The word pizza first appeared in Italy in 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy. Pizza came to mean bread with toppings. It wasn’t until 1904 in an article in the Boston Journal that the word pizza was printed in the United States. Since then, a lot has changed. However, the original meaning still rings true.
Italian immigrants in the late 19th century brought the concept of Pizza to the United States via Ellis Island. From there, pizza began to take hold in cities with large Italian populations such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. The first pizzeria established in America was in 1905 in New York by Gennaro Lombardi and named it Lombardi’s in 1905. After the first pizzeria was established in New York, it was only 5 years until pizza spread outside of the city and into Trenton, NJ. It took another 15 years for pizza to make its way north to New Haven, CT and it wasn’t until 1939 that the D’Amore family finally brought pizza to the west coast and Los Angeles.
Today, as you know, pizza is ubiquitous. Everywhere you go, you can get a slice, a pie, a cut, whatever! If it wasn’t for Mr. Lombardi, who knows if we would ever have pizzerias?