Bellissimo! Did somebody say free pizza?
The actor Bill Murray once tweeted, “Unless you are a pizza, the answer is yes, I can live without you.” We hear you, Bill. Pizza has to be one of the most popular foods on the planet. In the US alone, 350 slices are eaten every second. Hopefully not all by the same person… But why all this talk of pizza? It’s World Pizza Day, so we thought we’d take a quick deep (dish) dive into some fun facts about this supreme meal. Plus, we’ve found a few ways you can get a discounted – or even free – slice of the action.
A (very) brief history of pizza
While pizza-like flatbreads have been around for a loooong time in Italy, the classic Margherita pizza is believed to have been invented back in 1889 by a pizzaiolo named Raffaele Esposito, to honour Queen Margherita of Savoy. The dish was topped with tomato, basil and mozzarella – representing the colours of the Italian flag. But the dish didn’t really garner the worldwide attention it so well deserved until Italian immigrants began to spread across the globe in search of work. They soon introduced the cheesy delight to their new countries. For that, we are eternally thankful.
Taking it to extremes
While pizza is normally a relatively standard, affordable treat, some chefs have really taken the (dough) ball and run with it. Take the most expensive pizza in the world, which costs US $12,000. It’s called the Louis XIII and it’s made from organic Arabian flour, dusted with Australian Murray River pink salt and takes 72 hours to prepare. It’s topped with three types of rare caviar – Oscietra Royal Prestige, Kaspia Oscietra Royal Classic from the Iranian coast and Kaspia Beluga. There’s also Norwegian lobster and seven types of cheese.
All hail Ottavia
Then there’s the world’s largest pizza, which had a total surface area of 1261.65 m2. Imagine trying to deliver that puppy. It was named “Ottavia” as a nod to the first Roman emperor, Octavian Augustus. Ottavia was made by a group of chefs from Italy’s NIPfood to raise awareness of coeliac disease, so it was also 100 percent gluten-free.
Free and cheesy
There are obviously plenty of ways to celebrate World Pizza Day (eating it being the most obvious one). But there are also ways to get your hands on discounted or even free pie for today only. Pizza Hut and DoorDash have teamed up to offer 5000 free BBQ Meatlovers or Veggie Sensation pizzas. You just need to order through the app and pay the delivery fee. DoorDash is also offering 25 percent off other pizza restaurant deliveries, up to the value of $10 for today only. Just enter WORLDPIZZADAY at checkout.
As much as you can eat
Also to celebrate this delicious day, renowned pizzeria 400 Gradi is bringing back its famous “Bottomless Pizza”. That’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted slices at all of its restaurants.
For today only, foodies will be able to feast on infinite slices of 400 Gradi’s award-winning creations, including Margherita Verace, which was crowned best in the world at the 2014 Pizza World Championships; and 154 Formaggi, which is made using a world record-breaking 154 different varieties of cheese. You can also get a bespoke pizza created by Melbourne’s champion pizzaiolo Johnny Di Francesco specifically for today.
With 11 different pizzas available, including vegetarian and vegan options, there’s a slice to suit everyone. Ninety-minute sittings are available for bookings and walk-ins from open until close. The price is $45pp and terms and conditions apply.
Make your own healthy plant-based pizza
For plant-based peeps who want a healthier fix, we bring you this recipe. It’s courtesy of Tammy Hembrow of the fitness app, Tammy Fit.
4 bases such as Venerdi Bread’s Gluten Freedom Fancier Sourdough Pizza Bases
½ cup pizza sauce
1 onion, sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
95g (1 cup) mushrooms, thinly sliced
100g mozzarella (vegan if preferred)
4 tbsp pesto
1 handful fresh basil
1 cup vegan chicken
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lay out bases and top with sauce, spreading it evenly.
2. Add red onion, zucchini, mushrooms, pesto, vegan chicken and mozzarella.
3. Place on a sheet of baking paper on a tray. Cook in oven for 15 minutes or until golden.