Tasty tidbits about pizza

The calendar is dotted with various holidays that celebrate pizza. From National Pizza Pie Day in February to National Deep Dish Pizza Day in April to National Cheese Pizza Day in September, not to mention National Pizza Month in October, any time of year is the perfect opportunity to bite into a slice.

For most people, the best part of pizza is eating it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn something about this all-time favorite food as well. The following are some tasty tidbits about pizza, courtesy of Fact City, Pizza Need, and Facts Legend.

• Pizza is tied to Greece. Greeks are credited with creating the first pizza-like food. The Greeks used to bake flat, round large breads that were then topped with vegetables, potatoes, spices, and olive oil. However, the first commercial pizza and pizzeria has been traced to the 19th century and the Italian city of Naples.

• Not all pizza is flat. While crispy, low-profile pies maybe classic, other varieties of pizza have their fans. “Deep dish” pizza originated in 1943 in the Chicago eatery Pizzeria Uno. Sfincione, or focaccia pizza, a type of pizza made in a sheet pan with thicker slices, was created in the mid-19th century in Sicily. It is popularly called Sicilian pizza.

• Pizza is even more popular on certain days of the year. Pizza can be enjoyed any day of the year, but Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Thanksgiving Eve, and New Year’s Day are the top five days for pizza sales. In addition, pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all foodservice sales.

• Pizza is booming. In the United States, the pizza industry makes up 17 percent of all restaurants and grosses more than $30 billion every year. The highest-grossing single-unit independent pizzeria in the United States is Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska. Its annual sales are approximately $6 million.

• Pizza is popular everywhere. Around the world, about three billion pizzas are sold each year.

• Pizza is a weekend favorite. While Friday maybe pizza night for many people, sales figures indicate that Saturday night is the most popular night to eat pizza.

• Pizza has a symbiotic relationship with certain foods. The pizza industry has helped propel both the cheese and pepperoni industry. Around 251 million pounds of pepperoni are consumed each year in the United States.

• Hawaiian pizza is popular, though not accurately named. Ham and pineapple are popular pizza toppings on the West coast of the United States, and this pizza is dubbed the Hawaiian pizza. However, it doesn’t have any connection to Hawaii. This pizza actually was invented in Canada.

Pizza is a perennial favorite and one of the most popular foods of all time.