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7 Different Types of Pizza From Around the World

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We may debate which country invented pizza, but there's no denying that it's one of the most popular foods found throughout the world. The word pizza, which comes from the word pita, means 'pie.' So be careful: calling it a pizza pie is sort of like saying "I'll have the soup de jour of the day." The below list is by no means exhaustive. It's just meant to drop a little knowledge on you about some of the more popular permutations found in different regions of the world.

1. Lahma Bi Ajeen

This scrumptious version of pizza, which literally translates into "meat with dough," is brought to you by the Lebanese (other parts of the Middle East call it by other names) and is made with minced onions, usually ground lamb, cumin and yogurt. If you have never tried it, you really must! Soo delicious.

2. Margherita

The pizza Margherita is just over a century old and is named after HM Queen Margherita of Italy, wife of King Umberto I and first Queen of Italy. It's made using toppings of tomato, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, which represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag.

3. Calzone

Calzone means 'stocking' in Italian and is a turnover that originates from Italy. Shaped like a semicircle, the calzone is made of dough folded over and filled with the usual pizza ingredients.

4. Stromboli

Many people think that strombolis and calzones are identical. However, this is not really the case. According to WIKI, "there are several theories regarding the origin of the stromboli. Romano's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria claims to have originated it in 1950 in Essington, Tinicum Township, just outside of Philadelphia, by Nazzareno Romano. Others claim a stromboli sandwich with chili sauce was invented by Mike Aquino, Sr., in Spokane, Washington, named after the movie Stromboli starring Ingrid Bergman, in 1954."

5. Marinara

This is your basic flat bread with oil, tomato, garlic, and oregano. In Italy, back in the old days, it was stored on voyages so that sailors (marinai) could make pizza away from home.

6. Neapolitan

The Neapolitan hails from Naples and is the basis for our modern-day American pizza. Originally, the Neapolitan pie was served sans cheese. But around 1889, that seems to have changed when the Royal Palace commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. That's how the plain pizza morphed into the Margherita.

7. Deep Dish

Unlike most pizzas, deep dish is eaten with a knife and fork. It hails from Chicago and the best story I found about its origin comes from an article dating back to 1943 from the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-style pizza may owe its existence to a bad enchilada. When partners Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo planned to open a restaurant, Sewell, a native Texan, wanted to feature Mexican food. But one of the sample meals the partners tested made Riccardo so sick that he rejected Mexican food entirely. Riccardo suggested pizza, which he had encountered in Italy--as indeed many American servicemen were doing during World War II. Sewell's complaint with pizza was that it was insubstantial, little more than an appetizer--and readily available in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood besides. Sewell wanted a substantial, meal-size pizza. After some experimenting, the partners devised something with a thick crust and plenty of cheese.

What's your favorite type of pizza? Let us know in the comments below!

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Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
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While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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