Where did pizza come from? Would you be surprised to learn that it started as humble focaccia bread, and didn’t even have any tomato sauce or cheese on it?
This tasty tidbit is highlighted in the Epicurious video above, which peels back some of the mystery surrounding the history of one of our most popular foods.
For centuries, pizza was essentially just flatbread with oil and toppings, the video says. But it would take a royal queen and a very patriotic chef to take pizza into the saucy stratosphere to which it belongs today.
As one popular story goes, Raffaele Esposito, a pizza chef tasked with making a special pizza for Queen Margherita of Savoy, wanted to make a dinner fit for royalty. So he grabbed ingredients that matched the Italian flag: green basil, white mozzarella and red tomatoes ― the stuff that still lands on top of the traditional margherita pizza, no matter where you order it today.
This new approach to pizza appealed to both the lower and upper crusts of society, and Italian immigrants eventually brought it to the U.S. many years later.
Check out more on the delicious history of pizza in the video above.