Where Pizza Get Its Name?

The word ‘pizza’ is one of the most commonly used words in the English language. Of all foods, it arguably has become one of the world’s favorite staple foods behind bread and meat. In past centuries though, that was not always the case.

In fact, if you were to ask someone from Italy during that time period what they thought of pizza, you would probably receive a strange look.

Today though, that statement could not be further from the truth. The much beloved slice has become a worldwide staple food and is enjoyed by people all throughout the world at least once in their life time.

However, where did this culinary work of art come from? How did it originate? Today, we are going to take a look at the history of pizza and how it has become this ubiquitous food.

Today, when people think about pizza in general, they automatically tend to think about Italy. While Italy is definitely known for its amazing tradition of cooking delicious food, that does not mean that the origin story of pizza lies directly within the boundaries of Italy.

In fact, there are several theories out there that touch on the root of this delicious dish.

One theory suggests that the original home country of pizza is likely to be China due to their use of dough for wrapping various fillings, which led to it being named ‘pie’ or ‘pizza’. Also, in an Italian dialect, the word for bread was ‘pizzo’.

This term goes back to ancient times when people would use this dough pastry to cover other foods. These other foods were said to include various meats and cheese.

Another theory suggests that pizza began in Greece where they used flatbreads to cover other foodstuffs such as fish or lamb. This same tradition is mentioned by the Romans as well. A quote from Juvenal describes the use of flatbreads to cover various foods, including game birds and small birds.

Pizza also has some interesting roots in France as well where they would cover food with bread dough. However, this was specifically for cooking on top of items such as breads or roasts. They were not used to cover food that was placed directly into the oven.

Very similar to Spain, flatbread and various meats and cheeses were also cooked together in ancient times in England as well. This did lead people of the time period to call this dish ‘pizza’. There is even a recipe out there from 1746 that describes a pizza pie being prepared in England.

What is a Pizza?

Why Is Pizza Called Pie? How the Name Originated?

Why Is Pizza Called Pie? How the Name Originated?

In this article, we’re going to discuss the four main elements that define a pizza. These are crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Crust

When you think of a pizza as a whole, the first element that comes to mind is probably the crust. The crust can be made out of any kind of dough, but it’s usually a basic bread dough or wheat dough.

The surface of the crust is where most pizza eaters place their toppings, and it’s the part of the pizza that you fold when you eat it. The crust can be baked, broiled, microwaved, pan-fried, toasted, grilled or deep fried depending on what kind of pizza it is.

Most pizzas come in two types of crust: thin and deep dish. A thin crust pizza is about 4 milimeters or 1/8 inch thick, and a deep dish crust is between 5 and 7 milimeters or 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick. The thickness can also vary depending on the type of dough.

Sauce

The sauce is what brings all the flavors together. Without it, you don’t have a pizza! The sauces are usually tomato based, but there are variations of different kinds of sauces. A popular variation is Alfredo sauce which is made with cream and cheese.

Some other types of sauce are pesto (made with basil), garlic butter (made with fresh garlic and butter), BBQ sauce, olive oil or ranch dressing.

Cheese

The cheese is what really makes a pizza a pizza! Pizza cheeses are usually mozzarella based, but again there are all sorts of different types. The most popular is probably mozzarella which is an Italian cheese made from water buffalo milk.

Other cheeses used for pizza and Italian food in general are ricotta, Parmesan, provolone, Romano and romano reggiano.

Toppings

Finally we arrive at the toppings! All kinds of different people like all kinds of different toppings on their pizzas! Some of the most common pizza toppers are pepperoni, chicken, black olives, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.

In Italy however it’s not very common to find toppings other than cheese and tomatoes on a pizza.

What Does The Word Pie Mean When Referring To Pizza?

How Many Slices Are in a Pizza Pie? - Slice Pizza Blog

How Many Slices Are in a Pizza Pie? – Slice Pizza Blog

There is a debate over whether or not “pie” can be used to describe a pizza. For example, the phrase “apple pie” refers to something that tastes similar to an apple pie. This means that we would assume anything resembling an apple pie flavor is often called this way.

Similarly, people often call thin crust pizzas “pizza pie” or “pie-style pizza.” This debate between what does the word “pie” mean when referring to pizza is often seen on Reddit, where people argue about whether thin crust pies can be called by that name.

For example, one commenter wrote, “[Pizza] Pie implies a thicker crust and a rectangular shape,” while a Reddit user named “Nimisys” retorted, ” There seems to be no consensus on this, so Wikipedia has it correct in saying that the word pie is ambiguous.

It’s used both for ‘a baked dish with thin pastry walls’ (see definition 1) or ‘a pizza-like dish’ (see definition 2). Either can be right depending on how it’s used and one person’s opinion has nothing to do with this.”

Who Calls Pizza A Pie?

What Do You Call the Outer Crust of a Pizza? - The Sauce by Slice

What Do You Call the Outer Crust of a Pizza? – The Sauce by Slice

In the United States, pizza is usually considered a pie. However, in all other countries of the world, pizza is not called a pie. In fact, most people from both sides of the Atlantic don’t even agree on what to call a pizza or its toppings. This can be illustrated by examining various dictionaries.

The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) says, “pizza is an uncountable noun which can refer to any of a very large number of baked Italian dishes made with a base or crust of thin bread dough spread with a spiced mixture of e.g. tomato and cheese, usually with added meat, fish, or vegetable topping.”

The Oxford Dictionary of English says, “pizza is a thin disc of Italian origin made from dough spread with a spiced tomato mixture and baked” for the definition of pizza.

Webster’s Dictionary gives two definitions for pizza. The first one is “a thin disk of unleavened bread dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese, often with meat or other ingredients; an open pie made of pizza dough.”

The second one is “paste formed into flat, thin sheets, as for baking”, where the OED says “a very large number”.

In France, a pizza is called a pizza. In Italy, a pizza can be called either a pizza or, more commonly, a piada. In Germany, the term pizza is sometimes used but most commonly it is called either Pizzaschnitte or Flammkuchen, which are thin pieces of leavened dough topped with sauce and cheese.

Does Pizza Mean Pie in Italian?

Of course, Italians love pizza, but the concept of pizza as we know it (a round pie with tomato sauce and cheese) is a little different in Italy. In fact, they don’t even call their beloved flatbread “pizza,” per se. In Italian, this famous dish is known as either pizza or more commonly (informal), pizze .

So Is Pizza Considered A Pie?

Food & Wine names 10 best 'pizza states' in America — and New York isn't in the top spot | KARK

Food & Wine names 10 best ‘pizza states’ in America — and New York isn’t in the top spot | KARK

The answer is no, pizza is not technically a pie. A pie is defined as “a baked dish of fruit, or sometimes meat or vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.” Clearly you can see that pizza does not have a top pastry layer so therefore it cannot be considered a pie.

This leads to the question about whether or not it is considered a pizza. Some say that since the word “pie” implies an open top, then pizza can’t be a pie because of its closed triangular shape.

Others say that since the word “pie” implies that it is baked with dough, then you cannot call pizza a pie because it is not baked with dough (the crust is actually baked first, then toppings are added).

Also, just to clarify, the definition of a “pizza” is “a dish of Italian origin composed of a shallow bread-like crust covered with seasoned tomato sauce and cheese.”

Other Pizza Names Around The World

The Pie Pizzeria - Online and Printable Menu(s)

The Pie Pizzeria – Online and Printable Menu(s)

In countries around the world, some of them notorious for their strange assortment of cuisine, the pizza is known by some unusual names. In China, a popular dish called dà bǐng (大餅) is prepared with a folded pastry crust and filled with different toppings than those used on Italian pizzas.

A Korean dish called kimchi-pizza (김치 피자) is prepared with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and kimchi. The pizza is also known by many names in Italy itself; for example, a dish called focaccia col formaggio (a type of flatbread) is prepared with mozzarella and anchovies.

Another popular dish, called focaccia al rosmarino or pizza rosmarino (a type of flatbread) is prepared without tomato sauce and instead topped with rosemary, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese.

In Japan, the only country in Asia where pizza is popular, the dish is known by its Italian name “piza” (ピザ). Of course, pizzas in Japan are prepared using toppings that are traditionally Japanese; for example, okonomiyaki (a type of pancake) and demi-glace sauce are commonly used.

The name “okonomi-pizza” (お好みピザ) is also used to refer to pizzas with whatever toppings the consumer desires.

The pizza is known by its Italian name “pizza” in countries around South America, where it is popular as well. In Brazil, the dish called calabresa (a type of thin crust pizza) is prepared with mozzarella, calabrese sausage or spam, onions, and oregano.

Another popular dish in Brazil is called mista quente (hot mix), which includes onions, olives, green peppers, hot dogs, sausages, ham slices, bacon bits, corn chips or French fries.

The pizza is known by its Italian name “pizza” in the Dominican Republic, where it is popular as well. A dish called aborrajado (a type of thin crust pizza) is prepared with mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers or pimiento sauce, sweet ham or corned beef, and occasionally olives or onions.

In Pakistan, pizzas are not baked in an oven and instead cooked on a grill. A popular dish called tikka-garma (a type of thin crust pizza) is prepared with barbecued chicken and spices such as chili powder or red chili sauce.

FAQs

Is a pizza called a pie?

Imagine if someone asked you whether a dough with sauce and cheese was called a pizza, or a pie. Although the answer seems obvious at first glance (pizza), it turns out that your answer might be wrong.

Now, let’s say we’re talking about the combination of dough and toppings in American English. The word for this type of food is pizza. However, if you are talking about the combination of dough and toppings in British English, your answer might be incorrect.

The word “pie” can be used for a number of different types of dishes. For example, you can have apple pie, mincemeat pie or steak-and-kidney pie, just to name a few.

However, if someone were to ask you whether a dough with sauce and cheese was called a “pie,” then the word that they would be looking for would be “pastry.”

So, although it might seem like a pizza and an American pie are essentially the same thing, there is a lot more to the story. If you want a delicious dough with toppings, make sure you order a “pizza” in American English and a “pastry” in British English.

Is pizza a sandwich or a pie?

A couple of weeks ago, the Huffington Post ran a story about an Ohio teen who was trying to settle something that has been challenging debate judges for years.

The speech topic assigned to him was “Is Pizza a Sandwich or a Pie?,” and while he punted on that exact question, his argument for pizza being a sandwich got enough attention that it’s probably time to have the debate in full.

The student, Kevin Alston, argued that the definition of a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” and therefore, pizza – which is made with bread dough – “easily fits this definition.”

He also mentioned how pizza-making at home usually involves rolling out dough on a floured surface, which is similar to the way you would prepare bread for sandwiches .

Pizza purists were quick to deny Alston’s claim on Twitter, saying that pizza is actually pie (or “a pastry crust with filling”), but their argument seemed fairly weak. A deeper look into some laws, however, reveals more of an insight into why people are so up in arms over this argument.

In Ohio – the state where Alston tried to prove that pizza is a sandwich—the law states that “No person who opens or operates any place selling or serving food for consumption on the premises shall permit customers to carry out prepared uncooked food unless it is wrapped, bagged, or securely contained”.

This law is interesting because it implies that what people consider to be “pizza” (prepared uncooked food) cannot be delivered in the state of Ohio without being placed in some kind of container .

Why do New Yorkers call pizza a pie?

New Yorkers are known for being rather… particular about their food. Regionalism is certainly no stranger to the culinary world, but New Yorkers’ love for pizza truly takes the cake. First, it’s important to understand that many American regional dialects have greatly influenced the English language.

Although Americans speak English, accents and word choices vary depending on where you are from. In the case of New Yorkers, they have a deep love for their city and identity.

A quick search on Google reveals that there are 895,000 results for “New York Pizza”; 99% of these results are people who proudly proclaim that New Yorkers’ pizzas are the best in this world.

When speaking about pizza, New Yorkers are very specific about what they mean. New Yorker pizzerias are unique in that they serve thin crust pizzas with a crunchy, foldable slice.

The concept of “pizza” outside of New York is entirely different. We can say that Americans speak English, but there are many different dialects within the American accent. Similarly, Americans speak English, but New Yorkers have their own dialect when it comes to the word “pizza.”

When you ask a New Yorker what they mean by calling pizza, “a pie,” they will tell you that traditionally in America pizza is considered to be round with a thick crust.

They are defining pie as any dish with a sweet or savory filling that’s made with dough and baked in an oven. This includes but is not limited to: apple pie, pumpkin pie, and of course, pizza pie.

Many believe the origin of this term came from Italian-American bakeries which used their leftover dough scraps to make a dish resembling an open faced calzone.

They would fold the dough over the filling, crimp the edges together to seal all of the sweet or savory fillings inside, and cut little vents in the top to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Conclusion

Yes, pizza is a pie. Pizza crusts are folded in on themselves and can be made from white flour or wheat flour with yeast as the leavening agent. This dough is typically topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings before it’s baked to create a delicious meal that your whole family will love!



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