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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish and Israeli Foods --> Pizza
In its original form, a pizza (occasionally, pizza pie) is an oven-baked, flat, usually circular bread covered with tomato sauce and cheese with optional toppings.

The cheese is usually mozzarella or sometimes a mixture of several specialty cheeses such as parmesan, romano, ricotta and feta.

What Make a Kosher Pizza?

  • Use only Kosher Cheese
  • Pizza made for Passover can not use leaven flour.
Various other toppings may be added, most typically:
  • herbs and seasonings such as basil, oregano, and garlic
  • vegetables such as bell peppers, green peppers, asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, olives, onions
  • mushrooms
  • Kosher Pizza these following ingredients are not to be used: meat, seafood or fish products, sausage, (especially pepperoni or salami), ham, bacon, ground beef, anchovies, pineapple, and shrimp. also see mixing meat, cheese and fish
The crust is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with butter, garlic, or herbs, or stuffed with cheese. In some pizza recipes (so-called "white pizzas") the tomato sauce is omitted, or replaced with another sauce (e.g. sauces made with spinach or onions). Pizza is normally eaten hot (typically at lunch or dinner), but leftovers are often eaten cold.

also see: Pizza Recipes

The word "pizza" is from the Italian word pizza (IPA: /pittsa/), with plural form pizze (IPA: /pit:tse/). The term was originally used to refer to a range of dough-based dishes, and is thought to be derived from pinza ← Latin pincere "to mash up".

A restaurant which serves pizza is called a pizzeria (from Italian); in the US, the phrase pizza parlor is also used. Pizza can also be purchased in grocery stores or supermarkets (usually but not always frozen); in many countries, pizza can also be ordered by phone (or, increasingly, via the Web) to be delivered, hot and ready to eat, to almost any address within range of the restaurant.

History: Kosher and Non-Kosher Pizza

The history of food items which may have served as the roots of modern pizza can be traced to the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia (southern Italy). Such products arguably have their first written mention in Book VII of Virgil's Aeneid:

Their homely fare dispatch’d, the hungry band
Invade their trenchers next, and soon devour,
To mend the scanty meal, their cakes of flour.
Ascanius this observ’d, and smiling said:
“See, we devour the plates on which we fed.”

In the 3rd century BCE, the first history of Rome, written by Marcus Porcius Cato, mentions a "flat round of dough dressed with olive oil, herbs, and honey baked on stones". Further evidence is found in Pompeii, the city "frozen in time" since 79 CE, where archaeologists have excavated shops that closely resemble modern pizzerias.

Though several kinds of flat bread made with flour, often cooked with oil and spices, were familiar to ancient Romans and popular in all the Mediterranean area, they were considerably different from pizza as it is known today. The tomato was still unknown in Europe and the Indian water buffalo, whose milk is used to make the real mozzarella cheese, had not yet been imported to Campania, the area around Napoli (Naples). The crust of pizza is very similar to focaccia bread common in Italian cuisine today.

The tomato was first believed to be poisonous (as some other fruits of the nightshade family are), when it came to Europe in the 16th century. However, by the late 18th century even the poor of the area around Naples added it as an ingredient to their yeast-based flat bread, and the dish gained in popularity. Pizza became a tourist attraction, and visitors to Naples ventured into the poorer areas of the city to try the local specialty.

The first dynasties of Neapolitan pizza makers (Italian: pizzaioli) originate in these years: modern pizza is attributed to baker Raffaele Esposito of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. In 1889 Esposito, who worked in the pizzeria "Pietro... e basta così" (literally "Peter... and that's enough", established in 1780 and still in activity; now called "Pizzeria Brandi") baked a special pizza for the visit of the King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The pizza was very patriotic in its evocation of the Italian flag with its colors of green (basil leaves), white (mozzarella), and red (tomatoes), and was named Pizza Margherita in honor of the Queen. This set the standard by which today's pizza evolved and spread worldwide.

Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and street vendors out of pizza bakeries. The world's first true pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, opened in Naples in that period.

Pizza met the aristocratic taste (the King of Naples Ferdinando II of Borbone greatly enjoyed the pizza made by 'Ntuono Testa at Salita S. Teresa) and an even more decided popular favour, establishing itself as a daily course, dinner and supper of the Neapolitans.

An Italian immigrant to the US in 1897 named Gennaro Lombardi opened a small grocery store in New York's Little Italy. An employee of his, Antonio Totonno Pero (also an Italian immigrant) began making pizza for the store to sell. Their pizza became so popular, Lombardi opened the first US pizzeria in 1905 at 53 1/3 Spring Street, naming it simply Lombardi's. The price for an entire pizza was 5 cents, but since many people couldn't afford the cost of a whole pie, they could rather say how much they could pay and they were given a slice corresponding to the amount offered (not unlike how pizza is often sold today). It was closed in 1984 and then reopened in 1994 a block down, at 32 Spring Street. On November 10, 2005, Lombardi's celebrated its 100th anniversary by selling pizzas at the 1905 price, 5 cents, for the whole day.

In 1924, Totonno left Lombardi's to open his own pizzeria on Coney Island called Totonno's. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana opened in New Haven in 1925. Boston was introduced to pizza in 1926 by Anthony Polcari when he opened Pizzeria Regina in Boston's North End. The D'Amore family brought pizza to Los Angeles in 1939. At this point in time in the U.S., pizza consumption was still limited mostly to Italian immigrants.

The international breakthrough came after World War II. Allied troops occupying Italy, weary of their rations, were constantly on the lookout for good food. They discovered the pizzerias, and local bakers were hard pressed to satisfy the demand from the soldiers. The American troops involved in the Italian campaign took their appreciation for the dish back home.

With its rising popularity in the 1950s, especially in the US, pizza became a component of the growing chain-restaurant industry. Some leading early pizza chains were Shakey's Pizza (inventor of the term pizza parlor; formerly, the term pizzeria was preferred) and Pizza Hut, both founded in 1954, in Sacramento and Wichita, respectively. Some later entrants to the dine-in pizza market were Happy Joe's, California Pizza Kitchen, and Round Table Pizza. Today, the American pizza business is dominated by companies that specialize in home delivery, including Domino's, Little Caesar's, and Papa John's. Even Pizza Hut has shifted its emphasis away from pizza parlors and toward home delivery. These national pizza chains often coexist with locally-owned pizza restaurants.

Pizza is also found in supermarkets as a frozen food. Considerable amounts of food technology ingenuity has gone into the creation of palatable frozen pizzas. The main challenges include preventing the sauce from combining with the dough and producing a crust that can be frozen and reheated without becoming rigid. Modified corn starch is commonly used as a moisture barrier between the sauce and crust. Traditionally the dough is somewhat pre-baked and other ingredients are also sometimes pre-cooked. Lately, frozen pizzas with completely raw ingredients have also begun to appear.

Types of pizza

In recent years, pizza has become an international food since the toppings can be extensively varied to meet local variations in taste. These pizzas consist of the same basic design but include an exceptionally diverse choice of ingredients, such as anchovies, egg, pineapple, grilled lamb, coconut, sauerkraut, eggplant, lamb, couscous, chicken, fish, and shellfish, meats done in ethnic styles such as Moroccan lamb, kebab or even chicken tikka masala, and non-traditional spices such as curry and Thai sweet chili. Pizzas can also be made without meat for kosher and vegetarians, and without cheese for vegans. Breakfast pizzas are topped with ingredients such as scrambled eggs. "Supreme" pizzas typically include a thick layer of many different toppings.

Pizza styles:
Kosher Pizza

Italian pizzas:

  • Neapolitan pizza (pizza Napoletana). According to the rules proposed by the Associazione vera pizza napoletana and other sources quoted by the BBC [3], and the legal EU document with the Vera Pizza Napoletana Specification in translation. The genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of Italian wheat flour (type 0 and/or 00), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with an approved mixer that moves in a clockwise direction. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by the right hand and the first two fingers of the left without the help of a rolling pin or other mechanical device, and may be no more than 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) stone oven with an oak-wood fire. When cooked, it should be soft and fragrant. Neapolitan pizza has also gained in Italy the status of "guaranteed traditional speciality". This admits only three official variants:
    + Pizza marinara: with tomato, garlic, oregano and oil;
    + Pizza Margherita: tomato, mozzarella in listels, basil and oil;
    + Pizza Margherita Extra: tomato, buffalo mozzarella from Campania in listels, basil and oil.
  • Veneto style: Pizza in Veneto (Venice, Padova) is very thin (0.5 cm), crispy in the outer ring but soft, almost flimsy, in the inner portion. Little sauce is used, and a popular topping is strips of Prosciutto.
  • Lazio style: Pizza in Lazio (Rome), as well as in many other parts of Italy is available in 2 different "flavours": 1) In take-away shops so-called "Pizza Rustica" or "Pizza a Taglio". Pizza is cooked in long, rectangular baking pans and relatively thick (1-2 cm). The crust similar to that of an English muffin and mostly cooked in an electric oven. When purchased, it is usually cut with scissors or knife and priced by weight. 2) In Pizza Restaurants (Pizzerie), where it is served in a dish in its traditional round shape, it features a very thin crust compared to Neapolitan recipe. It is mostly cooked in a wood-fired oven which gives pizza its unique flavour and taste. In Rome a "Pizza Napoletana" is topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and oil (thus, what in Naples is called "Pizza Romana", in Rome is called "Pizza Napoletana"). Strange enough, there is no such "Pizza Napoletana" in Naples and no "Pizza Romana" in Rome.
  • Pizza Romana (in Naples): tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano, oil;
  • Pizza Viennese: tomato, mozzarella, German sausage, oregano, oil;
    o Pizza with Ham and Mushrooms: tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms;
  • Pizza Capricciosa ("Caprice Pizza"): mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, artichokes, cooked ham, olives, oil (in Rome raw ham is used and half hard-boiled egg is added ;
  • Pizza Quattro Stagioni ("Four Seasons Pizza"): same ingredients for the Capricciosa, but ingredients not mixed;
  • Four Cheeses Pizza: tomato, mozzarella, other cheeses;
  • Sicilian-style pizza has its toppings baked directly into the crust. An authentic recipe uses neither cheese nor anchovies. Sicilian Pizza in the United States is typically a different variety of product made with a thick crust characterized by rectangular share and topped with tomato sauce and cheese (and optional toppings). Pizza Hut's Sicilian Pizza, introduced in 1994, is not an authentic example of the style as only garlic, basil, and oregano are mixed into the crust.

American pizzas:

  • New York-style pizza is a style originally developed in New York City, where pizza is often sold in oversized, thin and flexible slices. It is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The slices are sometimes eaten folded in half, as its size and flexibility may otherwise make it unwieldy to eat by hand. This style of pizza tends to dominate the Northeastern states and is very similar to the basic style common through the United States and known simply as pizza. Many pizza establishments in the New York metropolitan area offer two varieties of pizza: "Neapolitan", or "regular", made with a relatively thin, circular crust and served in wedge-shaped slices, and "Sicilian", made with a thicker, rectangular crust and served in large, rectangular slices.
  • Chicago-style pizza, or deep dish pizza contains a crust which is formed up the sides of a deep dish pan. It reverses the order of ingredients, using crust, cheese, filling, then sauce on top. Some versions (usually referred to as "stuffed") have two layers of crust with the sauce on top. Deep dish pizza was purportedly invented and first served in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno, which is still operating along with its twin restaurant, Pizzeria Due, in the River North neighborhood.
  • St. Louis-style pizza is a distinct style of pizza popular in Saint Louis, Missouri and its surrounding areas. It is also sometimes duplicated in other areas of the Midwest. The most notable characteristic of St. Louis-style pizza is the distinctively St. Louisan provel cheese used instead of (or rarely in addition to) the mozzarella common to other styles of pizza. The pizza has a thin, round crust, as opposed to Chicago's deep-dish style or New York's pan-style. The crust of a St. Louis pizza is somewhat crisp and cannot be folded easily, and is typically cut into three- or four-inch squares instead of the pie-like wedges typical of other pizza. It is often salty and seasoned with more oregano than other pizza types. Despite its thin crust, it can be layered deeply with many different toppings. Sauces tend to have a sweetness to them, some more noticeably than others. The two largest St. Louis-style Pizza chains are Imo's Pizza and Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria.
  • California-style pizza (often termed in the United States gourmet pizza) refers to pizzas with non-traditional ingredients, especially those that use a considerable amount of fresh produce.
  • White pizza (pizza bianca) uses no tomato sauce, often substituting pesto or dairy products such as sour cream. Most commonly, the toppings consist only of mozzarella and ricotta cheese. In Rome, the term pizza bianca refers to a type of bread topped only with olive oil.
  • Greek pizza is a variation popular in New England. It has a thicker, chewier crust and is baked in a pan in the pizza oven, instead of directly on the bricks. Plain olive oil is a common part of the topping.
  • Hawaiian pizza has Canadian bacon and pineapple toppings and is especially popular in the Western United States. A style referred to as "The Perfect Pizza" consists of Hawaiian-style on one half and pepperoni on the other. Ham and pineapple is also a popular topping combination in Australia although, notably, not in Hawaii, this type is also common within the EU as Pizza Hawaii.
  • Grilled pizza, invented in Providence, Rhode Island, uses a fairly thin crust cooked on a grill; the toppings are placed on the baked side after the pizza has cooked for a bit and flipped over.
    o Pizza Puffs are dough pouches, usually deep fried, filled with the ingredients of a pizza, such as cheese, pizza sauce, sausage, and pepperoni.
    o English muffin or French bread pizza are common convenience pizzas made at home in an oven or toaster, usually with a simple topping of spaghetti sauce, sliced cheese, and perhaps pepperoni. French bread pizza is sometimes available commercially.

Similar dishes:

  • The Alsacian tarte flambée (German: Flammekueche) [non-kosher] is a thin disc of dough covered in crème fraîche, onions, and bacon.
  • The Anatolian Lahmacun (Arabic: lahma bi ajeen; Armenian: lahmajoun; also Armenian pizza or Turkish pizza) [non-kosher] is a meat-topped dough round. The bread is usually very thin; the layer of meat often includes chopped vegetables.
  • The Provençal pissaladiere is similar to an Italian pizza, with a slightly thicker crust and generally a topping of cooked onions, anchovies, and olives.

Regional specialties

  • Long Island, New York is the birthplace of the "pizza bagel", which substitutes bread with a half sliced bagel, but otherwise has normal toppings and ingredients
  • In New Haven, Connecticut, the local specialty is known as apizza. This thin-crust pizza originated with the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven. The canonical New Haven-style pizza is a white clam pie.
  • In San Francisco, California, the Indian Pizza (see below) has become a source of pride. Sourdough crust pizza is the type most commonly associated with San Francisco, however.
  • In Baltimore, Maryland, pizza is traditionally served with a thick, doughy crust and a heavy amount of sauce.
  • In Colorado, a type of pizza, called mountain pie, is a regional favorite. Made popular by the originating restaurant, BeauJo's, it is piled high with toppings and kept from spilling over by a large, hand-rolled crust that can also be used as an in-pie dessert.
  • In St. Louis, Missouri, Saint Louis-style pizza is made with a thin crispy crust, often heavily seasoned with salt and oregano, topped with provel cheese, and served in small squares rather than pie-like slices.
  • In Buffalo, New York, pizza is made with a thicker, doughier crust than traditional New York style pizza, with a slightly thicker and sweeter sauce, mozzarella cheese and (usually) pepperoni cooked until it is burned and crispy on the edges.
  • In Utica, New York, a type of pizza called tomato pie is common. This type of pizza is usually served cold, and is topped only with a light layer of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • In Dayton, Ohio, the local preference is for pizza with thin crust and a light sauce cut into small squares.
  • Youngstown, Ohio's "Brier Hill Pizza" features a thick sauce topped with a mixture of Parmesan and Romano cheese and green peppers. Brier Hill is the city's historically Italian area.
  • Rhode Island's strip pizza, commonly sold in bakeries, consists of thick, chewy dough and is topped with a very thick tomato sauce. It has a minimal amount of cheese and is served cold. It is usually (but not always) wrapped in individual strips (hence the name). This style also is sometimes called "bakery pizza." A similar product is made in bakeries in Italy.
  • In Scotland, a "pizza supper" commonly sold in fish and chip shops consists of a portion of fried chips (french fries) and a frozen pizza which has been deep fried rather than baked.
  • In Canada, the topping combination of bacon, pepperoni and mushrooms is called 'Canadian Pizza' . In Quebec, the same topping combination is called a 'Québécois Pizza'. A pizza with mushrooms, pepperoni, and green bell pepper is referred to as "all-dressed". Also available in Canada are donair pizzas. These pizzas come with donair ingredients (cheese, spiced meat, sometimes onions and tomatoes) and have the tomato sauce replaced by donair sauce.
  • In Australia, a commonly sold style is the Aussie pizza, which is topped with ham, bacon, cheese and egg. "Hawaiian pizza" (see above) is the most popular topping combination in Australia, accounting for 20 percent of all sales. In "barbecue pizza," barbecue sauce is poured on top of the cheese, with usually a meat such as chicken or beef.
  • In Japan, pizza toppings may include corn, diced potatoes, scrambled eggs, mayonnaise, Camembert cheese, curry sauce, and various kinds of seafood. Tabasco sauce is often used as a condiment. Salad pizza, a pizza topped with tossed salad, is occasionally seen. [4] Another variation is rice pizza, substituting baked rice for the crust. [5] The Japanese dish okonomiyaki is occasionally referred to in English as "Japanese pizza", although its ingredients, preparation method, and taste are substantially different from traditional pizza.
  • In South Korea, kimchi and bulgogi are used as toppings, as well as many of the toppings used in Japan. In addition, sweet potato puree in a circular ring near the edge of the crust is very popular.
  • In Hong Kong, Pizza Hut customers may choose to have their pizzas dressed with Thousand Island dressing instead of tomato sauce.
  • In Mexico, pizza is often enjoyed dipped in ketchup and/or hot sauce. Some pizzas include ingredients such as beans, beef, poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, corn nibblets, chorizo, onion, etc.
  • In India, pizza toppings include vegetables and other traditional sauces or chunks of tandoori chicken.
  • In São Paulo, Brazil, pizzas are often made without cheese (if they are not cheese flavoured), emphasizing the topping ingredients. Borders are sometimes optionally filled with cheddar or catupiry.
  • In South Africa, the St. Elmo's pizza chain has popularized the 'Caribbean Pizza', with ground bacon, banana slices and minced garlic as toppings.

    Crusts and baking methods

    Pizza may be baked with a thin bread bottom (Italian or "hand-tossed" style) or with thicker bread (pan pizza).

    The crust can be very thick as in Chicago-style pizza or almost non-existent as in the Roman pizza. Some pizzas are now made with a cheese-filled crust.

    In restaurants, pizza can be baked in a gas deck (stone bricks above the heat source) oven, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or coal-fired brick oven. On deck ovens, the pizza can be slid into the oven on a long paddle called a peel and baked directly on the hot bricks or baked on a screen (a round metal pan that has holes in it like a screen). When making pizza at home, it can be baked on a "pizza stone" in a regular oven to imitate the effect of a brick oven. Another option is grilled pizza, in which the crust is baked directly on a barbecue grill. Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.

    In home-made pizza, there are many variations on the bread used for crust. In some countries, creations such as pita pizza, bagel pizza, and tortilla pizza are popular, especially with children. In Japan, where full-size ovens are a rarity in the home, pizza toast is a popular version.

    Frozen pizzas are generally considered inferior in quality to pizzeria-made pizzas, though there are some exemplary frozen pizzas. Recently, frozen pizzas with a rising-crust have appeared on the market.

    Tomato sauce

    On those pizzas that use tomatoes, there are several ways of adding them. The most common is commercial pizza sauce, a smooth, thick tomato sauce similar to marinara sauce that is ladled and spread onto the crust in pizza shops. It is also not uncommon to use a raw tomato sauce (usually made from canned tomatoes and fresh herbs such as basil) that cooks along with the pizza in the oven, or even a simple topping of ground or diced tomatoes and herbs on a deep-dish pizza.

    Pizza in culture

    In the film Splendor in the Grass, set in 1929, the character Bud Stamper visits a New Haven pizzeria (see also apizza) as a freshman at Yale University, and has to ask the waitress, "What is pizza?" In the 1920s, pizza would have been virtually unknown to a non-Italian Midwesterner.

    Pizza plays a prominent role in other films, such as Loverboy, Mystic Pizza and Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing.

    Pizza was the food of choice of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and features heavily in the opening montage of New York City in the second live-action movie.

    Pizza has also been used in teaching fractions and in computer games, such as Pizza Tycoon.

    Until the early 1990s, pizza delivery was relatively unavailable in Britain. This deficiency was the focus of an extended passage in the Douglas Adams novel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.


    * "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, That's Amore." sung by Dean Martin, reached US number 2 in 1953.

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods- Jewish Foods
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bagels.