Pizza first came to prominence during the 16th century in Naples, Italy. The flatbread dish, which later became known as pizza, was eaten by the poor mostly and was not considered a serious form of cuisine for some time.
The pizza as we know it now, looked every different during this time and was usually covered with just a simple white sauce only. A whole century later and the Italians began experimenting by adding a variety of different toppings such as tomatoes, fish and oil to create a more interesting dish.
The margherita pizza is probably one of the most famous of all and was first invented by a chef from Naples, Raffaele Esposito, in 1889. The margherita has royal connections having been created in honour of the Queen consort if Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The original pizza features tomatoes, basil and mozzarella to represent the three colours on the Italian flag. The margherita pizza represents a milestone in the pizza making process as it was the first time cheese had been used on the dish, something which we regard as a staple ingredient now.
Pizza has continued to evolve over the years with different regions in Europe and beyond inventing their own distinct version of the humble flatbread recipe. America also caught on to the pizza trend after Italian immigrants brought it over to the US during the 19th century.
In America pizza was first sold by street traders in Italian neighbourhoods before its appeal became more mainstream. The Americans seemed to embrace the Italian dish and even began creating their own versions of the dish including the Detroit style pizza and the Chicago style pizza.