Pizza is one of the few foods that almost everyone knows and loves around the world.
It’s cheesy, delicious, and just about everywhere. And in honor of this comfort food favorite, we put together a whole list of pizza facts that will fuel your cravings even more.
1. The First Documented Pizzeria in the World Was Opened in Port’Alba in Naples, Italy During the Late 1800s
The researchers at the William E. Macaulay Honors College also noted that the first pizzeria opened in Port’Alba, Naples.
The pizzeria, called Antica Pizzeria, created the Margherita pizza after Queen Margherita of Italy.
2. The First Pizzeria in America Was Lombardi’s in New York City
Lombardi’s, which was originally a grocery store, started selling pizzas in 1905.
This lead to the explosion of pizzerias around New York City within the coming years, as pizza was still looked at as a foreign food until the late 1940s.
3. In Scotland, Deep-Fried Pizza is A Common Choice
As if you couldn’t make pizza even more appetizing, Scottish pizzerias have a common offer that needs to hop over the pond: deep-fried pizza.
Instead of baking the pizza, Scottish pizzerias offer slices to be deep fried, which they have also done to a variety of foods including Mars bars.
4. In 2013, Domino’s Made DVDs That Smelled Like Pizza
Domino’s Brazil set up a campaign in 2013 with 10 rental stores to release DVDs that smelled like pizza when you used them.
The disc would also show a picture of a pizza after ejecting it due to thermal ink technology.
5. Nasa Funded & Tested a 3D Printer That Can Make Pizza for Astronauts
Even astronauts crave pizza in space: NASA commissioned BeeHex, an Austin-based tech company, to create a 3D printer that makes food, including pizza.
This 3D printer can make a pizza in half of the time that the average pizza chef can and has a variety of toppings and sauces, including vodka sauce and burrata cheese.
6. One 18-inch Pizza Gives You More Pizza Than Two 12-Inch Pizzas
This may seem off, but it’s true: the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius (aka the diameter).
Therefore, the larger the diameter of the pizza, the more pizza you get per slice.
7. 251.7 Million Pounds of Pepperoni Is Consumed Every Year in the U.S. Just From Pizza
According to the National Association of Pizza Operators (which now functions as Pizza Today), pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States.
Each year, we consume on average over 250 million pounds worth of the meaty topping.
8. 14 Billion Pounds of Pepperoni Consumed Around the World Were From Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is one of the world’s biggest pizza chains, which makes sense as to why so many pounds of pepperoni were eaten globally just from this pizzeria chain; 80 percent of their orders include pepperoni just on Super Bowl Sunday.
9. Pizza Wasn’t Popular in America Until After WWII
Former World War II soldiers that were stationed in Italy grew a heavy liking to pizza.
They brought the idea back to the United States and made it the extremely popular dish it is today.
10. About 13 Percent of Americans Eat Pizza on Any Given Day
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 13 percent of Americans eat pizza daily. That’s about one in eight Americans eating pizza on any given day.
11. One in Six Males Aged 2 to 39 Eat Pizza for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner on Any Given Day
According to a study conducted by the USDA, pizza is an extremely popular meal choice among men. It’s most popular demographic is among males ages 6-19 years, since more than 1 in 4 of them consumes pizza on any day.
12. Consumption of Pizza Has Increased American’s Consumption of Cheese by 41 Percent Since 1995
In almost 25 years, cheese consumption has nearly doubled due to the high consumption of pizza in the United States. The USDA also noted that a usual two-slice serving of pizza accounts for 37 percent of our daily calcium consumption.
13. A Typical Daily Pizza Serving Accounts for More Than Half of Our Lycopene Diet
Lycopene, which is an antioxidant that has been proven to help prevent cancer and heart disease in a study published by the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, is prominent in pizza.
This is mainly due to the tomato sauce in pizza since tomatoes are known to have a naturally high concentration of the antioxidant.
14. The First Known Documentation of the Word ‘Pizza’ Is From 997 A.D.
Although pizza wasn’t a global phenomenon until the 1950’s, the word actually dates back to centuries ago.
A manuscript in a small Italian town known as Gaeta is the first known document to contain the word “pizza,” food historian Giuseppe Nocca told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
15. The Most Expensive Pizza in the World Costs Almost €9,000
Master pizza chef Renato Viola creates the most expensive pizza in the world, tastefully called Louis XIII, at his gourmet pizzeria located in Italy.
It’s topped with lobster, buffalo mozzarella, three types of caviar, squilla mantis (a Mediterranean shrimp), and pink Australian salt.
Currently, this pizza costs €8,300 (about $12,000 in the United States).
16. The World Record For The Largest Pizza Is 122 Feet, 8 Inches In Diameter
The pizza, named “Ottavia,” was made in Fiera Roma, in Rome, Italy, on December 13, 2012, by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte of NIPfood, according to the Guinness World Records.
The pizza was also 100 percent gluten-free and was made to spread awareness about health-conscious food choices.
17. The Average Pizza Slice in New York City Usually Matches the Price of an MTA Subway Ride
In the Big Apple, the price of a slice of pizza has been rising in parallel to the price of a New York City subway ride.
This is known as the “Pizza Principle,” and has been going on since the 1960s, according to Business Insider
18. 350 Slices of Pizza are Eaten Each Second in the U.S.
Pizza is one of the most popular food options for Americans, with 350 slices eaten by the second. To put that in perspective, about 21,000 slices are eaten nationally in just one minute.
19. 2,500,000 Pizzas Are Sold From Pizza Hut During the Super Bowl
One of the biggest days for pizzerias around the country is Super Bowl Sunday. Pizza is a major staple to this sports event, with an average of 2,500,000 pizzas being sold just from Pizza Hut alone.
20. Currently, There Are 11,139 Pizza Huts Around the World
Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 and has become one of the most popular pizza chains in the world. Currently, there are 11,139 Pizza Huts globally.
21. The First Pizza Is Thought to Be Invented in Naples During the Early 1500s
Historians from the William E. Macaulay Honors College discovered that the poorer people of Naples would put slices of tomatoes on dough and top it with cheese to make a cheap and easy meal for their families.
According to the researchers, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous during these days, which is why they were considered a cheaper food.
22. Common Pizza Toppings in Japan Include Squid and Mayo
Japanese pizza is known to be topped with just about anything you can think of. Other popular toppings include corn, potatoes, tuna, and bacon.
23. ‘Happy’ Pizza in Cambodia Is Cooked With Marijuana
“Happy” pizza, which is pizza cooked with marijuana, is an extremely popular dish in Cambodia.
Marijuana still has major restrictions in Cambodia, so snack on this with caution!
24. $38 Billion Worth of Pizzas Are Sold Annually in the United States
The United States is one of the biggest consumers of pizza globally and has established a flourishing pizzeria industry.
Every year, $38 billion worth of pizzas are sold in the country.
25. 3 Billion Pizzas Are Sold in the U.S. Alone Each Year
Pizza Today also noted that billions of pizza pies are sold nationally each year. There are also 70 thousand pizzerias currently open in the country.
26. 61 Percent of Americans Prefer Thin Crust Pizza
Pizza connoisseur Craig Priebe noted in his book, The United States of Pizza, that thin crust is the most popular pizza choice among Americans.
Deep dish is the second most common pizza with 14 percent of Americans favoring it over any other type.
27. There Are 9,000 Pizzerias in New York State
One of the most popular foods in New York state (especially in Manhattan) is pizza.
Thousands of pizzerias are scattered across New York, with most of them being located in the five boroughs.
28. 93 Percent of Americans Have at Least One Slice of Pizza Per Month
It seems like almost every American is a fan of pizza. The majority of the American population consumes at least one slice of pizza a month, according to the USDA.
29. There Is a 35 Percent Rise in Pizza Delivery Sales on Super Bowl Sunday
Pizza is one of the biggest staples to any Super Bowl Sunday gathering, and it’s a big business day for most pizzerias.
Priebe also noted in his book that delivery drivers log a total of four million miles worth of deliveries just on Super Bowl Sunday.
30. The Average Slice of Pizza Is 25 Percent Protein
The USDA reported that the average pizza slice’s nutritional content is mostly protein-based.
It also contributes to 35 percent of your recommended daily protein intake.
31. There Are Approximately 70,000 Pizzerias Across the United States
Pizzerias are heavily abundant in the United States with 70 thousands of them coast-to-coast. According to a poll done by TripAdvisor, the city with the best pizza is Chicago.
32. Most Americans Prefer Meat Lovers Pizza
It seems like Americans are big fans of meat: a study conducted by the Culinary Visions Panel shows that 76 percent of 500 Americans surveyed preferred meat lovers pizza over any other kind.
33. Tomato Sauce Can Help Boost Immunity
In addition to tomato sauce’s beneficial lycopene concentration, a study published by Nutrients found that tomato sauce is also high in flavonoids, which help boost your immunity.
The study also noted that flavonoids are also beneficial in fighting an array of complications such as inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
34. The Most Popular Size of Pizza in the United States Is 14 Inches in Diameter
Your average pizza is usually 14 inches in diameter with eight slices. The average pizza is also normally supposed to feed a group of four (two slices per person).
35. Pizza Hut Is The Top-Selling Pizza Chain In The Country
According to research by Pizza Magazine, Pizza Hut has dominated the pizza industry.
With over 5.5 million sales in the United States alone, this chain has risen to the top as the biggest-selling pizzeria in all of the country.
36. Mozzarella Cheese Makes Up for About 80 Percent of Cheese Production in the U.S.
Mozzarella cheese, which is the main cheese used for pizza, makes up for the majority of cheese production in the United States, according to Priebe’s book.
But, mozzarella can be used in a variety of foods, and is one of our recommended cheeses in our Eat This, Not That!: cheese guide.
37. There Are More Than 34 Million Ways to Create a Single Pizza From Domino’s
Domino’s really gives their customers a variety of pizza combinations: about 34 million, to be exact. You can basically order the pizza of your cheesy dreams at this pizzeria chain.
38. Domino’s World’s Fastest Pizza Maker Dennis Tran Can Make Three Large Pizzas in Just 34.36 Seconds
Dennis Tran, the winner of the 2016 Domino’s fastest pizza making contest, is able to make one pizza in just 11 seconds.
He is a Domino’s franchise owner from Tallahassee, Florida.
39. Domino’s Pizza Delivers More Than 1 Million Pizzas a Day Worldwide
This chain has 14,200 locations globally, making it one of the most prominent pizzeria chains in the business.
So it’s not too surprising that they deliver 1 million pizzas daily around the world.
40. Papa John’s First Started in the Back of a Broom Closet
In 1984, Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, sold his car to buy pizza-making equipment and set it up in a broom closet, according to the company’s website.
33 years later, it’s one of the most recognizable brands in the pizza industry.
41. Papa John’s Was the First Pizzeria Chain to Offer Online Ordering
Papa John’s changed the whole delivery game with their online ordering option that was created in 2001.
By 2008, the company received over $1 billion just in e-commerce sales and $1 million in mobile phone orders, according to their data.
42. Peyton Manning Owns 21 Papa John’s Chains
The former football star is also an entrepreneur and owns over 20 Papa John’s chains in the Denver area.
He purchased them in 2012 and has been seen frequently in Papa John’s advertisements across the nation.
43. October Is National Pizza Month in the U.S.
The United States has an official month dedicated to pizza. Now there’s a reason to try one of these 20 incredible, healthy pizza recipes every day for the rest of the month.
44. The Average American Eats Over 23 Pounds of Pizza a Year
Priebe noted in his book that every American on average consumes over 23 pounds of pizza in a single year.
Pizza Today magazine also reports that on average, an equivalent of 100 acres of pizza is consumed in a single day in the United States.
45. Most People Eat Pizza on Saturday Nights
UberEATS found that most Americans consume pizza as their Saturday night dinner. Sounds like a dinner we’ll always be on board with.
46. Eating Pizza Once a Week Reportedly Reduce the Risk of Oesophageal Cancer
This may sound too good to be true, but pizza does have some nutritional benefit for you. According to an Italian study published by the International Journal of Cancer, people who ate pizza at least once a week had less chance of developing cancer. Frequent pizza consumption reduced the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59 percent, as well as risk of developing colon cancer falling by 26 percent and mouth cancer by 34 percent. The researchers assume that this is due to the tomato sauce’s high lycopene content.
47. Pizzas in Italy Were Originally Square-Shaped
Pizza Today magazine reports that square-shaped pizza, also known as Sicilian or Grandma-style pizza, is actually the original shape of the Italian dish. It also contained Romano instead of Mozzarella cheese.
48. Eggs Are a Common Pizza Topping in Australia
A common topping on pizza in Australia is eggs, and pizzas with the topping are referred to as Aussie pizza.
They also usually include bacon and there is actually a recipe for it on the Australian Government’s website.
49. There Is an Annual Pizza Expo in Las Vegas
Pizza fans, rejoice: there is actually a pizza convention, called the International Pizza Expo, held every year. It’s located in Las Vegas, and the next one is scheduled for March 18, 2018, so mark your calendars!
50. Pizza Can Actually Be Healthy!
Pizza has a bad reputation for being unhealthy, but when made right it can actually be an amazing nutritional source.