Who Invented Pizza?
Wondering who invented pizza? Everybody loves a good pizza. They’re delicious and you can get a fresh one delivered right to your door in 30 minutes or less.
A St. Louis-style thin crust pizza fresh from the oven.
But, what if the nearest pizzeria is 250 miles away? And they need a rocket to deliver it? And the pie must to stay fresh for two months?
Those are the problems faced by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). And, it’s why no one ate pizza in space during the first 40 years of the Space Age.
Enter Pizza Hut, the inventor of the space pizza. Working with Russian scientists, the American company developed a pie that could be eaten aboard the ISS. They came up with a six-inch diameter pizza with a crispy crust, tomato sauce, cheese and salami (in the place of pepperoni, which grew moldy during the 60-day testing period). It also had extra spices, especially salt, because human taste buds become dull in space.
Who invented pizza delivery to space? Watch this video about a Pizza Hut pizza delivery to the International Space Station.
After many months of testing on Earth, the first space pizza was launched aboard a Progress freighter in 2001. In April, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov cooked it in a small oven. A picture of a grinning Usachov flashing the thumbs up sign while eating the pizza made headlines around the world.
It was a giant leap for a dish whose origins go back to Neolithic times. For thousands of years, humans baked flat bread and covered it with a variety of toppings. The ancient Greeks used cheese, herbs, oils and garlic. The Romans developed a version called the placenta that featured cheese, honey and bay leaves. Archeologists have found cooking shops that resembled modern pizzerias in the ruins of Pompeii, which was buried by volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The modern version of pizza - covered in tomato sauce - didn’t come into being until the 18th century. The tomato is native to South America, so this vegetable was unknown to Europeans until explorers brought it back in the early 16th century.
Over the following centuries, pizza spread around the world. Italian immigrants brought it to the United States in the late 19th century. World War II also gave a major boost to pizza in America. American troops who occupied Italy during war became tired of their rations and began to see out pizzerias. When they returned from the war, they brought their appetite for the dish back with them.
Now that pizza has conquered the world and low Earth orbit, where will it go next? Would you believe the moon? Domino’s Pizza has proposed building a pizzeria on the lunar surface to satisfy the palates of future settlers who will colonize our closest celestial neighbor. The cost? A cool $21 billion.
Pizza on the moon is still a few year’s off. In the meantime, remember how lucky you are to have a pizza delivered in only 30 minutes.
Links for "Who Invented Pizza?"
Pizza Hut Space Pizza Press Release
Domino’s Lunar Pizzeria