Pizza, a food found ’round the world’, but how did this marvelous concoction become so universally beloved? And how has it served many cultures?

If there are two things the internet loves its cats and pizza. And while EWC tries to remain above the fray when it comes to internet memes, sometimes fun facts about amazing things have to be shared!

So while we are often celebrating remarkable innovators, marvels of science or nature, or ingenious people making the world a better place, today at EverWideningCircles.com, we will stick to something we can all connect with: Pizza.

So, how did a traditional meal of humble origins come to become a global phenomenon and grow into a billion dollar industry?

For some answers, let’s turn to the PBS Idea Channel and look a the history of pizza through the slices that have moved it into the modern era…

More than just pizza…

A disclaimer, it took me several days to write this article mostly because I kept finding myself trying to order pizza and deciding to come back to writing after a good meal. But in all honesty, there is something remarkable about how people from around the globe come together over the pizza. It is, in some ways, a cultural equalizer.

I have eaten pizza on five continents with a vast range of toppings (most interestingly sweet potato puree in a Korean Pizza Hut). I have eaten it in pizzerias in Italy, and questionable establishments in Cambodia, and each experience has been uniquely individual and yet somehow universal. I have shared pizza with strangers and best friends around the globe and in dorm rooms.

In fact, pizza is such a big deal in our family that we built a pizza oven from “found materials” on our family farm. (Clay from the creek, hay from the barn, bricks from an abandoned foundation.) Here’s a photo of my father inserting one our first pies to be baked in the homemade, communal oven on the farm.

Image: Dr. Chuck inserting pizza into crazy pizza oven shaped like a fish

Want to see how we built this unique culinary wonder? Head to Dr. Lynda’s office Facebook page and click through the photos in that FB album. You’ll see this beauty develop step-by-step in some great summer fun photos! I’ve singed my eyebrows off feeding people from it!
Source: Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Bottom-line: Pizza tells a broader story about the important role that food plays in the way we socialize.

Since our origins, humans have come together over food, it has been a foundation for communities and families. As we eat in our cars more and more and stop sitting down with friends or family to eat, we lose some fundamental part of our humanity.

Pizza, though it may sound strange, is often a remedy to this problem. Forcing us to communicate and sit down together over a common meal.

Perhaps the lesson of pizza is something broader than simply a delicious food. It is a tale of our shared humanity and the important role that sharing a meal has played in shaping it.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

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Notes:

  1. “A History of Pizza in 8 Slices | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios.” YouTube. PBS Idea Channel, 06 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 June 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxUaTQ2_CsM>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV