Baking,  Cooking,  Culinary History,  Dinner,  Europe,  Food History,  History

Pizza and Spaghetti

If there are two foods from Italy that have taken over the world, those would be pizza and spaghetti. Pizza is a given everywhere you go in the Western world it seems. And spaghetti is just one of those comfort foods that follows us out of our childhoods. But did pizza and spaghetti really originate in Italy?

Pizza –  The word “pizza” is believed to come from the Latin word, “pinsa” meaning “flatbread”. If that is true, that means pizza reaches all the way back to the time of the Roman empire. There are many legends around the origin of pizza but it most definitely was created in Italy. But pizza didn’t look like what we are use to today until the 18th or 19th century when tomatoes from the New World started to gain favor in Europe. The first place to create pizza like we know and love was Naples, Italy.

After World War II, the returning American soldiers brought back with them a love of foreign cuisines. Italian food was among them and pizza began to appear in America thanks to Italian immigrants. American pizza is different then Italian pizza in the topping preferences and type of bread. Italians love woodfired pizzas with lots of fresh toppings while Americans typically go for either the cheese-heavy Chicago style or New York thin crust pizzas. 

Spaghetti – Spaghetti is another dish that is most decidedly Italian. Italians love their pasta and started creating it as early as the 13th century. Pasta is different than noodles in that the wheat that is used for making pasta is usually durum wheat, a harder wheat variety. Italians have raised pasta making to a fine art with over 50 types being made!

Spaghetti was also believed to have been first served in Naples, Italy. But spaghetti (and meatballs!) as we know is believed to be once again, a 19th century invention of Italian immigrants. 

So, now we all know a little bit more about some of our favorite foods. 🙂 Which one is your favorite? Pizza or spaghetti?

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