A Brief History of Pizza

Pizza, which comes from the Latin “pitsa,” which means, “Food of the Gods,” was so closely associated with ancient Rome that Caesar used a depiction of an eight slice pie on the heraldry and banners as he marched across Gaul.  Emperor Tiberius held the world’s first “pits orges,” or “pizza party” when he closed off his cliffside villa for three nights on what is now the Amalfi coast and served up so many pies that people could not move for days afterwards.

Let’s skip the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the age of Enlightenment.

The Industrial Age brought big ovens to cities.  Pies followed.

In the current age?  It’s the best of times, the worst of times.

Nowadays you find “buffalo wing” pizza and “jerk chicken” pizza.  You find pizza being sold at one restaurant after another with no sense of what makes a good pie.  Sometimes I winder why this current generation of chefs praises itself for being so creative.  It’s true that previous generations did not try to reinvent themselves nor tout their creativity.  What?  They weren’t creative?  No, of course they were.

So what’s the explanation?  It’s probably that the current generation of chefs and their customers were praised as kids for being creative.

No, I’ll take the square Sicilian slices of Ralph and Paul Deuterio at Galleria Umberto.  Truly the best pizza in Boston, and among the best slices in the United States.

Food of the Gods, indeed!  Too late for Tiberius, not too late for you.

Galleria Umberto

289 Hanover St
(between Parmenter St & Wesley Pl)
Boston, MA 02113
Neighborhood: North End

(617) 227-5709


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