Published 8 Apr 2024

The Inventor of Pizza: A Tasty Story of Creativity and Tradition

The origins of pizza date back to ancient times. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks are said to have consumed flatbreads topped with ingredients such as olive oil and herbs, similar to the predecessors of modern pizza.

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However, pizza as we know it today has its roots in the ancient city of Naples, Italy, in the 18th century.

The Legend of Raffaele Esposito

The best-known story about the inventor of pizza involves a man named Raffaele Esposito, a Neapolitan pizza chef who, in 1889, created a pizza in honor of the visit of Italian rulers, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. Esposito is said to have made three different pizzas for the royals, but their favorite was a simple pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil, the colors of the Italian flag. This pizza became known as "Pizza Margherita" and its creation is often attributed to Esposito.

Beyond the Legend: The Contribution of the Working Class

However, attributing the invention of pizza to just one person is an understatement. Pizza as a dish was already widespread among the humblest population of Naples before Esposito's time. It was a cheap, easy-to-prepare meal that used simple, accessible ingredients like flour, olive oil, tomatoes and cheese. Working-class artisans, fishermen, and other workers often consumed pizza as a quick food during their lunch break. So, while Esposito may have put a twist on pizza with his creation for royalty, his invention was based on a long tradition of pizza preparation and consumption by the Neapolitan population.

The Evolution of Pizza in the World

Since its birth in Naples, pizza has spread throughout the world, taking on different shapes and flavors depending on local traditions. In the United States, for example, pizza has become a culinary icon of its own, with varieties such as "Chicago deep dish" pizza and "New York style" pizza gaining national and international popularity.

  The Role of Pizza in Contemporary Culture

Today, pizza is much more than a simple dish: it has become a symbol of conviviality, hospitality and the joy of eating together. It is served in luxury restaurants and small neighborhood pizzerias, becoming a gastronomic option suitable for any occasion, from romantic dinners to birthday parties.


The inventor of pizza may be a mystery shrouded in history and legend, but what is certain is his indelible impact on global food culture. From Naples to the rest of the world, pizza continues to delight and unite people through its simplicity, its versatility and its irresistible flavor. Whether born from the creativity of a single individual or the collective ingenuity of a community, pizza remains one of the most loved and appreciated dishes in human culinary history.

Ibrahim Ghonim

Taste News

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