VB residents spend a lot of dough on pizzas, because, we love them

January 7, 2019

Pizza is a big and tasty business in Virginia Beach and across America. Luscious and lip-smacking, in 2015, pizza pies generated some $38.5 billion in revenue, nationwide.


But, we didn't fall in love with pizza overnight.


The story of America’s love relationship with it began in 1905 in New York City, not in Italy.


Drum roll, please.


Put your hands together for Gennaro Lombardi, then say a 'thank-you' prayer.


Lombardi opened America's first pizza parlor and his sidekick, Antonio Pero, is credited with being his pizziaolo, or, pizza maker.


More applause warranted.


Albeit, both men made a different type of pizza in Naples before heading to the USA, kudos to the original pizza makers in Italy, as well.



However, other pizza-lovers recognize the Giovanni and Gennaro Bruno brothers, from Naples, who arrived in America in 1903 and introduced the Neapolitan Pizza.


More pizza.


In 1943, Chicago Deep Dish pizza was born. And the rest is pizza history.


Go back far enough into history and you may find that Eve and Adam created the first veggie pizza, baked on a flat rock in the sunshine.


Go back far enough into history and you may find that Eve and Adam created the first veggie pizza, baked on a flat rock in the sunshine.


More and more consumers in the USA desire healthier pizza pies. Technomic’s Pizza Consumer Trend Report found that 43 percent of people surveyed like their preferred pizza restaurant because it uses high-quality, fresh ingredients; and 64 percent want more pizzerias to offer premium ingredients.


Modern-day taste buds are interested in the tantalizing taste and type of the crusted concoctions, customized with a list of myriad ingredients. And, they care about the freshness and amounts of toppings. And the cost.


Americans love their pizza. Takeout or dine-in pizza. Cold, leftover pizza slices, or, warmed up in microwave pizza slices. Frozen, fresh, gourmet, homemade, or from a box — pizza freaks munch and crunch their pies.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, those four courageous amphibious crime-fighters in masks, loved pizza. Probably part of their adolescent DNA.


Sing the Krusty Krab pizza song, along with Sponge Bob, and go pizza wild! We are all emotionally invested in this food of plenty. Happy flows from head to toes when we gobble the gooey goodness. Get your pizza mood on!


Pizza is also a popular route for would-be Guinness World Record-holders and record-breakers. In 2018, a super cheesy pizza, with 111 different types of cheese, was a record-breaker in Germany. Shazam! I didn’t know the world had that many types of cheese.


Our brains have stored up lots of pizza memories: pizza served at birthday parties, slumber parties, graduation parties. And don’t forget how we love to chew pizza while watching Super Bowl games and Ohio State Buckeye games.


Saturday, February 9, 2019 is National Pizza Pie Day in United States of America. That’s how much we commemorate and celebrate pizza. A whole day (24 happy hours) to honor the mouthwatering grub. #NationalPizzaDay. How could Americans ever live without the crusty-saucy-cheesy combination of yum?


What’s for dinner tonight? Pizza. Thin crust, well-done, with pepperoni, black olives and pineapple.


Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist and educator. She lives in Southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.


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