Like many other food products developed throughout the years, pizza has historical links to countless civilizations in some form or another including ancient Egyptians, Armenians and Babylonians. However, the current version every impoverished college kid loves today is conclusively tied to Naples, Italy. As the storied legend goes, working poor were densely packed along the riverfront city and had little to feed their families with — flatbread, tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies and garlic (not coincidentally the main ingredients to ‘za).
After Italy unified in 1861, according to the History Channel, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita (you see where this is going) became bored with highfalutin meals and requested they be showered with the sustenance of peasants.
The version Margherita loved most was topped with white cheese, red tomatoes and green basil, later dubbed the “margherita pizza.” From there, American immigrants with Italian roots began to make the cuisine in the states offering them in large metropolitan areas such as Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and Manhattan (where the first documented pizzeria, Lombardi’s, was established in 1905).
Today, there are an estimated 61,269 pizzerias in the United States that serve well over 100 acres of pizza per day at an average of 350 slices of pizza consumed per second. Now that’s a spicy meat-a-ball.