Human Hall OF Fame Inducts – The Innovators of Pizza
There is a lot of debate of who came up with the greatest food you can have for every meal. Because this is The Hall and can’t elect a delicious food recipe but the people who physically make-up the pizza, it’s a tricky task naming one person as our stomach’s national hero.
Therefore I’m going to cover locations and the legends who brought pizza to their city. There is no bad piece of cheese pizza. I could literally eat pizza every single day and not think twice about it. Pizza first became popular as a peasant treat on the streets sold for 2 itsy-bitsy pennies. You could buy a slice of pizza for pocket change.
What a time to be alive as a peasant back in those days. The Greeks ate like some goddamn Gods! Sure you’re probably living in the alley way sleeping next to the local crazy guy who screams gibberish to himself. Probably doing some hardcore manual labor during the day that splits my back just thinking about it. But at least their stomach’s are full of gloriousness.
The pizza then was simply flatbread with oils, herbs and spices. Tomato sauce wasn’t used until the late 1800’s early 1900’s. Tomato sauce at the time was looked at as poisonous because of similar fruits and vegetables during that time period.
So essentially they were eating garlic bread. Not too shabby.
“Until about 1830, pizza was sold from open-air stands and out of pizza bakeries, and pizzerias keep this old tradition alive today. It is possible to have paper-wrapped pizza and a drink sold from open-air stands outside in the streets.”
Pizza and a beer in the streets, can’t get much better than that.
“Purists, like the famous pizzeria, “Da Michele” in Via C. Sersale (founded 1870), consider there to be only two true pizzas — the Marinara and the Margherita — and that is all they serve”.
The Marinara has toppings of tomato, oregano, garlic, and extra olive oil. The name “Marinara” stuck when “la Marinara”, a fisherman’s wife, would prepare and serve these dishes to her husband when he returned from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples.
There is a lot of speculation of who is accredited to inventing the Margherita. The Margherita entails tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. It was originally accredited to Raffaele Esposito where he worked at Pizzeria Di Pietro established in 1880.
The legend says that Esposito cooked up three different variations of pizza and served them to Queen Margherita of Savoy. The rumor states that the Queen’s favorite pizza was the pizza sharing the colors of the Italian flag: Green (Basil leaves), white (Mozzarella), and red (tomatoes. Therefore the combination was named in her honor.
Neapolitan style pizza has specific guidelines and criteria
- Pizza must be baked in wood-fired, doomed oven
- Pizza base must be hand-kneaded and cannot be rolled with a pin or prepared mechanically in any way
- Pizza must not exceed 35 centimeters
- Must use only San Marzano tomatoes and Mozzarella Campana cheese
The ancient historical sector of Naples has many popular Neapolitan pizzerias including: Da Michele, Porta’Alba, Brandi, Di Matteo, Sorbillo, Trianon, and Umberto, all founded in 1916.
Because of the purist way of thinking, these pizzerias go above and beyond in Neapolitan philosophy. They only use San Marzano tomatoes that can only be found on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. The mozzarella cheese is made from wild buffalo milk from the marshlands of Campania and Lazio. They drizzle olive oil and tomato topping only in a clockwise direction. Could you image a Yankee American like me spreading it like Salt Bae in a counter-clockwise direction? I’d be taken out back and shot for such an inconsiderate action.
In Rome the pizza is thin and crispy crust, in Naples the crust is soft and flexible.
Canadians are so Canadian it hurts. Pizza was introduced in the 1950’s but became popular in the country in the 1960’s where many pizza ovens and small pizzeria’s were growing across the country. The “Canadian Pizza” is prepared with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and bacon. Bacon on pizza, the precursor to the Hawaiian-style Pizza, invented by Canadian Sam Panoupulos at the Satellite Restaurant in Ontario, in 1962.
The creator of The Hall’s fan-favorite. I prefer Ham but if I’m ever in Canada, I hope to have it with Pineapples and Moose, like any TRUE Canadian would. The President of Iceland stated in 2017 in a Q&A while discussing school lunches that he would ban the Hawaiian-style pizza if he had the power too.
Taking away Hawaiin-style pizza and I’m Tweeting my face off for eternity. If I’m ever in the President of Iceland’s presence, I’m going to eat a Hawaiian pizza in front of him, out of spite alone.
- Buffalo Chicken
One of Canada’s most popular and successful pizzas is known as Boston Pizza, the gourmet pizza, popularly made famous in the US and Mexico is Canada’s largest franchising restaurants, damn Canadians…
During WWII as soldiers were walking through the streets of Naples, Americans discovered those sneaky Italian’s were keeping this delicious meal all for themselves. Like true Americans, we had ourselves a good old fashioned Mexican stand-off between eating the Chocolate Chip Cookies from our back pockets shipped by local Hall Legend Ruth Graves Wakefield herself, to discovering bread on steroids.
As a sign of good faith, the amazing people from Italia let the Americans indulge in on their hidden secret, and the Americans shared some of their magical treats.
Two entrepreneurs, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, learned of this phenomenon and invented Chicago-style deep-dish pizza in 1943. They opened their first restaurant Pizzeria Uno, that’s still popular today – I wrote about that here – The Wrentham Outlets and Unos Restaurant – not the OG, one of the many in the chain, shame…
In 2016 the technology company BeeHex received a loan from NASA for $125,000 where they built robots that 3D-printed pizza. Apparently it takes 6 minutes to make. Personally, I think that’s hogwash. 6 minutes Robots!? You’re freaking robots! My dad works with a guy from Scotland who has a stone-forged pizza oven in his backyard that cooks pizza in 30 seconds! And you’re telling me a goddamn robot can’t compete with that? Pathetic.
It would be pretty awesome to be orbiting Earth and eating pizza though. When Christopher Cassidy goes back to the International Space Station, I hope he takes another Space Selfie and shouts out The Hall while inhaling a pizza. Maybe send him a pair of Human Hall OF Fame Sunglasses to wear.
It’s a pretty welcoming sight to see that the movie Spy Kids is coming to life where we can put a box in a microwave of sorts and receive a piping hot Cheeseburger and Fries minutes later, or in this case pizza.
Dave Portnoy also known as “El Pres”, who started the company Barstool Sports, has a running show titled, “One Bite with Davey Pageviews”, where he travels across New York City giving pizza reviews to all the top spots around the city. He famously coined the phrase, “One Bite, everyone knows the rules”, then proceeds to take 15,000 bites as viewers laugh and marvel at his ability to capture the audiences attention.
Portnoy is known as “Salt of the Earth”, “Brick by Brick”, “King of the Beach”. If Portnoy has an ounce of pride to his pizza-loving predecessors, he will now add “Peasant in the Streets”, growing his tradition as the man of many nicknames. In order to put RespeK on his name and be considered among fellow Pizza Icons it would be an ode to The Hall, la Marina, Queen Margherita of Savoy, Panopoules, Sewell and Riccardo, his cameraman fellow pizza maker Frankie Borelli, and pizza makers across the world.
Do I think Paigeviews deserves to be in The Hall you ask? At this point, he’s on a journey towards greatness. Can’t induct a guy into The Hall too early. Can’t jinx the guy. Portnoy gets a respectable hat-tip from The Hall. Does he deserve to be mentioned as a spokesman for the current age, I think he does.
He’s “The Man of the People”. Maybe one day he’ll be welcomed in as long as he maintains his new nickname. To be considered as one of the greats in this prestigious group he needs to take pizza reviews worldwide, or nationally for starters.
“King of the Beach, Peasant in the Streets”
On June 5th 2017, New England Patriots Wide-Reciever Julian Edelman made his own video after Portnoy tackled Burger Tyme, a burger show Edelman runs on his YouTube Channel. Edelman modeled his show with the catchphrase, “One Nibble, everyone knows the laws”. Paying his respects to Portnoy mid-video and an obvious parody of Portnoy’s schtick. As popularity of these videos continues to rise, The Hall will be monitoring along to one day induct another Pizza Majesty into the Human Hall OF Fame.
My favorite pizza in Boston is Pizzeria Regina, the pizza featured in the video above – 6.8…Need to get myself to Naples immediately
Charcoal Pizza Crust
Apparently this is the new deal in Italy. Doesn’t seem that new to me but I’m not a Pizza Connoisseur. It’s supposed to be more healthy because of the carbon crust blah blah blah. I’ll eat it for sure, I love science, I like innovations and pizza, I’m not complaining. I just don’t want the Italians pulling a fast one on me.
Thank you Pizza Gods from the past, present and future!
Other Members of The Hall
- Christopher Cassidy – Navy SEAL Spaceman
- Ruth Graves Wakefield – Queen of Snacks
- Capt. Slade Cutter – WWII Submarine Commander – Vices: Tobacco, Swearing and Flute
- Louis-Sebastien Lenormand – Sky God
- Clint Eastwood – Movie Badass Icon
- Gail Halvorsen – An OG of Nicknames – The Berlin Candy Bomber