Pizza Facts: October is National Pizza Month. It was first so designated in 1987. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second. Pizza is a $30 billion per year industry. There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States. (Source: American Business Lists, Omaha, Nebraska.) Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year. (source: Packaged Facts, New York) Approximately 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year. Italian food ranks as the most popular ethnic food in America.(Courtesy of the National Restaurant Association) According to a recent Gallup Poll, kids between the ages of 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.
Facts About Toppings: Pepperoni is America's favorite topping (36 percent of all pizza orders); we eat approximately 251,770,000 pounds per year. Other popular pizza toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion. In America, anchovies always rank last on the list of favorite toppings. Gourmet toppings are gaining ground in some parts of the country with such toppings as chicken, oysters, chicken, crayfish, dandelions, sprouts, eggplant, Cajun shrimp, artichoke hearts and tuna. Pizza lovers are experimenting with gourmet toppings by ordering oysters, chicken, shrimp, eggplant, artichoke hearts, dandelions and tuna. More recent trends include game meats like venison or duck, and Canadian-style bacon. Sixty-two percent of Americans prefer meat toppings on their pizza, while 38% prefer vegetarian. (source: Bolla wines) Women are twice as likely as men to order vegetable toppings on their pizza. (Source: Bolla wines) According to Domino's, some of the more popular international toppings are: pickled ginger, minced mutton and tofu in India, squid and Mayo Jaga (mayonnaise, potato and bacon) in Japan, and green peas in Brazil. In Russia, they serve pizza covered with mockba, which is a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon and onions. In France, a popular combo is called the Flambée, with bacon, onion and fresh cream. Around the world, toppings vary greatly to reflect regional preferences. In Japan, for instance, eel and squid are favorites. In Pakistan, curry is a big seller. In Russia, red herring is a topping of choice and Australians enjoy shrimp and pineapple on their pies as well as barbecue toppings. Costa Ricans favor coconut. (Courtesy of Numero Uno Pizzeria) In the Netherlands, the "Double Dutch" is a favorite, with double cheese, double onions, double beef. (Source: Domino's Pizza)
• Pizza was being prepared by people of Pompei when the volcano erupted and buried the city.
• Pizza Margherita was given its name by an Italian tavern owner, Don Raffaele Esposito who assembled tomatoes cheese and basil, the colours of the Italian flag. He named the pizza after Margherita Teresa Giovanni, calling it the “Margherita” which is still popular in pizzerias with wood-fired ovens.
• The Hawaiian pizza was invented in the 1960s by Sam Panopoulos after adding pineapple to a pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
• Pizza as we know it could not have evolved until Europeans overcame their fear of a New World discovery – tomatoes. Native to Peru and Ecuador, tomatoes were introduced to Europe in the early 1500s. Brought back by Conquistadors to Spain. The tomato was thought to be poisonous and was viewed with suspicion.