Since 2017, it is considered an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Yay! This Wednesday, February 9, marks World Pizza Day, one of the most consumed fast foods in the world and, along with pasta, one of the favorite international Italian dishes.
Regardless of whether you like it with pineapple or without pineapple -an open debate in 2017, when the president of Iceland asked on Twitter if he should have pineapple or not- it is, since that same year, a UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity, due to its role in social life and the transmission of this culinary art between generations.
Despite its Italian origin, the word pizza comes from the Greek 'pēktos', which means 'solid' or 'coagulated'. The base is a dough, generally circular (although it can also be rectangular or any other shape), made with wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast.
When you have the base, the usual thing is to add tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and, on top, the desired ingredients, from the aforementioned pineapple to anchovies, capers, olives, ham, corn, vegetables... everything you want and in any combination you want.
The traditional -and best- way of cooking it is in a wood oven, although it is quite common to use domestic ovens, especially if it is pre-cooked pizzas - frozen or ready-to-bake pizzas.
History of Pizza
In the period 521-500 BC, the Persian soldiers ate a kind of flatbread in which they put spices and melted cheese, the same as in ancient Rome, where the soldiers did the same with a flatbread to which they poured olive oil macerated with different herbs.
However, the pizza we know today originated in the Italian city of Naples, and it is said that the people who lived there put tomatoes on a yeast-based flatbread. And everything indicates that the creator of modern pizza was Raffaele Esposito, who lived there. According to a very popular urban legend, Esposito invented a pizza in 1889 in honor of Queen Margherita, which he baptized pizza margarita then it arrived in the United States and, quickly spread out in the other countries as well. And don't be surprised if you find more dates that mention pizza, because, following the rule that each city and even each business has its own pizza, more celebrations have been created in its honor.
For example, apart from February 9, we can celebrate our pizza passion in a big way on April 5. And it is that this date is the one chosen by the US to organize its Deep Dish Pizza Day. Barely a month later we have a new appointment to stuff ourselves with pizza, specifically on May 7, which is when countries like Mexico celebrate their International Pizza Day. Without leaving the month, on the third Friday of May, there are countries like the United States that bring together pizza fans to celebrate the Pizza Party together.
Wait there's more: September 5th is World Cheese Pizza Day. On the 20th of the same month, Pepperoni Pizzas are honored. And on October 11, the same is done with the Sausage Pizzas.
How is World Pizza Day celebrated?
So, Pineapple on Pizza, Yes or No?
Although this debate is not new, the president of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, gave a lecture at a school in Akureyri a few years ago, in the northeast of the country. And he had no qualms about answering the questions that those present wanted to ask him, including personal ones: what is his favorite football team and ... what do you think of pineapple on pizza, according to the Icelandic news portal Visir.
The controversy has been such that Jóhannesson himself has had to come out with his own statements, and has made a statement -in Icelandic and English- on his Facebook account making an allegation in which he takes advantage of his statements to criticize the unlimited power of rulers:
"I like pineapple, but not on pizza. I don't have the power to make laws that ban people from putting pineapple on their food. I'm glad I don't have that power. Presidents shouldn't have unlimited power. I wouldn't want this job. if I could create laws to ban trivial things that I don't like, nor would I want to live in a country where laws are created that way. For pizza, I recommend seafood."
The #news jumped to Twitter, where -as always- there were people who were in favor of the idea of banning this pizza and others against it.
But the answer has even reached the ears of the one who is credited as the inventor of pineapple pizza, Canadian Sam Panopoulos, according to the Canadian radio network CBC. Panapoulos tells Jóhannesson that when he was inventing pineapple pizza, "[Jóhannesson] wasn't even born. It's a long time ago."
So, let's celebrate this day by eating pizzas (I prefer it without pineapple)!