Did you know: that pizza and the United States are about the same age? No, really! In fact, if not for the discovery of the “New World,” pizza as we now know it may never have existed at all.
Why? Because the tomato plant is originally native to South America. When it was first imported to Italy in the 16th century, it was used only as a decoration because people thought it was poisonous. (Imagine: no Ruby Red sauce for your pizzas!) It didn’t take too long for tomatoes to make it into Mediterranean cuisine, though. And once they did, of course pizza wasn’t far behind. By the end of the 18th century, families among the poor in Naples were using tomatoes as a topping to make their affordable dietary staple, flatbread, tastier… thus, pizza was born!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, also at the end of the 18th century, 13 British colonies were signing a document declaring their independence as a country… The United States of America.
Happy Independence Day weekend, Zaw friends!