Why Is Pizza Called Pie? (EXPLAINED!)

Pizza is a beloved food around the world, with millions of people enjoying this delicious and versatile dish every day.

But have you ever wondered why pizza is called pie?

It’s kinda weird, right?

We think so too, that’s why we decided to find out.

In this article, we’ll delve into the origins of the name and uncover the fascinating history behind this tasty treat.

The Origins of Pizza

The origins of pizza can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, who all enjoyed variations of a flatbread with toppings.

The Greeks and Egyptians both had versions of flatbreads with toppings, while the Romans were known to eat a type of flatbread called “picea,” which was topped with cheese, honey, and bay leaves.

However, the modern pizza as we know it today originated in Naples, Italy in the late 18th century.

It was a simple dish made with a thin crust, tomato sauce, and cheese, and was known as “pizza alla povera,” which translates to “poor man’s pizza.”

It was a popular food among the working class, who could afford the simple ingredients.

Pizza soon became popular throughout Italy, with different regions putting their own spin on the dish.

friends sharing a pizza

In Rome, for example, pizza was often sold in large rectangular slices and topped with potatoes, onions, and sausage.

In Sicily, pizza was often made with a thicker crust and topped with seafood.

Pizza remained largely confined to Italy until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Italian immigrants brought the dish to the United States.

The first pizzeria in the United States, Lombardi’s, opened in New York City in 1905, and pizza quickly grew in popularity, especially in Italian-American communities.

Today, pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world, with countless variations and styles available.

From deep-dish pizza in Chicago to Neapolitan-style pizza in Naples, pizza has become a cultural icon and a staple of cuisines around the world.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the traditional Neapolitan-style pizza, with many pizzerias focusing on using high-quality ingredients and traditional techniques.

The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, a nonprofit organization based in Naples, even certifies pizzerias around the world that meet strict guidelines for making authentic Neapolitan pizza.

Overall, the origins of pizza are fascinating and illustrate how a simple dish made with a few basic ingredients can become a worldwide phenomenon.

Whether you prefer traditional Neapolitan-style pizza or a more modern take on the classic dish, there’s no denying the deliciousness and enduring appeal of this beloved food.

The Origins of the Name For Pizza

The origins of the name “pie” in relation to pizza are not entirely clear, but there are a few theories.

One theory suggests that the name “pie” was used because pizza resembles a pie in its shape and construction.

Pizzas are typically round and have a crust, which is similar to a traditional pie.

They also have toppings, which can be seen as a type of filling.

Another theory suggests that the name “pie” may have come from the Italian word “pitta,” which refers to a type of flatbread that is similar to pizza.

This word eventually evolved into the word “pizza,” which is used to describe the dish today.

can diabetics eat pizza

The term “tomato pie” was also used to describe pizza in the United States, particularly in Italian-American communities.

This name was likely used because pizza was often sold in large, rectangular slices, similar to a traditional pie.

As pizza became more popular and widespread, the name “pizza pie” became more common.

This name was used to refer to pizza as a type of savory pie, similar to chicken pot pie or shepherd’s pie.

It was also used to differentiate pizza from other types of pies, such as fruit pies or cream pies.

Today, the name “pizza pie” is less common, with most people simply referring to it as “pizza.”

However, the name still has a place in the history of the dish and is sometimes used by pizzerias or in marketing materials.

Overall, the origins of the name “pie” in relation to pizza are somewhat mysterious, but it likely stems from the similarities between pizza and traditional pies.

Regardless of its origins, the name “pizza” has become synonymous with one of the most beloved and popular foods in the world.

Is Pizza The Same As Pie In Italian?

If you’re like me, then you had the idea that maybe in Italian pizza is called pie.

But no, pizza is not the same as pie in Italian.

In Italian, the word for pie is “torta” or “crostata,” while the word for pizza is simply “pizza.”

While pizza and pie share some similarities in terms of their shape and construction, they are considered to be two distinct types of food in Italy.

In Italian cuisine, a pie typically refers to a baked dish with a pastry crust and a sweet or savory filling.

Sweet pies may be filled with fruit or custard, while savory pies may be filled with vegetables, meat, or cheese.

Pizza, on the other hand, is a dish made with a thin crust that is typically topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of other toppings.

It is usually eaten with the hands, rather than with a fork and knife like a pie.

While pizza and pie are different types of food in Italy, they both have a long and rich culinary history in the country.

Pizzas are traditionally made in wood-fired ovens and are a staple of Neapolitan cuisine.

Pies are also popular in Italy, particularly in regions such as Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

pizza hut pan pizza

Who Uses the Word Pizza Pie?

While the term “pizza pie” has largely fallen out of use, it is still used in some parts of the United States, particularly in the Northeast.

In these regions, it is common to hear people refer to pizza as “pizza pie” or to order a “slice of pizza pie” at a pizzeria.

The use of the term “pizza pie” is often seen as a nod to the traditional Italian-American roots of pizza in the United States.

Many of the early pizzerias in the United States were owned and operated by Italian immigrants, who brought their own unique cultural and culinary traditions with them.

In addition to Italian-Americans, the term “pizza pie” is also used by some pizzerias and food manufacturers in their marketing materials.

It is often seen as a way to differentiate their products from other types of pizza or to emphasize the homemade, traditional nature of their pizza.

Overall, while the term “pizza pie” is not commonly used today, it still has a place in the history and culture of pizza in the United States.

Whether you call it pizza or pizza pie, there’s no denying the deliciousness of this beloved food.

Other Names For Pizza From Around The World

While pizza is known by that name in many parts of the world, there are variations of the dish that go by different names.

pizza with peppers olives cheese

Here are a few examples:

  • In France, pizza is often called “pizza” but can also be referred to as “tarte flambée” or “flammenkueche.” These variations of pizza are typically made with a thin crust and topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon.
  • In Turkey, pizza is known as “pide” and is typically made with a thicker crust and a variety of toppings, including ground beef, cheese, and vegetables.
  • In Lebanon and Syria, pizza is known as “manakish” and is often topped with za’atar, a blend of herbs and spices, as well as cheese or vegetables.
  • In Argentina, pizza is a popular dish and is often topped with ham, onions, and green olives. It is typically served in large slices and is cut into squares.
  • In Japan, pizza is often referred to as “piza” and can come in a variety of flavors, including seafood and teriyaki chicken. Some variations of Japanese pizza feature a mayo-based sauce instead of tomato sauce.

These are just a few examples of the many variations of pizza that can be found around the world.

While the toppings and flavors may vary, the basic concept of a delicious, savory dish made with a crust and toppings remains the same.

Final Word

The history of pizza is a fascinating one, full of twists and turns that have led to the beloved food we know and love today.

From its humble origins in ancient civilizations to its modern-day status as a worldwide phenomenon, pizza has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world.

While the origins of the name “pizza pie” may be somewhat mysterious, the dish itself has a rich and varied culinary history that continues to evolve and expand.

Whether you prefer the classic flavors of a Neapolitan-style pizza, the bold and spicy taste of pepperoni, or the unique variations of pizza found around the world, there’s no denying the appeal and deliciousness of this beloved food.

Whether you’re a fan of old world or new world pepperoni, or you’re curious about the many different types of pizza available around the world, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

So the next time you sit down to enjoy a slice of pizza, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and cultural significance of this beloved dish.

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