With the amount of pizza Americans eat daily I decided to do a little digging. With 38 years of cooking experience even I learned things in this post that I found interesting and I wanted to share. With that in mind grab a slice and let’s read on!
Fun Pizza Facts
From our list of 100 pizza facts, the first fact is that pizza-like foods have been around since the Neolithic period. Flatbreads and oven-baked flatbreads are available in almost every region of the world, with a variety of topping options.
The word pizza dates back over a thousand years; it was first mentioned in a Latin text written in southern Italy in 997 CE.
Pizza has a long history. Flatbreads with toppings were consumed by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. But the modern birthplace of first ever pizza is southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to the city of Naples.
The word “pizza” means “pie” in Italian
The Port’Alba is the world’s very first pizza.
October is National Pizza Month.
Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second
36% of all pizza orders want their pizza topped with pepperoni.
94% of Americans eat pizza regularly.
Over 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.
Over 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the United States alone.
In America, annual pizza sales exceed $28 billion a year.
The top 5 pizza sale days are: Super bowl Sunday, New Year’s eve, Halloween and thanksgiving eve.
Pizza Facts that will surprise you
58% of Americans order pizza on the Sunday of The Big Game, the highest selling day for pizza.
Thin crust pizza is the most popular form of crust worldwide.
Women are more likely to order vegetarian options as opposed to men.
350 slices of pizza are eaten each second in the U.S.
Pizza wasn’t popular in America until after WWII. While pizza was originally invented in Naples, returning American soldiers who fought in Italy during WWII were responsible for spreading its popularity throughout the United States.
The most expensive pizza in the world costs almost €9,000.
The world record for the largest pizza is 122 feet, 8 inches in diameter.
In 2013, a pizza 3D printer was invented. Equipped with NASA funds, a group of scientists developed the printer over a decade after the computer order was made. It can cook pizza within 70 seconds, complete with the sprayed flavor, smell, and even the micronutrients.
251.7 million pounds of pepperoni are consumed every year in the U.S. just from pizza.
In 2001, a pizza was delivered to the international space station.
Pizzas in Italy were originally square-shaped.
61% of Americans prefer thin crust pizza.
The average slice of pizza is 25% protein.
93% of Americans have at least one slice of pizza per month.
Most people eat pizza on Saturday nights.
The most popular size of pizza in the United States is 14 inches in diameter.
Eggs are a common pizza topping in Australia.
Finland’s Pizza Berlusconi is topped with smoked reindeer.
In Brazil, pizza toppings include green peas, corn, and hearts of palm.
In Sweden, pizza is often topped with bananas and curry powder.
There is an annual pizza expo in Las Vegas.
Each person in America eats about 46 pizza slices a year.
Pizza facts you did not know
Domino’s pizza is the world leader in delivery.
The biggest pizza in recorded history was prepared by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte in Rome, Italy, on 13 December 2012. It had a total surface area of 13,580.28 ft².
Pizza is a 37 billion dollar industry.
The Japanese put mayonnaise on their pizza.
Anchovies are the least favorite pizza topping in America.
For children, 44% of pizza consumption occurred at lunch.
Pizza is the second-leading source of calories in the diet of American children, second behind grain desserts, such as cookies and other carb-heavy treats.
In India, the most preferred pizza topping is tofu.
One of the first documented Internet purchases was a pizza.
The first American pizza shop was Lombardi’s in New York City.
The Japanese put mayonnaise on their pizza.
People of Romania ate 200 pounds of pizza in a week.
Tontino’s, which started as Totino’s Italian Kitchen is said to be the first company to offer frozen pizza in 1962. Apparently they did pretty good, Pillsbury bought the company in 1975.
Frozen pizzas tasted like cardboard when it hit the market in 1962 until inventor Rose Totino altered it.
There’s a pizza museum in Philadelphia. Pizza Brain is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia.
Italian researchers have claimed eating pizza regularly reduced the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59%, colon cancer also fell by 26% & mouth cancer by 34%.
If you go to Amazon and search for “Pizza Books” you will be bombarded will 26,484 results. Wow, a lot of people must really like to read about pizza!
Regular thin crust is most popular in America. It is preferred by 61% of the population, 14% prefer deep dish and 11% prefer extra thin crust.
Pizza deliverers claim women are better tippers.
The longest pizza delivery was from cape town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia.
The most expensive pizza created was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla who created a $2,745.00 priced valentine pizza which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar.
It has been scientifically proven that mozzarella cheese is the best pizza cheese.
Pizza facts and history
The world’s most extravagant pizza is available at New York’s Nino’s Bellissima restaurant. Topped with six varieties of caviar, chives, fresh lobster and creme fraiche, this 12-inch pie, called the “luxury pizza,” retails at $1,000.00 (or $125.00 a slice).
In Italy there is a bill before parliament to safeguard the traditional Italian pizza, specifying permissible ingredients and methods of processing (e.g., excluding frozen pizzas). Only pizzas which followed these guidelines could be called “traditional Italian pizzas”, at least in Italy.
The first American cities to start selling pizza were New York, Boston, New Haven, Connecticut; and Trenton, New Jersey. All four of these cities had an influx of Southern Italian immigrants around the turn of the century.
Humans aren’t the only ones who love the taste of pizza: there’s even a mini pizza for dogs called the “heaven scent pizza” made of flour, carrots, celery, and parmesan cheese.
The first-known Chicago deep dish pizzas were created in 1943 by the restaurant that later became the pizzeria uno chain.
The Hawaiian pizza was invented in 1962 by Sam Panopoulos, a native of Greece who ran a pizza place in Canada.
The movie ‘Pizza man’, released in 2011 is the only movie that is based on a pizza-themed superhero. The actor plays the role of a pizza delivery guy who acquires all the superpowers from eating a genetically modified tomato.
Chuck E. Cheese may be the most famous animatronic pizza-selling animal in the world.
Pizza has also helped prevent several crimes: in 2008 when a pizza delivery man in Florida was confronted by robbers, he threw the hot pizza he was delivering at them and escaped harm.
The US military lab recently invented a ready-to-eat pizza that can last for up to three years. The pizza is intended for soldiers abroad who are craving a slice and also presumably for anyone preparing for a zombie apocalypse.
There’s an association called the ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Nepoletana’ (“true Neapolitan pizza association”) that sets specific rules about what qualifies as a true Neapolitan pizza and certifies pizza restaurants accordingly.
The three musketeers author Alexandre Dumas was one of the first people to take note of the pizza trend. In 1835, Alexandre Dumas, author of the three musketeers, travelled to Naples, where he observed that the Neapolitan poor ate nothing but watermelon during the summer and pizza during the winter.
Pizza’s popularity in the United States began with Italian immigrants. During the first few decades of the 20th century, pizza was predominantly eaten and sold by working class Italian immigrants.
The founder of domino’s is one of only three people with a degree in “pizza-ology.”
In 2017, a UK survey revealed that 53 percent of citizens liked pineapple on their pizza.
The first pizza ordered by computer happened in 1974: The Artificial Language Laboratory at Michigan State needed to test out its new “speaking computer,” so they used it to order a pepperoni, mushroom, ham, and sausage pizza from a local pizza joint.
Pizzerias have been used as fronts for illegal activities. In the 1980s, the Pizza Connection trial became the longest running criminal jury trial in American history, running from 1985 to 1987. It prosecuted a group of mafia members who were using pizza restaurants as a front for drug trafficking.
There’s a pizza expert known as the “dough doctor.” When pizza chefs around the world need help with their recipes, they turn to “Dough Doctor” Tom Lehmann. Lehmann, who lives in Manhattan, Kansas, is a pizza expert who has been working with the American Institute of Baking since 1967.
Pizza is such an iconic food, it even inspired an art show. In 2013, the Marlborough Gallery in New York curated a show called “Pizza Time!” featuring more than 25 pizza-inspired works of art. The works ranged from paintings like “Caveman on Pizza,” which featured a sunglasses-wearing caveman surfing a giant slice of pizza, to works of art made of actual pizza, like John Riepenhoff’s “Physical Pizza Networking Theory.”
Pizza Margherita takes its name from queen Margherita.
The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana regulates the Neapolitan pizza standards.
Pizza could only last two hours when unrefrigerated. Its usual meat-and-cheese content is prone to foodborne illness. Still, placing your pizza in the fridge within two hours of its prep time can prolong its life for 3-4 days. Any longer than that will only promote bacteria growth, leading to food poisoning.
Pizza chefs use an exclusive pizza lingo. In their language, ‘skin’ refers to the stretched dough ball ready for its toppings. ‘Screamers’ stand for mushrooms, while ‘flyers’ is the term for pepperoni due to the Frisbee-like manner they get thrown around the kitchen.
There is an official professional sporting event for pizza dough spinning. The World Pizza Championships gather pizza teams to compete in the match for acrobatic dough spinning.
Dough-spinning has a culinary purpose, too. It’s the best way to evenly spread dough, create a uniform crust, and even helps the dough retain moisture.
There is a mathematical theorem named after pizza. Called the “Pizza Theorem,” the equation mimics pizza slicing techniques.
The U.S. government considered pizza as a vegetable in 2011. They financed school meals to have a required amount of vegetable content. Since a serving of pizza contains over two tablespoons of tomato sauce, it qualifies for the vegetable provisions. In other words, ketchup is a vegetable as per the Reagan administration.
Pizza facts from around the world
Pizza ATMs debuted in the United States in 2016. Before that, the available machines have already been serving pies in Europe for several years. The first machine stood at Xavier University, Ohio, where it holds 70 stocks in medium size. Customers can place orders on the touchscreen, which will then command the machine to heat then serve the pizza.
Pizza in Scotland is known for its nutty texture. Some of the popular toppings in the country are sheep heart, lungs, and liver. The minced parts would then join the mixture of oatmeal, stock, suet, and other spices.
Pizza has developed healthier versions throughout the years. The cauliflower crust pizza is an excellent example. By fall 2018, Trader Joe’s introduced the butternut squash as a gluten-free alternative on the crust part.
Pizza inspired Macaulay Culkin to form a band. The former child star’s band is a Velvet Underground cover band named Pizza Underground. Some of their hits are entitled ‘All the Pizza Parties’ and ‘I’m Waiting for the Delivery Man.’
Many celebrities today once worked in the pizza industry. Actors Bill Murray and Stephen Baldwin used to work in pizza restaurants pre-stardom. Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Van Damme was an ex-pizza delivery guy.
The domain Pizza.com was only worth $20 back in 1994. Chris Clark bought it cheap, but he surely won when the domain sold for $2.6 million in an auction.
A hacker group known as UGNAZI once crashed Papa John’s website because the company failed to deliver a pizza on time.
A man from Maryland stuck to a pizza diet for more than 25 years. In 2014, Dan Janssen stuck to a pizza diet, only eating slices for almost every meal.
Among the U.S. States, West Virginia is home to the most pizzerias per capita. It beats the popularity of the pizza styles in New York and Illinois. Meanwhile, Hawaii has the fewest number of pizza shops.
In 2015, Manchester Metropolitan University offered courses for a ‘degree in pizza.’The U.K. Uni paired with Pizza Hut to execute apprenticeships. Enrolled students have the opportunity to learn the pizza-making art in preparation for a career in the hospitality industry.
Airport Pizza, as the name suggests, uses planes for pizza delivery. This restaurant is located in Alaska.
A single cheese pizza slice contains around 272 calories. It also has fiber at 1.8 grams, protein at 12.7 grams, while fat is at 9.8 grams. Adding vegetables won’t erase these pizza nutritional facts, but it would increase its nutritional value.
Moontower Pizza Bar makes the largest pizza made to order. Located in Texas, USA, the bar charges $299.95 plus tax for the menu dish called ‘The Bus.’ Its rectangular shape has a total area of 21 sq ft or 1.98 sq m. An order requires at least 48 hours’ notice, available for delivery within a specified area, and includes one topping.
In France, a fried egg is either baked directly on top of a pizza or baked in a separate pan and then placed on top.
Crazy Pedro’s made a Cadbury Creme Egg Pizza. The British pizzeria turned dreams into reality in 2016. Joining the chocolate egg topping are brownies, chocolate sauce, and marshmallows.
In Cambodia, some pizzerias offer “happy pizzas”—pizzas that are topped with high-quality marijuana. How’s that for fun pizza facts.
Philip Workman, an inmate on death row, requested vegetarian pizzas as his final meal.
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