That Flatbread That Became A Meal: Pizza

By Penny Chavers
New York City Pizzeria. Source: (Photo from

Pizza is a food that is loved by most people, whether Italian or not. Convenient for movie night or any night when cooking is not an option, pizza is easy whether ordering it to be delivered or popping into the oven.

Pizza goes way back with the earliest known pizza to be from the island of Sicily. What was left of old flattened bread was found by archaeologists who believed it to be about 3,000 years old as well as a tool for manufacturing it. From the ruins of the city of Pompeii that was caused by a volcano, archaeologists have been able to find numerous signs of the previous existence of pizza in the Roman Empire. Among the discoveries were street stands where they sold pizza and bakeries, along with the equipment, that they used. In early historical writings, pizza is mentioned by Darius the Great. Included in these writings are accounts of his soldiers baking flattened bread on their shields and covered with cheese. In the Roman Empire, and in particular, Naples and Pompeii, pizza was very popular as their regular daily meals. Other writings go on to say that they were very good at the skill of making these flattened bread pizzas, to which they would afterward add different toppings.