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Healthy Pizza Tips

Aug 17, 2007
The pizza has been voted America's favorite food for countless years, and is consumed by most Americans each year. Actually, the pizza could have been invented by the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Romans or anyone who had the foresight to mix flour and water together and heat the mixture on a hot stone.

It has been around in one of its many forms and has been a basic part of the Italian diet since the Stone Age.

The pizza in its first generation as a food in Rome was a healthy tomato filled food that was not only great tasting, but actually good for your body. It was a crude bread that was baked beneath the stones of a fire. After cooking, it was seasoned with various toppings and used instead of plates and utensils to sop up broth or gravies.

It has been written that the idea of using bread as a plate came from the Greeks who ate flat round bread baked with all manner of toppings. It was eaten by the working man and his family because it was more economical and more convenient.

In "The Aeneid" written by Virgil (70-19 B.C.), it describes the legendary origin of the Roman nation, describing cakes or circles of bread:

"Beneath a shady tree, the hero sprad his table on the turf, with cakes of bread; And, with his chiefs, on forest fruits he fed. They sate; and (not without the god's command). Their homely far dispatch'd, the hungry band invade their trenchers next, and soon devour to mend the scenty meal, their cakes of flour...See, we devour the plates on which we fed."

In the ashes after Mount Versuvius erupted and covered Pompeii on August 24, 79 A.D., evidence was found of a flat flour cake that was baked and widely eaten at that time in Pompeii and nearby Neopolis, the Greek colony that became Naples and from a great cookery book by Marcus Gavius Apicius who was proported to be a culinary expert. This book contains recipes which involve putting a variety of ingredients on a base of bread (in his case, a hollowed-out loaf.)

This recipe called for chicken, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, mint, pepper and olive oil (all ingredients found in our pizzas today.)

Tomatoes were first added to pizzas in the early 1500s. First thought to be poisonous, the poorer people of Nales began adding tomatoes to yeast dough they used to make their pizzas. These new pizzas with the tomatoes were proclaimed to be the best pizzas in all of Italy.

Pizza migrated to America with the influx of Italians in the latter half of the 19th century. For many people, expecially the Italian-American population, the first American pizzas were know as Tomato Pie. It is said that Gennaro Lombardi, who came from Naples, opened the first Pizzeria in the United States in New York City at 53 1/2 Spring Street.

There are two distinct forms of pizza in America. The thin almost cracker crust form popularized by the Italian-Americans in New York and what's known as Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. This last form was created by Ike Sewell at his bar and grill called Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. This form is baked in an inch deep pan and contains layers of meat, cheese, and other ingredients in a flaky crust.

Most pizza nowadays are the fat loaded kitchen sink style pizza. Everything from bacon, Italian and other types of sausage, to cheddar cheese top pizzas around the world every day. To make matters worse delivery chains have started to use inexpensive processed food products to help make the pizza as cheaply as humanly possible. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. That pizza the chain company delivers to your door with a smile, could land you in the doctor's office with a frown in no time.

The first step in eating a healthy pizza is making it yourself. There are any number of restaurants that will boast healthy pizzas on their menus, but to be sure it truly is a healthy pizza, it's better to play it safe and make it yourself. There are some places that will truly make a healthy pizza, but in order to understand what is most healthy for you to eat it's easier to cook it.

Once you've come to the realization that you will be cooking this culinary masterpiece, it's time to decide on ingredients. The healthiest pizzas include fresh tomatoes, garlic, and small amounts of fresh mozzarella cheese. The pizza can be topped with spinach, broccoli, or any number of fresh vegetables.

Bake the pizza for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, and dab off the grease from the cheese as it starts to settle on top of your pizza. After you have finished cooking the pizza, let it cool, and enjoy. The pizza should taste better than ever knowing that it's one full of healthy ingredients and there is nothing like the satisfaction you have in knowing that you made it yourself.
About the Author
Della Franklin is a business owner, successful IT Systems Manager & Internet Marketer. She counts 10 years experience as a teacher as well as being a Certified Network Engineer, cook, wife & mother. See more about her at http://www.foodielooksatfood.com or http://www.dogwoodsquare.com
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