National Pizza Party Day
the third Friday in May
Not only is today a day for having a party, it is a day to party with pizza. Pizza parties can be held at restaurants, homes, or other locations. Many children look forward to pizza parties at schools as the year winds down. Breadsticks, soda, and beer are commonly served at pizza parties.
Pie-shaped flatbreads with toppings were first eaten in Naples in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. At the time, this coastal city was not part of Italy, but its own kingdom. The working poor, or lazzaroni, lived outside or in small homes, and needed cheap food. Pizza consisted of flatbread with toppings such as tomatoes, garlic, cheese, oil, or anchovies, and it was sold by street vendors and informal restaurants, and eaten for any meal. Pizza didn't end up becoming popular in the rest of Italy until the 1940s.
It was in the United States, where Neapolitans immigrated to, that pizza gained in popularity. The first pizzeria in the United States was Lombardi's, which was started in New York City in 1905. Lombardi's is still in business, and although it is in a new location, the original oven is still in use. Neapolitans brought pizza to many other cities, including Trenton, New Haven, St. Louis, Chicago, and Boston. Pizza became popular all over the country, especially following World War II. Many styles of crusts and different toppings became popular in different regions. Eventually, pizza made its way back to Italy, as well as to other parts of the world.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by getting your friends together and having a pizza party! Invite people over to your house and order a bunch of different types of pizzas to try. Besides ordering them, you could prepare pizzas on your own, possibly even by making them from scratch. Perhaps you could buy ingredients and have your guests build their own pizzas. Or, you could have guests make their own at home and bring them to share. You could host a pizza party at a restaurant, maybe at one of the best pizzerias in the United States. Why not have a pizza crawl? Split a pizza with your friends at a pizzeria, and then go to another pizzeria and do it again. Maybe everyone could rate the pizzas as you travel from place to place. The options for how to celebrate the day are almost as endless as the pizza combinations you could eat!