A year ago, we shared some interesting facts about National Pizza Day. And we talk about pizza a lot… we love it so much, and pretty much any day is a great day for a pizza party. But today, we’re going to do something a little different. We’re diving deep into two interesting and slightly odd pizza facts.
Why are Pizzas Round?
Judging by the amount of Google queries, millions of people are genuinely curious about why pizzas are typically made in a circular shape. Sure, sometimes you see a square, rectangle or even a heart shape next week to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but by and large, most pizzas are round.
Here’s why (and there are many reasons!):
- First, a circular shape allows a pizza to cook more evenly and be heated throughout, from the center to the edges.
- Second, pizza dough is made by stretching out a round mound of dough and then spinning that lump in the air, where centrifugal force naturally rounds it out. Can you image someone trying to form and spin a rectangle pizza? Nah, that’s not going to turn out good!
- Third, round pies are easy to cut and then divided into equal pieces. And that triangle slice is so easy to handle (or even fold up) and eat.
Also, according to very specific rules set in 1984 by the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana” (True Neapolitan Pizza Association), an authentic Neapolitan pizza must not exceed 13.7 inches in diameter.
And just in case you were wondering why round pizzas always come in square boxes, it’s simply because it’s cheaper, easier and a better use of space when it comes to stacking up cardboard pizza boxes.
Why are Pizzas Called Pies?
Around the world, there are many different ways to spell and even pronounce pizza. In Bosnia, it’s spelled pica; in Haitian, it’s pitza; and in Thai, it’s Phiss̀ā. But Americans are the only ones who occasionally call it pizza pie. And the reason why isn’t as clear or precise as the circle answer.
Maybe it’s because it has the same round shape and triangle slices as a pie? Or perhaps it’s because the English term pie originated referring specifically to the crust, and pies can technically have any kind of filling, whether that be savory or sweet or savory. And similar to traditional sweet pie fillings, the choice of pizza toppings can seem limitless, with meats, veggies, cheeses and more.
So today, on National Pizza day, order yourself a round pie and share these facts (and maybe a slice) with a friend!