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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!