First Mention of Pizza, 1860?

I was reading the “10 things we didn’t know last week” on the BBC website yesterday. I was intrigued by point two – the earliest mention of pizza in the New York Times was in 1944. It seemed quite late for something that took off so fast a short while later.

I thought I’d check The British Newspaper Archive to try and find the first mention of pizza in a British Newspaper. I’ve found this, which might be it, from 1860. A correspondent from Naples describes the frankly delicious-sounding pizza to be had in that city and how it was a classless food, enjoyed by every section of society. “The pizza cake is your only social leveller”. Apparently, the pizza was “only made and eaten between sunset and two or three in the morning…” 3am? Sounds like it was made to go with a bit of booze then, and I can’t argue there.

This bit is less appealing though – “the pizza shops are about the filthiest in Naples, and whoever knows Naples will admit that is saying a good deal.” I’ve gone off the idea now.

South London Chronicle, 22nd December 1860

South London Chronicle, 22nd December 1860

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1 Response

  1. February 23, 2017

    […] early pizza mentions this morning (I keep a spreadsheet) and came across this on a blog called Skittish Library. Estelle, the keeper of the blog, posted it after reading about the New York Times not mentioning […]

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