National Pizza Day:
Celebrated annually on February 9th, National Pizza Day recognizes America’s all-time favorite food – the Pizza! Whether you love it regular, thin-crusted, cheese-filled, Chicago-style, or with weird toppings, let your love for pizza and pizza ideas run wild today!
|2022||9th February||Wednesday||United States|
|2023||9th February||Thursday||United States|
|2024||9th February||Friday||United States|
Why Pizza Day?
Well, everyone loves Pizza! And there are hundreds of varieties to lay your hands on! You could enjoy it as a deep dish, with sauce or no sauce, cooked in an electric oven or a wood-fired one. Pizza is much loved because it can easily adapt to people’s changing tastes, diets, and preferences!
Pizza makes celebrations easy! Its highly appealing nature allows you to order pizzas for any occasion. The pizza day also brings back the nostalgia of all the pizza memories you hold dear! Whether it’s a slice of classic Margherita pizza or the perfectly cooked pepperoni, pizza doesn’t fail to make the moment extra special.
Pizza’s cheese-sauce-crust combination is addictive for the varieties of textures, flavors, and aromas they offer you. The same isn’t possible with any other dish.
While Pizza is the second most popular food in the US after the Hamburger, it is surprising to know that its existence was less known outside of Italy or Italian migrant communities before World War II.
The practice of eating flatbreads with toppings could be traced back to ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Italy’s Campania region became a Greek settlement around 600BC and was a thriving city in the early 1800s. With its amassing wealth, it was also known for its lazzaroni (working poor). The lazzaroni were looking for food that was inexpensive and could be eaten easily. The flatbread with toppings was a great idea for a fulfilling meal making it a popular food choice among these groups. The early pizza toppings were mostly cheese, tomatoes, oil, garlic, and anchovies.
With the unification of Italy in 1861, Pizza had a new royal fan in 1889 with the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita to Naples! It seems that the King and the Queen grew bored of their French diet and wanted to try some pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, established in 1760. The Queen enjoyed the pizza mozzarella, which had white cheese, red tomatoes, and basil for toppings which also resembled the Italian flag. Since then, this pizza was also called the Margherita pizza after the Queen!
Even with a royal fan like the Queen, Pizza would remain non-existent beyond Italy’s borders until WWII. With Italians immigrating to the US for jobs, they brought with them this exquisite dish that was one day going to make a mark in the global food industry. Pizza has intrigued the young and the old in America for its myriads of crusts and topping varieties!
The combination of cheese, flatbread, and veggies or meat of your choice is a glimpse of heaven on earth. Now fruits as toppings are in trend too, especially the pineapple pizza (there’s still an ongoing debate if fruits could be used as toppings).
With mild to spicy flavors, small to large sizes, there’s a pizza for everyone! Another best thing about pizza is that it is easy to make! This hasn’t stopped people from hitting their nearest pizzeria for their favorite pizza or some frozen ones.
Since no one’s going to judge the toppings you would like to have on your pizza the options are endless. You could bake some at home with your veggie or meat leftovers ( the best way to make leftovers interesting!) or head to the nearest pizzeria to enjoy some authentic pizzas from the experts!
Preparing Pizza from scratch is not rocket science, with a little guidance, you will get that perfect pizza!
A basic pizza usually consists of four sections: Making a pizza dough, sauce, assembling the toppings, and finally baking. You will need yeast, flour, sugar, oil, water, salt, pizza sauce, cheese, and bite-sized veggies or meat for your toppings!
Getting yeast ready: ensure yeast, sugar, and flour are brought to room temperature before making the dough. Soak one tablespoon of yeast in a bowl with a half cup of lukewarm water (not hot water) along with a tablespoon of raw sugar. Stir and let it rest for 10 to 12 minutes. Once the mixture is frothy and bubbling, it is ready to be used.
To make the dough use two and a half cups of flour, one-third tablespoon of salt, and one and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil into the mixing bowl with yeast. Mix it gently with water until you get a soft non-sticky dough. Now knead the dough for five minutes using the heel of your palm. Now let the dough rest for a few hours until it doubles in size.
For the pizza sauce, you will need 1 pound of tomato puree. In a pan fry one tablespoon of oil and two finely chopped garlic cloves along with a tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Now add the tomato puree, one-fourth spoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar into the pan and let it simmer until the puree is cooked to a thick consistency. Now add a tablespoon of mixed Italian herbs and half a tablespoon of crushed pepper. Add more salt and herbs if needed. Once the sauce is thick, it is ready to be used.
Preparing the veggie and meat toppings: Grate cheese as required (for a 12-inch pizza you will need 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese). You could use a lot of onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and olives for a veg pizza. For a non-veg pizza, you could have boiled chicken, sausages, pepperoni, meatballs, bacon, beef, and much more. You could pair them with corn, onions, bell peppers, or the veggies of your choice.
Coming back to the pizza dough. Once it’s risen double in size, knead it again for a few more minutes to remove the air bubbles. Shape the dough into 3 balls.
Preheat the oven to 470F for 30 minutes along with the baking tray in it.
Now on a baking tray sprinkle some cornmeal and flatten the dough ball with a few drops of oil on your fingers. The edges need to be slightly thicker than in the center. Now add a tablespoon or two of the pizza sauce and spread it evenly. Add a layer of grated cheese and veggies or meat of your choice. Now finally add another layer of cheese and finish it off with a dash of Italian herbs and red pepper flakes.
Place the pizza tray right over the hot baking tray in the oven. Bake it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and the crust becomes crispy golden. Wait for the temperature to drop down a little and serve hot!
The cheese and the carby goodness keep you full for a long time!
With its incredible past and present, no wonder pizza has a special day after itself!
How Can We Observe National Pizza Day?
- Party With Pizzas!
Pizzas’ versatility allows you to have them for any occasion. Not only are they greatly comforting and filling, but they are also delightful. What better way to widen those smiles at a party! Make the party interesting by having sufficient pizza varieties, dips, and sauces to suit your audience! Pair them up with fresh juice, beer, wine, and music for a great party! Moreover, pizzas are a great socializer as they are easy to share. Thus allowing your audience to explore new people, share and socialize!
- Bake Some Pizzas!
Love to celebrate the day in peace? Bake a pizza at home! You could make it a family tradition too by baking pizza together today! Since pizzas are simple and easy dishes, you could include children as well to lend a hand! Children tend to appreciate food when they understand the efforts, time, and ingredients that go into making food! You could make your pizzas more healthy by making your pizza bases from whole wheat flour too! (not recommended if you are allergic to gluten). If you are short on time or don’t like to wait for the dough to rise, you could buy pizza bases from your nearest grocery stores.
- Have Pizza All Day!
Celebrating pizza day is not that hard! Simply have your favorite pizzas for breakfast, lunch, snack time, and dinner! You could also try the pizza burgers, pizza fingers, pizza dosa (if you want to give the Indian flavor a try), and many more options related to pizza today!
Else grab those attractive pizza meal boxes for a perfect meal!
- Hang out with the Pizza Lovers!
Got friends or family who are die-hard fans of pizza and would love some pizza adventure? Meetup and check out the quirkiest pizzas or all-you-can-eat pizzerias near you! Don’t forget to click pictures of yourselves and the pizzas! Have fun by dressing up as pizza slices today!
- Break the routine
We know you love a certain pizza more than the other. And often we are hesitant to try the new varieties. Celebrate the day by breaking the routine. Try a new topping, crust, or sauce base! You could try a different cheese on your pizza or a combination of cheese with your favorite veggies or meat! You could try a pizza from a Pizzeria you haven’t visited before!
- Create a unique topping
Love experimenting with food? Or didn’t find any of those pizza toppings appealing to your taste buds? Then why not create your own today! Mix and match your favorite ingredients to suit your taste buds! Voila! A new topping will be born! Make it official by sharing it with the world!
- Donate some
There’s no celebration without sharing! Share your love for pizza with the less fortunate, and the homeless.
- Host a Pizza fundraiser party
Auction the best pizzas to raise funds for a special cause.
- Watch some pizza movies
Celebrate the day with pizzas and pizza movies! Catch up on movies like – The Gold of Naples, Home Alone, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 30-minutes or less, Spiderman- 2, Toy Story, Eat-Pray-Love, Mystic Pizza, Mr. Deeds, and much more!
- Gather some pizza knowledge!
Observe the day by gaining more knowledge about pizza and its humble origins. You could read history books on pizza or watch documentaries on the same.
- Visit a Pizza Museum!
Travel through history by looking at various preserved pizzas at the Pizza Museum. Some Pizza Museums also give you a Pizza slice for free! Wondering how to keep your children engaged today, visit a Pizza Museum near you!
- Tip your pizza delivery boy!
Add a generous tip to your pizza delivery boy today!
- Dine out at a Pizzeria
Celebrate by taking your family out for dinner at a local Pizzeria! Don’t forget to check out places with offers today! Why miss out on discounts today?
- Enroll for a pizza-making class
Want to get that pizza right? Enroll in a pizza-making class to learn the science and art of making pizzas. You will be surprised at how much effort making a perfect pizza takes!
- Mix ‘em up!
Confused about which pizza to choose today? Mix them up! Choose a slice from different pizzas!
- Share your pizza recipes and tricks!
You could celebrate the day by sharing your favorite pizza recipes, and tricks to get the pizzas right! Use #NationalPizzaDay and #PizzaDay to share your pizza recipes, pictures, and videos!
Interesting Facts About National Pizza Day:
Here are some interesting facts surrounding National Pizza Day!
- Every second 350 slices of pizza are sold in the U.S.
- Pizzerias constitute 17% of all the restaurants in the U.S.
- New York City has over 10% of the total Pizzerias in the U.S.
- Americans consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni each year, mostly on a pizza.
- Pizza is the second most loved food in the U.S. after Hamburgers!
- Pizza Hut ranks No.1 in popularity followed by Papa John’s and Domino’s
- 3% of Americans would prefer a Pizza to a girlfriend or a boyfriend
- 57% of Americans love having pizza
- 53% prefer having pizzas at the restaurants over frozen ones
- 30% of Americans have pizza at least once a week
- 22% of Americans say they can finish an entire pizza by themselves
- While 19% of people love to pair their pizza with a beer
- The most expensive pizza is sold in Italy for $12,000!
History of National Pizza Day:
This amazing food holiday’s origin is a mystery. While we continue researching it, do enjoy everything about Pizza today!