Pizza is one of those foods that just about everybody knows and loves, but how much do you really know about it? We all know it’s an Italian specialty that hit it big in the United States, but did you know that just about every early culture dating back to the Neolithic age have had something similar to the tomato-sauce-covered treat? All throughout ancient history, there are records of people adding other ingredients to bread to make it tastier, including the Ancient Greeks. The Ancient Greeks had flat bread called plakous, which was flavored with toppings like herbs, garlic, and onion.
The earliest pizzas, though, didn’t even use tomato sauce, because early Europeans thought that tomatoes were poisonous. It wasn’t until Europeans came into contact with the Americas that they learned the tomato was good to eat and began including tomatoes and tomato sauce on pizzas. Prior to that pizza was made using oil and other ingredients. Perhaps the most famous story of the use of tomatoes on pizza, though, is from 1889. On June 11, 1889, the Neapolitan pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created a pizza to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. Called the “Pizza Margherita,” it incorporated tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colors of Italy as on the Italian flag.
Today, you can find pizzas with just about any imaginable ingredients, and many countries have their own unique style of pizzas. For example, pizzas with French fries are quite popular in the United States, and Canada has its poutine pizzas. What is your favorite pizza variety? If you are stuck for ideas for a Friday night pizza, try our take on the California Pizza Kitchen classic BBQ Chicken Pizza…
- Pizza Dough (Home Made or Favorite Brand)
- Favorite BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Smoked Gouda Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Chicken Breast (Cubed)
- 1 Chopped Red Onion
- 1 Sliced Red Bell Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Cilantro
- Olive Oil
- Dice Chicken Breast into small cubes. Cook the Chicken cubes in a frying pan with a tablespoon of Olive Oil — season lightly with Salt and Pepper. Place in a bowl of BBQ sauce and set aside.
- Spread the pizza dough evenly across a baking pan. For a crispy crust, brush dough with liberal amount of Olive Oil and place in 400 degree oven for 7 minutes before placing toppings.
- Brush crust with Olive Oil. Evenly cover the dough with BBQ Sauce using a spoon. Add a layer of Smoked Gouda Cheese. Then, add cooked Chicken cubes and the first layer of Mozzarella Cheese on top. Add Red Onion and Red Bell Pepper toppings and cover with a liberal second layer of Mozzarella cheese.
- Cook in an Oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle Diced Cilantro on top and serve.