Pizza is a favorite food throughout the world, with hundreds of variations. Pizza was first eaten in the waterfront city of Naples, Italy, as early as the 1700s. Most of the poor population of the city lived close to the Bay of Naples, and many of them were outdoors most of the time since their homes usually consisted of one room.
Street vendors sold flatbread with toppings including tomatoes, garlic, cheese and oil, similar to toppings of today’s pizza. Flatbreads with toppings were popular with the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians as well. The Greeks ate a type of pizza that was topped with oil and herbs, similar to focaccia.
In the 1700s, Naples was a kingdom and not part of Italy until 1861. Queen Margherita and King Umberto I visited Naples several years later, and both became fond of pizza, instead of the rich, French food to which they were accustomed. The queen’s favorite was topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, which came to be called Margarita or Margherita pizza. Even though pizza was one of the favorite foods of Naples, its popularity didn’t spread to other parts of Italy until the 1940s. When immigrants from Naples landed in Boston, New York, Chicago and other U.S. Cities, they brought their love for pizza with them. The first known pizzeria in Manhattan opened in 1905.
Traditional, Italian pizza crust is made with flour, water, salt, and active, dry yeast. However, the American version usually combines these ingredients with shortening or olive oil. Thick crust, Chicago-style pizza uses more oil in the dough. The most famous pizza cheeses mozzarella, parmesan, romano, provolone, ricotta, and cheddar.
All of these ingredients are available from Hot Stones Pizzas, see our pizza menus for more information. We also offer a variety of starters, sides and desserts as part of our wedding catering menu – read about our wedding catering packages for further details.
Sicilian pizza is a thick crust pizza baked in a square pan, popular in the Northeast. New York-style pizza is typically a thin crust with marinara sauce and a lot more cheese than typical Neapolitan-style pizza. Greek pizza, popular in the New England states, uses olive oil as part of the topping with feta cheese, herbs, and olives. Hawaiian-style pizza is popular in places other than Hawaii, and usually combines ham or Canadian bacon, pineapple, and cheese as the toppings.
more unusual, California-style pizza is often topped with fresh vegetables, and may have Thai or barbecued chicken as the topping, along with various cheeses. Some pizza chefs incorporate the Mexican culture into their pizza and top them with cheese, jalapenos, cilantro, and Pico de gallo.