Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pizza in America

Before the 1950s, most people in America had never seen or heard of ‘pizza’. In the mass emigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans to the United States between 1880 and 1920 came multitudes of Southern Italian peasants fleeing from economic hardship.

From its humble origin on the street of Naples, pizza found its second home in the United States. Decades after the first Italian immigrants sold pizza on the streets of New York, the taste for pizza eventually saturated the interior of the country.

The first pizzeria in United States was opened in 1905 by Genarro Lombardi in the city of New York. He is credited with selling some of the first slices out of his place at 53rd ½ Spring Street in Little Italy.

Pizza became popular in the mid-twentieth century. It incorporated ingredients and styles and reflected the relative abundance of food in the country at the time. The first truly American pizza was born in 1943 when Chicagoan Ike Sewell introduced deep-dish pizza to the Windy City.

Chain restaurants quickly began popping up all over America. The first Pizza Hut sprang up in Wichita, Kansas, around 1958. It was also during 1950s that the first frozen pizza began lining the shelves at grocery stores.

In 1954, Sherwood Johnson and Ed Plummer opened the first Shakey’s Pizza Parlor restaurant in Sacramento. Shakey’s became the first franchise pizza chain in United States.
Pizza in America

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