Here is the new street food – pan pizza. India is a rich country when it comes to mouth-watering street food. No other place in the world is so cosmopolitan when it comes to good, flavorsome and affordable food. As the Chinese chow has found its own Indian avatar here, so have the numerous dishes from other countries have their own Indian derivatives.
When we think of street food, it’s the golgappas and vada pao. Now get ready for the pan pizza, the next entrée. It is believed that pizza originated in Italy but some have even placed its inception in Greece or Middle East or Egypt. Wherever its origin was, the pan pizza is all set to be the no-oven thelawalas’ next street gastronomy.
History of pizza
The cosmopolitan pizza had its humble origins in Italy. If historians are correct, was named after the Latin word ‘pinsa’ which means flatbread. Initially it was a dish meant for the poor. Some however claim pizza had a different origin. There are references to Egyptian and Greek pizzas.
Original Italian pizza tastes quite different than what we eat all around the world. The fact is that people have adjusted the pizza as per their comfort and common ingredients that are found in their region.
There is another interesting slice of history. On June 1889 pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito positioned tomatoes, mozzarella and basil so that it symbolizes the colours of the Italian flag. To honour Queen Margherita of Italy he named it as the Pizza Margherita.
Alexandre Dumas was the renowned author of books like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. He was probably an ardent admirer of the dish. He has written about the pizza and its various toppings.
There is another strange story in the internet. A recent archeological unearthing in the Veneto region has led to the discovery of a preserved pizza right from the Bronze Age!
Pizza Hut was the first to officially introduce pizza in India. They opened the first store in 1996. Since Indians like to eat, pizza fever caught on. Today many pizza outlets have introduced Indian flavours and vegetarian pizza keeping in mind the Indian outlook. In fact one may find a hundred percent vegetarian pizza outlet at Surat, Ahmedabad. There is another one in Mumbai with special Jain menus.
Pizza is living history in a sense. If you think that way, no one can possibly hate history anymore!