According to the Michigan government website, pizza originated in Naples, Italy. The Italians had been cooking large pieces of flat bread on cooking stones for a long time. Later on, they used spices for flavoring, called the bread focaccia, and used it as an appetizer or snack.
When the Europeans arrived in the new world, they were introduced to tomatoes which they brought back home. At first, people didn’t want to use the tomatoes because they thought that they were poisonous. The tomato plant does, after all, resemble the other members of its plant family, the nightshades. However, the Italians needed to add something different to their bread-filled diet and decided to put the tomatoes on focaccia bread.
The first pizzeria in the world opened in Port’ Alba, Italy in 1830. The pizzas were baked in an oven lined with lava from a local volcano. The first pizza delivery occurred in 1889 to the Queen Margherita Terea Giovanni at her palace.
The pizza was to include the colors of the Italian flag so he used tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and added basil to the focaccia bread. He named this meal Margherita Pizza after the guest of honor and the restaurant – Pietro II Pizzaiolo.
The first American pizzeria was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi New York City and is still there today. However it did not become popular until after WWII when veterans wanted to eat pizza like they had in Italy after they returned home. Pizza chains, pizzerias, and pizza pie mixes appeared everywhere and today pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world.