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When Was the First Pizza Delivery?

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Long before Hawaiian pizza divided the masses and before trendy flavors like buffalo chicken came into vogue, the delicious simplicity of Margherita pizza captivated the world.

Legend has it that when King Umberto I of Italy and Queen Margherita of Savoy were on business in Naples in 1889, she became sick of eating stuffy meals, so she requested to dine on something that the common Italian would eat. According to Food & Wine, renowned Napoli pizza chef Raffaele Esposito was summoned to supply the royals with a pie fit for a king—and a queen, of course. He and his wife went above and beyond, making three different pies, including one with stripes of white mozzarella, green basil, and red tomatoes, resembling a rather delectable Italian flag.

Of course, Queen Margherita and King Umberto wouldn’t possibly deign to visit Esposito’s pizzeria, so the chef took the piping hot pizzas to the couple himself. As far as we know, it’s the first pizza delivery in recorded history. When the pies arrived, Queen Margherita took one bite of the basil, mozzarella, and tomato creation before proclaiming it one of best dishes she had ever eaten. Flattered, Esposito named it after her.

We don’t know if Esposito received a tip for his speedy service, but we do know that he received kudos for a job well done. A few days after inventing pizza delivery, the chef received a thank you letter from the head of table service of the Royals’ Household. It read, “Most Esteemed Raffaele Esposito, I confirm to you that the three kinds of pizza you prepared for Her Majesty were found to be delicious."

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Something Something Soup Something
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This Game About Soup Highlights How Tricky Language Is
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Something Something Soup Something

Soup, defined by Merriam-Webster as "a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food," is the ultimate simple comfort food. But if you look closer at the definition, you'll notice it's surprisingly vague. Is ramen soup? What about gumbo? Is a soy vanilla latte actually a type of three-bean soup? The subjectivity of language makes this simple food category a lot more complicated than it seems.

That’s the inspiration behind Something Something Soup Something, a new video game that has players label dishes as either soup or not soup. According to Waypoint, Italian philosopher, architect, and game designer Stefano Gualeni created the game after traveling the world asking people what constitutes soup. After interviewing candidates of 23 different nationalities, he concluded that the definition of soup "depends on the region, historical period, and the person with whom you're speaking."

Gualeni took this real-life confusion and applied it to a sci-fi setting. In Something Something Soup Something, you play as a low-wage extra-terrestrial worker in the year 2078 preparing meals for human clientele. Your job is to determine which dishes pass as "soup" and can be served to the hungry guests while avoiding any items that may end up poisoning them. Options might include "rocks with celery and batteries in a cup served with chopsticks" or a "foamy liquid with a candy cane and a cooked egg served in a bowl with a fork."

The five-minute game is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but Gualeni also hopes to get people thinking about real philosophical questions. According to its description page, the game is meant to reveal "that even a familiar, ordinary concept like 'soup' is vague, shifting, and impossible to define exhaustively."

You can try out Something Something Soup Something for free on your browser.

[h/t Waypoint]

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