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50 Pizza Facts You Never Knew

Find out every tasty fact you need to know about the world's most popular food: pizza.
Pepperoni pizza slice

Pizza is one of the few foods that almost everyone knows and loves around the world. It's cheesy, delicious, and just about everywhere. And in honor of this comfort food favorite, we put together a list of pizza facts that will fuel your cravings even more.

And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

1

350 slices of pizza are eaten each second in the U.S.

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Pizza is one of the most popular food options for Americans, with 350 slices eaten by the second. To put that in perspective, about 21,000 slices are eaten nationally in just one minute.

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2

More than 2 million Pizza Hut pizzas are sold during the Super Bowl

pizza hut pizza
Pizza Hut/ Yelp

One of the biggest days for pizzerias around the country is Super Bowl Sunday. Pizza is a major staple for this sports event, with an average of 2,500,000 pizzas being sold from Pizza Hut alone.

RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

3

Currently, there are 18,703 Pizza Huts around the world

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Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 and has become one of the most popular pizza chains in the world.

4

The first pizza is thought to have been invented in Naples in the early 1500s

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Historians from the William E. Macaulay Honors College discovered that the lower-income people of Naples would put slices of tomatoes on dough and top it with cheese to make a cheap and easy meal for their families. According to the researchers, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous during these days, which is why pizza was considered a cheaper food.

5

The first documented pizzeria in the world was open in Port'Alba in Naples, Italy during the late 1800s

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The researchers at the William E. Macaulay Honors College also noted that the first pizzeria opened in Port'Alba, Naples. The pizzeria, called Antica Pizzeria, named the Margherita pizza after Queen Margherita of Italy.

6

The first pizzeria in America was Lombardi's in New York City

lombardis pizza
Leonard J. DeFrancisci/Wikimedia Commons

Lombardi's, which was originally a grocery store, started selling pizzas in 1905. This lead to the explosion of pizzerias around New York City within the coming years, as pizza was still looked at as a foreign food until the late 1940s.

7

Pizza wasn't popular in America until after WWII

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Former World War II soldiers that were stationed in Italy grew a heavy liking to pizza. They brought the idea back to the United States and helped make it the popular dish it is today.

8

About 13% of Americans eat pizza on any given day

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According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about 13% of Americans eat pizza on a given day.

9

One in six males aged 2 to 39 eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on any given day

Man eating pizza having a takeaway at home relaxing resting
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According to a study conducted by the USDA, pizza is an extremely popular meal choice among men. The most popular demographic is among males ages 6-19 years, as more than 1 in 4 of them consume pizza on any day.

10

Consumption of pizza has increased American's consumption of cheese by 41% since 1995

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In roughly a 25-year span, cheese consumption has nearly doubled due to the high consumption of pizza in the United States. The USDA also noted that a usual two-slice serving of pizza accounts for 37% of your daily recommended calcium consumption.

11

A typical daily pizza serving accounts for more than half of the lycopene in your diet

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Lycopene is an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer and heart disease, according to a study published by the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. And it's prominent in pizza. This is due to the tomato sauce, as tomatoes are known to have a naturally high concentration of the antioxidant.

12

The first known documentation of the word "pizza" is from 997 C.E.

two individual frozen pizzas on wooden board
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Although pizza wasn't a global phenomenon until the 1950s, the word dates back to centuries ago. A manuscript in the small Italian town of Gaeta is the first known document to contain the word "pizza," food historian Giuseppe Nocca told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

13

The most expensive pizza in the world costs almost €9,000

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Master pizza chef Renato Viola creates the most expensive pizza in the world, tastefully called Louis XIII, at his gourmet pizzeria in Italy. It's topped with lobster, buffalo mozzarella, three types of caviar, squilla mantis (a Mediterranean shrimp), and pink Australian salt. Currently, this pizza costs €8,300 (about $12,000 in the United States).

14

The world record for the largest pizza is 122 feet, 8 inches in diameter

worlds largest pizza
World Accord/YouTube

The pizza, named "Ottavia," was made in Fiera Roma, in Rome, Italy, on December 13, 2012, by Dovilio Nardi, Andrea Mannocchi, Marco Nardi, Matteo Nardi and Matteo Giannotte of NIPfood, according to the Guinness World Records. The pizza was also 100% gluten-free and was made to spread awareness about health-conscious food choices.

15

The average pizza slice in New York City usually matches the price of a subway ride

Turnstiles (baffle gates) in a New-York subway station.
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In the Big Apple, the price of a slice of pizza has been rising in parallel to the price of a New York City subway ride. This is known as the "Pizza Principle" and has been going on since the 1960s, according to Business Insider.

16

Common pizza toppings in Japan include squid and mayo

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Japanese pizza is known to be topped with just about anything you can think of. Other popular toppings include corn, potatoes, tuna, and bacon.

17

'Happy' Pizza in Cambodia is cooked with marijuana

Smiling man in sunglasses
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"Happy" pizza, which is pizza cooked with marijuana, is a popular dish in Cambodia. Marijuana still has major restrictions in Cambodia, so snack on this with caution!

18

In Scotland, deep-fried pizza is a common choice

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As if you couldn't make pizza even more appetizing, Scottish pizzerias have a common offer that needs to hop over the pond: deep-fried pizza. Instead of baking the pizza, Scottish pizzerias offer slices to be deep-fried, which they have also done to a variety of foods like Mars bars.

19

In 2013, Domino's made DVDs that smelled like pizza

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Domino's Brazil set up a campaign in 2013 with 10 rental stores to release DVDs that smelled like pizza when you used them. The disc would also show a picture of a pizza after it was ejected, thanks to thermal ink technology.

20

NASA funded & tested a 3D printer that can make pizza for astronauts

3d printer

Even astronauts crave pizza in space. NASA commissioned BeeHex, an Austin-based tech company, to create a 3D printer that makes food, including pizza. This 3D printer can make a pizza in half of the time that the average pizza chef can and has a variety of toppings and sauces, including vodka sauce and burrata cheese.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

21

One 18-inch pizza gives you more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas

Veggie pizza
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This may seem off, but it's true. The area of a circle increases with the square of the radius (aka the diameter). Therefore, the larger the diameter of the pizza, the more pizza you get per slice.

22

251.7 million pounds of pepperoni are consumed every year in the U.S. just from pizza

pepperoni pizza
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According to the National Association of Pizza Operators (which now functions as Pizza Today), pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States. Each year, we consume, on average, more than 250 million pounds' worth of the meaty topping.

23

Pizzas in Italy were originally square-shaped

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Pizza Today magazine reports that square-shaped pizza, also known as Sicilian or Grandma-style pizza, is the original shape of the Italian dish. It contained Romano instead of Mozzarella cheese.

24

$38 billion worth of pizzas are sold annually in the United States

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The United States is one of the biggest consumers of pizza globally and has established a flourishing pizzeria industry. Every year, $38 billion worth of pizzas are sold in the country.

25

3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year

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Pizza Today also noted that billions of pizzas are sold nationally each year. And a full 17% of all restaurants in the U.S. are pizzerias!

26

61% of Americans prefer thin crust pizza

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Pizza connoisseur Craig Priebe noted in his book, The United States of Pizza, that thin crust is the most popular pizza choice among Americans. Deep dish is the second most common pizza, with 14% of Americans favoring it over any other type.

27

There Are 9,000 pizzerias in New York State

New York
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One of the most popular foods in New York state (especially in Manhattan) is pizza. Thousands of pizzerias are scattered across New York, with most of them being located in the five boroughs.

28

93% of Americans have at least one slice of pizza per month

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It seems like almost every American is a fan of pizza. The majority of the American population consumes at least one slice of pizza a month, according to the USDA.

29

There's a 35% rise in pizza delivery sales on Super Bowl Sunday

taco pizza with jalapenos
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Pizza is one of the biggest staples to any Super Bowl Sunday gathering, and it's a big business day for most pizzerias. Priebe also noted in his book that delivery drivers log a total of four million miles worth of deliveries just on Super Bowl Sunday.

30

The average slice of pizza is 25% protein

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The USDA reported that the average pizza slice's nutritional content is mostly protein-based. It also contributes 35% of your recommended daily protein intake.

31

There are approximately 70,000 pizzerias across the United States

man topping pizza at pizza shop

Pizzerias are heavily abundant in the United States, with 70,000 of them coast-to-coast. According to a poll from TripAdvisor, the city with the best pizza is New York, followed closely by Chicago.

32

Most Americans prefer meat lovers pizza

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It seems like Americans are big fans of meat: a study conducted by the Culinary Visions Panel showed that 76% of the 500 Americans surveyed preferred meat lovers pizza over any other kind.

33

October is National Pizza Month in the U.S.

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That's right! The United States has an official month dedicated to pizza.

34

The average American eats more than 23 pounds of pizza a year

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Priebe noted in his book that every American on average consumes more than 23 pounds of pizza in a single year. The Washington Post also reports that on average, an equivalent of 100 acres of pizza is consumed in a single day in the United States.

35

Most people eat pizza on Saturday nights

Eating pizza and social networking with a laptop.
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Uber Eats found that most Americans consume pizza as their Saturday night dinner. It sounds like a dinner we'll always be on board with!

36

Eating pizza once a week may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer

Doctor Performing Physical Exam Palpation Of The Thyroid Gland
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This may sound too good to be true, but pizza has some nutritional benefits. According to an Italian study published by the International Journal of Cancer, people who ate pizza at least once a week had less chance of developing cancer. Frequent pizza consumption reduced the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59%, as well as the risk of developing colon cancer falling by 26% and mouth cancer by 34%. The researchers speculated that this is due to the tomato sauce's high lycopene content.

37

Tomato sauce could help support your immune system

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In addition to tomato sauce's beneficial lycopene concentration, a study published in the journal Nutrients found that tomato sauce is high in flavonoids. The study noted that flavonoids are beneficial in fighting an array of complications, such as inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and depression. So give our homemade tomato sauce recipe a try!

38

The most popular size of pizza in the United States is 14 inches in diameter

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The average pizza is usually 14 inches in diameter with eight slices. The average pizza is also normally supposed to feed a group of four (two slices per person).

39

Pizza Hut is the top-selling pizza chain in the country

pizza hut stuffed pizza
Pizza Hut/ Twitter

According to 2017 research by Pizza Magazine, Pizza Hut has dominated the pizza industry. With more than 5.5 million sales in the United States alone, this chain has risen to the top as the biggest-selling pizzeria in all of the country.

40

Mozzarella accounts for about 80% of cheese in production in the U.S.

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Mozzarella cheese, which is the main cheese used for pizza, makes up for the majority of cheese production in the United States, according to Priebe's book.

41

There are more than 34 million ways to create a pizza from Domino's

dominos pizzas in boxes on table
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Domino's gives its customers a variety of pizza combinations: about 34 million, to be exact. You can order the pizza of your cheesy dreams at this pizzeria chain.

42

Domino's "World's Fastest Pizza Maker" can make three large pizzas in just 47.56 seconds

dominos pizza
Domino's/ Facebook

Dennis Tran, the winner of the 2016 Domino's fastest pizza-making contest, can make one pizza in just 11 seconds. He is a Domino's franchise owner from Tallahassee, Florida.

43

Domino's delivers more than 1 million pizzas a day worldwide

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This chain has 17,200 locations globally, making it one of the most prominent pizzeria chains in the business. So it's not too surprising that the chain sells an average of three million pizzas daily around the world.

44

Papa John's started in the back of a broom closet

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In 1984, Papa John's founder John Schnatter sold his car to buy pizza-making equipment and set it up in a broom closet, according to the company's website. Thirty-three years later, it's one of the most recognizable brands in the pizza industry.

45

Papa John's was the first pizzeria chain to offer online ordering

papa johns the works pizza
Courtesy of Papa Johns

Papa John's changed the whole delivery game with its online ordering option, created in 2001.

46

Peyton Manning owned 31 Papa John's franchises

peyton manning
Brad Sauter/Shutterstock

The former football star is also an entrepreneur and owned 31 Papa John's chains in the Denver area. He purchased them in 2012 and was seen frequently in Papa John's advertisements across the nation. He sold them right before parting ways with the NFL.

47

Eggs are a common pizza topping in Australia

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A common topping on pizza in Australia is eggs, and pizzas with the topping are referred to as "Aussie pizza." They also usually include bacon.

48

There is an annual pizza expo in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign at dusk.
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Pizza fans, rejoice. There's a pizza convention, called the International Pizza Expo, held every year in Las Vegas (when there's not a global pandemic, that is).

49

The top pizza chains get their cheese from the same vendor

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Sure, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, and Domino's have different sauces and crusts. But if you've ever thought the cheese tasted the same at all three chains, you aren't wrong. A 2017 Forbes report revealed that Leprino Foods supplies the mozzarella for all three chains.

50

Pizza can be healthy

Cauliflower pizza crust
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Pizza has a bad reputation for being unhealthy, but when made right, it can be an amazing nutritional source. Check out these secrets for eating pizza the smarter way.

For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

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