Updated: 7 Sep 2020
Pizza is a savory dish of Italian origin, consisting of a usually round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and often various other ingredients (anchovies, olives, meat, etc.) baked at a high temperature, traditionally in a wood-fired oven. A small pizza is sometimes called a pizzetta. In Italy, pizza served in formal settings, such as at a restaurant, is presented unsliced and eaten with the use of a knife and fork. In casual settings it is cut into wedges to be eaten while held in the hand. The term pizza was first recorded in the 10th century in a Latin manuscript from the Southern Italian town of Gaeta in Lazio, on the border with Campania. It has become one of the most popular foods in the world and a common fast food item in Europe and North America, available at pizzerias (restaurants specializing in pizza), restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine, and via pizza delivery. Many companies sell ready-baked frozen pizzas to be reheated in an ordinary home oven. The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (lit. True Neapolitan Pizza Association) is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 with headquarters in Naples that aims to promote traditional Neapolitan pizza. In 2009, upon Italy's request, Neapolitan pizza was registered with the European Union as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed dish, and in 2017 the art of its making was included on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.