Although it was a flourishing metropolis in the 1700s and 1800s, Naples, Italy, then a kingdom in its own right, was home to multitudes of the poor, many of whom lived in one-room dwellings and were often on the move. In need of cheap, quickly consumed food, they relied on flatbread garnished with toppings of cheese, tomatoes, oil, anchovies, and garlic. Immigrants to the United States brought their staple food with them, and pizza became a sensation in their new country, with the first pizzeria in the US opening for business in Manhattan in 1905.Pizza is now a favorite across the planet, though how it’s made varies greatly place to place. As these tantalizing facts show, the dish is subject to innovation, research, study, and artistic interpretation.
Robot Pizza Employees
Zume Pizza employs both humans and robots. Human employees help prepare the food, develop recipes, conduct taste tests, and enhance the product’s quality based on customer input. The robot workers “perform highly competitive tasks like squirting and spreading tomato sauce and placing pizzas in ovens.
Pizza Pizza Box
After devouring the pies made by Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, customers can eat the boxes in which the pizzas were delivered. Inspired by the sight of empty pizza boxes in Brooklyn trash cans, co-owner Sean Berthiaume decided to make edible containers made out of pizza. During a lull in the pizzeria’s business, Berthiaume experimented with the idea. For $40, customers can have the pizza-within-a-pizza box delivered to their homes or businesses. The pizza and its container are wrapped in foil and delivered in a pizza bag. (No, the bag isn’t made of pizza.)
For customers who have trouble deciding what they want on their pizzas, Pizza Hut may have come up with the answer. A “subconscious menu” powered by Tobii Technology, a Swedish company, tracks customers’ eye movements as they check out various pizza toppings shown on the screen and then suggests a pie from among the 4,896 pizza combinations available. The software took six months to develop and was successful 98 percent of the time, according to results of tests that took place in the United Kingdom.
If the subconscious menu proves popular among UK customers, Pizza Hut may introduce it to its American patrons.
The Dirt Road Cookers, a group of eight caterers located in San Antonio, Texas, joined forces to create the world’s largest pizza. The result was a 4.3-square-meter (46.6 ft2), 45-kilogram (100 lb) pie with a 235-centimeter (92.5 in) diameter. Head chef Kurt Oefinger said that baking the pie was truly a team effort. He supervised. Another team member tended the fire. Two others prepared the toppings. Another pair worked on the pizza’s base. Two more supplied water to the other thirsty workers. “It gets hot,” Oefinger said.It took the group an hour and 45 minutes to complete the task. It also took a year to build the necessary equipment to cook the pizza. Despite their efforts and some claims that the pizza was the largest ever made, Guinness World Records recognizes a much larger, 1,261.7-square-meter (13,580.3 ft2) pizza made in Rome in 2012 as the record holder.