Searching for the Origins of Pizza in Denver Across the Globe

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( — June 28, 2013) Denver, CO — The search for the origins of the first pizza leads to places that are far, far from today’s best pizza in Denver. Pizza historians have voraciously searched the culinary records of Thailand, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Greece, and Italy to raise as many questions as answers.  For instance, is it possible that the origins of pizza come from ancient Cambodia where pizzas are topped with magic mushrooms? Or what of the stories of ancient Persian soldiers who baked flatbreads topped with dates and cheese on their war shields under a blazing sun? And then the question of the actual definition of pizza surfaces.  

What are the defining characteristics of a pizza? Is it simply a baked flatbread with no toppings or is a true pizza defined by its toppings? Egyptians and Indians both were known to make flatbreads and naan in ovens without toppings. Ancient Persians did top their flatbreads but baked them out in the open. Does the method of cooking determine whether the pizza is legitimate? What makes a pizza a pizza? Is it a crepe with toppings or is it a bread? 

It could be argued that Ethiopians invented the earliest pizza  50,000 years ago with toppings on a flatbread dough baked in an oven and eaten with fingers.  And according to our hungry food historians it appears that  the ancient Greeks invented the modern pizza which  they then took to the ovens of Naples; a region founded by the Greeks long before the birth of Italy. Thus Naples, Italy now seems to be the home of the modern pizza Americans so love today.

Two  things we know for sure is that the global pizza pie was not invented by the late Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison.  Looking through the historical lens of time and space, researchers provide a richly textured and tasty perspective on the evolution of pizza over centuries as an example of multi-generational, global participation in a  food that is now consumed  at such a rate as to generate $32 billion in annual revenue!    

Pizza in Denver today can be found with influences from countries like Thailand with chili peppers on it to just a simple Italian marinara sauce. Pizzas have become a never-ending example of innovations in shapes, sizes, tastes and even preparation methods.  The good news is that pizza has withstood the test of time and is here to stay.


By Gutchquena Mann and Dr. Cynthia Nodland who are freelance writers that can be found on Google +.