Think you know a lot about pizza? Broaden your pizza knowledge with the most comprehensive list of pizza facts.
The Best Pizza Facts That Will Amaze Friends, Family and Acquaintances
Look very smart at your next dinner party with these 80 facts.
1. The average pizzeria uses roughly 55 pizza boxes per day.
2. We consume around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni every year.
3. Some popular pizza toppings in Japan are squid and Mayo Jaga, which includes mayonnaise, potato and bacon.
4. The highest-grossing single-unit independent pizzeria in the nation, Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, is in Anchorage , Alaska. Its annual sales are approximately $6 million.
5. Pizzerias are expected to purchase more than $4 billion worth of cheese annually by the year 2010.
6. 36 percent of all pizza orders want their pizza topping pepperoni.
7. 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly.
8. The top 5 pizza sale says are Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Thanksgiving Eve & New Year’s Day.
9. 93 percent of Americans have eaten pizza in the last month.
10. Pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales.
11. On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza delivery drivers can expect $2 tips to sometimes soar as high as $20.
12. Domino’s delivery drivers will log about 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday.
13. Cristian Dumitru of Romania holds the world record for eating pizza, he ate over 200 pounds. But the former world record holder claims the cheese-sauce ratio was too low for what he ate to be considered pizza.
14. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second.
15. There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States.
16. Each person in America eats about 46 pizza slices a year.
17. Popular gourmet toppings are chicken, oysters, crayfish, dandelions, sprouts, eggplant, cajun shrimp, artichoke hearts, and tuna.
18. October is the US national pizza month.
19. About 3 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.
20. Kids ages 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.
21. The largest pizza ever made was at the Norwood Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to the Guinness Book of Records the pizza was 37.4 meters in diameter and was made using 500 kg of flour, 800 kg of cheese and 900 kg of tomato puree. This was accomplished on December 8, 1990.
22. Italian is the most popular type of Ethnic food in America.
23. Domino’s Pizza is the world leader in delivery.
24. Regular thin crust is most popular in America, it is preferred by 61% of the population, 14% prefer deep-dish, and 11% prefer extra thin crust.
25. 62% of Americans prefer meat toppings while 38% prefer vegetables.
26. Women are twice as likely as men to order vegetables on their pizza.
27. Pizza Hut has 12,583 stores in over 90 countries.
28. Saturday night is the most popular night to eat pizza.
29. Pizza Deliverers claim women are better tippers.
30. The world’s fastest pizza maker can make 14 pizzas in 2 minutes and 35 seconds.
31. 36% of people consider pizza the perfect breakfast.
32. The longest pizza delivery was from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia.
33. The most popular pizza size in the U.S. today is 14 inches in diameter.
34. Most expensive pizza created was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla who created a $2,745.00 priced Valentine pizza which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar.
35. What has been called “the world’s most extravagant pizza” is available at New York’s Nino’s Bellissima restaurant. Topped with six varieties of caviar, chives, fresh lobster and creme fraiche, this 12-inch pie, called the “Luxury Pizza,” retails at $1,000.00 (or $125.00 a slice).
36. In Italy there is a bill before Parliament to safeguard the traditional Italian pizza, specifying permissible ingredients and methods of processing (e.g., excluding frozen pizzas). Only pizzas which followed these guidelines could be called “traditional Italian pizzas”, at least in Italy.
37. Mozzarella cheese accounts for nearly 80 percent of Italian cheese production in the United States.
38. The word “pizza” dates back over a thousand years—it was first mentioned in a Latin text written in southern Italy in 997 CE.
39. In 1835, Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, traveled to Naples, where he observed that the Neapolitan poor ate nothing but watermelon during the summer and pizza during the winter.
40. The first pizza place in America was Lombardi’s in New York City—originally a grocery store, Lombardi’s started selling pizza in 1905.
41. During the first few decades of the 20th century, pizza was predominantly eaten and sold by working class Italian immigrants.
42. But after World War II, American GIs came home from Italy with a craving for pizza, bringing the food to a broader consumer base for the first time.
43. The first American cities to start selling pizza were New York, Boston, New Haven, Conn., and Trenton, N.J. All four of these cities had an influx of Southern Italian immigrants around the turn of the century.
44. At first, pizzas were sold exclusively by the pie. But in 1933, Patsy Lancieri (of Patsy’s Pizzeria in New York City) started selling pizza by the slice—a trend that was quickly picked up by other pizzerias.
45. Humans aren’t the only ones who love the taste of pizza: There’s even a mini pizza for dogs called the “Heaven Scent Pizza” made of flour, carrots, celery, and parmesan cheese.
46. The first-known Chicago deep dish pizzas were created in 1943 by the restaurant that later became the Pizzeria Uno chain.
47. Domino’s was founded in 1960. The restaurant chain’s founder, Tom Monaghan, is one of three people in the world who hold an advanced degree in “Pizza-ology” from the “Domino’s College of Pizza-ology”—a business management program he founded in the 1980s.
48. Domino’s dropped its “30 minutes or less” guarantee in 1993 after a series of lawsuits accused the company of promoting unsafe driving.
49. The Domino’s delivery offer is still good in some places around the world. The guarantee has been great for business in Turkey, for instance.
50. The first frozen pizza hit the market in 1962. It mostly tasted like cardboard until the genius food inventor Rose Totino got her hands on it.
51. The Hawaiian pizza was invented in 1962 by Sam Panopoulos, a native of Greece who ran a pizza place in Canada.
52. In the late ‘60s, the U.S. Army’s 113th Military Intelligence Unit spied on reporters and politicians using fake pizza deliveries.
53. Pizza may have originated in Italy, but countries around the world have developed their own regional spins on the classic food. In Brazil chefs top their pizzas with green peas, the French love fried eggs on their slices, and in China a crust made of mini-hot dogs is surprisingly popular.
54. The first pizza ordered by computer happened in 1974: The Artificial Language Laboratory at Michigan State needed to test out its new “speaking computer,” so they used it to order a pepperoni, mushroom, ham, and sausage pizza from a local pizza joint.
55. In the 1980s, the Pizza Connection trial became the longest running criminal jury trial in American history, running from 1985 to 1987. It prosecuted a group of mafia members who were using pizza restaurants as a front for drug trafficking.
56. Chuck E. Cheese’s was founded by Nolan Bushnell, the co-founder of Atari, as a way to make more money off of the game consoles.
57. Chuck E. Cheese may be the most famous animatronic pizza-selling animal in the world, but in the ’80s, ShowBiz Pizza Place’s “Rock-A-Fire Explosion” gave the rat a run for his money. ShowBiz’s animatronic band played hit pop songs and original tunes at locations across America, and were the creation of Aaron Fechter (who also invented Whac-a-Mole).
58. When pizza chefs around the world need help with their recipes, they turn to “Dough Doctor” Tom Lehmann. Lehmann, who lives in Manhattan, Kansas, is a pizza expert who’s been working with the American Institute of Baking since 1967. One of the biggest challenges he’s faced? Low-carb dough requests during the height of the Atkins diet craze.
59. Plenty of famous people got their start making and delivering pizzas. Stephen Baldwin and Bill Murray both worked at pizza restaurants, and Jean-Claude Van Damme used to deliver pizzas.
60. The only pizza-themed superhero movie made to date is called Pizza Man—released in 2011, the film stars Frankie Muniz as a pizza delivery guy who acquires super powers from eating a genetically modified tomato.
61. In 2013, former child star Macaulay Culkin formed a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band called Pizza Underground. The band performs hits like “I’m Waiting for the Delivery Man” and “All the Pizza Parties.”
62. Pizza played a role in helping police catch an alleged serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” in 2010 when an undercover officer took a DNA sample from a slice of pizza the killer had been snacking on at a family birthday party.
63. Pizza has also helped prevent several crimes: In 2008 when a pizza delivery man in Florida was confronted by robbers, he threw the hot pizza he was delivering at them and escaped harm.
64. In 2014, a woman called 911 to report a burglary and sexual assault, but because the burglar was still in her home, she came up with a novel way to get the attention of police: she pretended to order a pizza. Fortunately, the police figured out that something was not quite right with the pizza order, and instantly responded to the call.
65. In 2001, Pizza Hut delivered a six-inch salami pizza to the International Space Station—the first pizza delivered to outer space.
66. A little over a decade later, in 2013, a group of NASA-funded scientists invented a 3D printer that could cook pizza in just 70 seconds, literally spraying on flavor, smell, and micronutrients.
67. The U.S. Military Lab recently invented a ready-to-eat pizza that can last for up to three years. The pizza is intended for soldiers abroad who are craving a slice… and also presumably for anyone preparing for a zombie apocalypse.
68. Pizza is such an iconic food, it even inspired an art show. In 2013, the Marlborough Broome Street Gallery in New York curated a show called “Pizza Time!” featuring more than 25 pizza-inspired works of art. The works ranged from paintings like “Caveman on Pizza,” which featured a sunglasses-wearing caveman surfing a giant slice of pizza, to works of art made of actual pizza, like John Riepenhoff’s “Physical Pizza Networking Theory.”
69. Pizza chefs use a wide variety of pizza lingo to show they’re in the know. For example, a ball of dough that’s been stretched and is ready for toppings is called a “skin,” mushrooms are often referred to as “screamers,” and slices of pepperoni are called “flyers,” for the way they’re thrown around the pizza kitchen like Frisbees.
70. Pizza chefs call the internal cell structure of pizza dough “the crumb”—most pizza makers try to achieve a crumb that’s airy with large holes.
71. The four primary kinds of mozzarella used to make pizza are mozzarella di bufala (made from the milk of water buffalo in Italy, and used on Neapolitan-style pizzas), fior di latte (similar to mozzarella di bufala, but made from cow’s milk), burrata (a fresh Italian cheese known for its creamy filling), and “pizza cheese” (the less perishable whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella used by the majority of American pizzerias).
72. In 2014, food scientists studied the baking properties of different cheeses, and found scientific evidence for a commonly known fact—mozzarella makes the best pizza cheese.
73. Ever eat a soggy slice of pizza that seemed to have a gross gooey layer between the base and the toppings? There’s a term for that. It’s called the “Gum Line,” and it’s dreaded by pizza chefs. It’s caused when dough is undercooked, has too little yeast, or is topped with sauce or cheese that’s recently been pulled from the refrigerator and hasn’t had a chance to reach room temperature.
74. Think spinning pizza dough sounds simple? Think again. Dough-spinning has its own professional-level sporting event where pizza teams compete in acrobatic dough-spinning competitions at the World Pizza Championships.
75. But spinning pizza dough isn’t just for show: It’s the best way to evenly spread dough, create a uniform crust, and even helps the dough retain moisture.
76. There’s an association called the Associazione Verace Pizza Nepoletana (“True Neapolitan Pizza Association”) that sets specific rules about what qualifies as a true Neapolitan pizza and certifies pizza restaurants accordingly.
77. According to legend, the “Pizza Margherita” takes its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy who, in 1889, sampled three pizza flavors made by master pizza chef Raffaele Esposito and expressed a preference for the version topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, and designed to resemble the Italian flag. Nice story—and while the Queen did eat Esposito’s pizza, there’s no evidence of what was on the menu, and a lot of skepticism that this was mostly a marketing scheme concocted (complete with forged historical documents!) to boost business.
78. Over the years a number of strange pizza-flavored products have been released, including potato chips, condoms, ice cream, beer, and e-cigarettes.
79. There’s a pizza museum in Philadelphia called Pizza Brain that is home to the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia.
80. The inventors of Bagel Bites got the inspiration for their first recipe off the back of a Lender’s Bagel bag.
Found a pizza fact that we may have missed? Email us and we’ll put it on the list.