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It's Friday, and what better way to celebrate Friday than with Pizza? So I thought I'd give you a little history about the infamous Pie. Join me over the cheesy curlicue for more!

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According to the History Channel pizza, as we know it, was invented in Naples Italy to feed the working poor. Pizza was inexpensive to make and could be eaten quickly during breaks, and soon street vendors popped up selling pizza with a variety of toppings for the working poor to buy cheaply and eat during short breaks. And then in 1861 Pizza got it's 'big break'.

Italy unified in 1861, and King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples in 1889. Legend has it that the traveling pair became bored with their steady diet of French haute cuisine and asked for an assortment of pizzas from the city’s Pizzeria Brandi, the successor to Da Pietro pizzeria, founded in 1760. The variety the queen enjoyed most was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with the soft white cheese, red tomatoes and green basil. (Perhaps it was no coincidence that her favorite pie featured the colors of the Italian flag.) From then on, the story goes, that particular topping combination was dubbed pizza Margherita.
Neapolitan immigrants brought pizza to the US in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and it was often sold by street vendors here until 1905 when Lombardi's Pizza became the first licensed Pizza joint. They're still in business today, though not in the same location.

After WWII pizza's popularity rocketed higher, and it spread throughout the rest of the US, including to California and new varieties were introduced. Today it's seen as an "American" food and while international varieties vary, American Pizza chains thrive in about 60 different countries today.

Four Cheese Margharita Pizza

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crusts
8 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
10 fresh basil leaves, washed, dried
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Stir together olive oil, garlic, and salt; toss with tomatoes, and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Brush each pizza crust with some of the tomato marinade. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with Mozzarella and Fontina cheeses. Arrange tomatoes overtop, then sprinkle with shredded basil, Parmesan, and feta cheese.
Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

So are you hungry yet? What are you planning for dinner? Anyone else thinking.. Pizza?

Resources:
History.com
Allrecipes.com

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