Don’t Tell the Italians – It was Greeks Who Invented Pizza
When we hear the word pizza, our minds travel first to the delicious flat bread that comes out of the oven topped with melted cheese and other yummy ingredients.
The food is also indelibly linked in popular culture to the country of Italy. And when we speak of Italian restaurants, a big portion of the menu is occupied by pizza. There is historical evidence that Greeks ate a flat bread called plakous, which was topped with olive oil, herbs, onion, cheese and garlic and baked in a mud oven.
The Romans, who adapted many Greek customs and habits, naturally adopted the idea of baking plakous in the oven after putting the ingredients of their choice on top.Italian folklore says that pizza as we know it today originated in a primitive form in Naples as the food of the poor. The original ingredients were simply flour, water and a tiny bit of tomato paste on top.
Italian historians note, however, that flat breads with a variety of toppings had been sold by street vendors and eaten by the poor workers of Naples before Esposito’s time.
Today, pizza is one of the most beloved foods around the world, yet American-style pizza has had a mixed reception in Italy. If you travel there and go to a Italian restaurant away from tourist areas, you will not find pizza on the menu.