What was pizza originally called?

Answered by James Kissner

Pizza was not always called “pizza” in its original form. The precursor to pizza is believed to be a type of flatbread known as focaccia, which the Romans called “panis focacius.” This flatbread was often topped with various ingredients, similar to how pizza is topped today. However, it is important to note that this early version of flatbread with toppings was not yet known as pizza.

The modern concept of pizza as we know it today evolved from these early flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, during the 18th or early 19th century. Naples was a bustling port city with a vibrant street food culture, and it is here that pizza began to take shape.

In Naples, street vendors started selling a similar type of flatbread topped with ingredients such as tomatoes, cheese, and other local produce. This early version of pizza was known by different names depending on the specific vendor or region. It was often referred to as “pizza” or “pizzaiola,” which roughly translates to “pizza-style.”

The term “pizza” itself is believed to have originated from the Neapolitan dialect, where it referred to a type of flatbread or pie. The word “pizza” was derived from the Latin term “pinsa,” which means flatbread or cake. Over time, the term “pizza” became more widely used and eventually became the standard name for this delicious dish.

It’s fascinating to think about how pizza has evolved over the years, from its humble beginnings as a simple flatbread with toppings to the diverse and beloved dish it is today. Whether you prefer a classic Margherita or enjoy experimenting with unique flavor combinations, pizza has become a global culinary icon.

Personal experiences with pizza vary greatly, as everyone has their own favorite toppings, crust preferences, and memories associated with this beloved food. Some may have fond memories of eating pizza at family gatherings or enjoying a slice with friends after a night out. Others may have tried unique regional variations of pizza during their travels, each with its own name and distinctive flavors.

The original precursor to pizza was the Roman flatbread known as focaccia, to which toppings were added. The modern concept of pizza evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, during the 18th or early 19th century. It is believed that the term “pizza” originated from the Neapolitan dialect and became the standard name for this delicious dish.