People love a good slice of pizza, especially when it’s freshly baked from the oven. Imagine the smell of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and pepperoni all mingling with one another. How about something with barbeque sauce, smoked Gouda, more mozzarella, barbecue chicken, cilantro, and red onions? Doesn’t it just make your mouth water?
It's probably no surprise that pizza has become one of the most quintessential comfort foods in the world. You can almost be anywhere, and still find someone selling one form of it or another. But how much do you really know about pizzas? Gabriel Sinohuiz, the Vice-President of International Brand Development for California Pizza Kitchen, and Luisa del Rosario Lomotan, the Senior Operations Director of California Pizza Kitchen Philippines give us a few little-known facts about pizza.
1. The original pizza is almost devoid of topping.
These days, you can find just about anything on your pizza, from mussels to Peking Duck! However, the original pizza in Naples, Italy, is exactly the opposite. “It was pizza that was basically made out of what the Italians call Tipo 00,” says Gabriel, who was able to experience it firsthand on a trip to Naples. “Tipo 00 flour is basically a very fine, powdery talcum powder, milled flour, and what the Italians have is the most extraordinary tomatoes that grow in that region on the hillsides of Naples, on volcanic soil, which is just amazing.”
Put those two with fresh buffalo mozzarella, giant leaves of basil; shove the pizza in the oven, and voila! “It’s very simple, but because the ingredients, as I said to you, are exceptional, it’s the best pizza in the world.”
2. The Hawaiian pizza did not come from Hawaii.
From Naples, pizza went on to take over different parts of the world. Along the way, people couldn’t help but experiment with it. The Hawaiian pizza, the pizza with pineapples, is one of the more popular versions. However, the US state which it was named after wasn’t exactly the forerunner of the said pizza, although it is, according to Gabriel, one of two states to actually grow pineapples.
Its origins are murky. According to The Toronto Sun, Sam Panopoulos, a 76-year-old man who came to Canada in 1954, claims to be the first to invent the Hawaiian pizza. However, there are other sources that say it’s a spin-off of Germany’s Toast Hawaii. What do you guys think?
3. The pizza stretches even more when tossed mid-air.
If you think that all that tossing is just for show, think again! “There’s a whole science to pizza,” says Luisa who animatedly tries to demonstrate how to toss pizza dough for the media.
“Actual tossing is an art, so what it does, when you spin it up, the dough spins and it stretches out more. Five times, you toss it,” she explains.
(Photo by Mike Dee)