens and called pita bread, which is still available to today. The pita bread would often be spread with native spices that were combined with olive oil. Still, if anyone were to say that pizza came from Italy, they would not be entirely wrong.
There is a story that has been drifting around throughout the years as to how our more traditional pie was originally created. The lower class members of Italy were to be visited by dignitaries of their country, namely King Umberto and his Queen Margherita. An Italian and creative baker by the name of Rafaello Esposito, set out to make something colorful adding the red, white and green of the country's flag. He introduced a delicacy using flat bread topped with red tomatoes, green basil and white mozzarella cheese. The Italian royalty was greatly impresses. They set about spreading the news of this delectable dish and the pizza was born. The truth of this story has never been verified but it is so unique, it is the one preferred.
By the early part of the 1900's, pizza was beginning to invade the United States. The large immigrant population of the time was more than likely responsible for this as the most famous styles of the pie are the Chicago and New York styles. Both cities are known to have very large Italian populations. Again, following World War II, after having served in many areas of Italy, the American soldier cam home with the taste of this pie still prominent on their palates. They began requesting more and more of this food on the home-front.
We would be hard pressed today to find ourselves very far from an establishment that serves or specializes in the preparation of this delectable pie. There are now so many varieties of these pies some have little in common with the original variety. You can now order your favorite with all vegetables, or maybe a Mexican topped one would set you on fire. There is Hawaiian style along with calzone's and stromboli's stuffed with your choice of fillings. Yet, for my money none can compare with the traditional.
The Chicago style deep dish is exactly what the name implies. As deep as Mom's favorite apple pie, this dish is so jammed full of the traditional toppings, it has to be baked in a pan from one to two inches deep. The real challenge is in the eating of this pie as the ingredients will spill over onto the plate like volcanic lava. Most will disregard your preference to enjoy this dish using a fork as folding the pizza to eat it is not acceptable. The Chicago style dish has left its home ground and traveled all over the United States although some say you would be hard pressed to get one that matches the flavor of the original.
Almost every restaurant you enter will offer the New York style pie somewhere on its menu. Having the more traditional flat crust, it can be ordered regular or thin in thickness. Toppings are not piled as high as its Chicago counterpart but a deep dish style is offered. The more common toppings would be a rich red sauce, with cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, onions, and sausage, but the choices are endless when it comes to preparing your pie the way you prefer it. Regardless of preference, the rivalry between the Chicago and New York style pies remains with both ares claiming to have the best pie available.
Do not despair if you live in an area where the winters are cold and nasty or the heat unbearably warm. Your pizza pie can now be delivered directly to your door. Pizza delivery is a well used offering that is yours at no or minimal charge. A small tip for the delivery man is always a nice gesture. There are also many who try and take advantage of the somewhat less expensive frozen pizza, but be warned that there are really none out there that can compare to the real thing.
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Article Added on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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