Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the United States, and everyone loves a good slice. Alessio’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, with multiple locations in metro Atlanta, serves authentic New York style pizza to patrons. New York also happens to be the place where pizza in America began. Learn about how pizza became an American favorite and more about the origins of pizza in the United States below.
Gennaro Lombardi: The Godfather of Pizza
A failing economy brought millions of Italians over to America for new opportunities. Within this diverse group of immigrants were many Italians who knew how to cook authentic Italian cuisine, including pasta dishes, desserts, and – of course – pizza.
In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi wanted to sell pizza in the United States, so he applied to the New York City government for a license. Although he was the first with a license, many Neapolitan foods like pizza were being introduced from a new influx of Italian immigrants in the New England area.
From a Snack to a Meal to an American Favorite
In the beginning, many immigrants often cooked pizza as a quick snack at home. However, New York and New Jersey quickly became the home of the American pizzeria in Italian neighborhoods. They started to cater to Italian Americans, but – as word spread – other Americans also fell in love with the Italian favorite.
A National Craze
During the 1950s, which saw the industrial rise of fast food in America, restaurants like McDonald’s became a national staple. However, huge chains such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut wanted to take over the fast food pizza market.
Unlike burger fast-food franchises, pizza chains modeled their business around delivery and takeout. With pizza showing up on doorsteps across American, usually in 30 minutes or less, pizza quickly became an American favorite, and the rest is history.