After Nigella Lawson divides fast food fans, we celebrate all that is pizza

PIZZA is special. There is something about the dough, cheese and tomatoes mix – plus the fact it is round, eaten with your hands and made for sharing – that draws us towards it.

Even TV chef Nigella Lawson likes to serve fried egg on her leftover slices. Here, we hail the dish with fun facts from our new book.



History

TRADITIONAL pizza finds its roots in late 18th century Naples.

Much of the Italian city’s population was living in poverty and required cheap food to eat on the move.

Early versions were topped with garlic, lard and salt.

Then, in 1899, chef Raffaele Esposito was given the task of cooking for King Umberto I and his wife Margherita. The royals were tired of rich cuisine and wanted something more basic.

Raffaele made a pizza topped with mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil, and Pizzeria Brandi still has the letter from the queen declaring it to be “delicious”. The dish was named Pizza Margherita after her.

In 2017, Naples pizza-making was given Unesco World Heritage Status.

Fun facts

  • THE risk of oesophageal cancer is reduced if tomato pizza is consumed at least once a week.
  • A pizza was (probably) the first thing to be ordered online – in 1974 in Michigan.
  • The US consumes 3billion pizzas a year – nine for every person who lives there.
  • The pepperoni pizza emoji is the most used emoji in the US.

Celebs and their dough






World record

KELVIN Medina, from the Philippines, ate a 12in pizza with a knife and fork in 23.62 seconds.

Divisive ingredients




How to get a perfect slice

JOEL Haddley and Stephen Worsley from the University of Liverpool have worked out the most scientifically accurate way to cut pizza fairly into 12 slices using the 'monohedral disc tilting' method.

However, half the slices will be almost entirely crust. Dough!

World record

DOMINO'S chef Brain Edler cooked 206 pizzas in an hour in Ohio – a record.

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