Pizza: Informative Speech
by Michal Mesko (April 22, 2004)
Specific purpose: To inform my audience about history of pizza and how it became so popular.
Central idea: Pizza, formerly a poor man’s food, became a worldwide multibillion business.
A. Do you know what a poor man’s food some 200 years ago was? You probably don’t know. Let me give you another advice: it is a $32 billion per year business today. You still have no idea? And if I tell you that it’s Joey’s from Friends most favorite food? Hey, come on! I bet most of you LOVE pizza!
B. Over the past 50 years, pizza has by far become worldwide favorite food, especially in America.
C. The true origins of this fine cuisine are as colorful as any good pizza with plenty of toppings.
D. In my speech, I will tell you something about history of pizza, how it became so popular, presence of pizza, warm relationship of Americans to pizza and also some interesting facts and Guinness records relating pizza.
I. Pre-pizza Epoch (History of Pizza)
A. Pizza is not an Italian invention, as is widely thought.
1. Origins of pizza go far back to the ancient times. “Ancestors” of pizza was Babylonian and Egyptian flat un-leaven bread, called “pita”.
2. Later on, Greeks and Romans were eating the bread, topped with vegetables, olive oil and native spices – but without tomatoes. Pita is still common in Greece today.
3. There are several opinions about an etymology of the word “pizza”; the most common is that it came from Latin “picea”, which describes the blackening of the crust cause by the fire underneath.
B. Pizza became widely popular in 1889 because of the Queen Margherita.
1. Originally, pizza was a poor man’s food.
2. In 1889, Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita gave visit to Naples. They saw many peasants eating large, flat bread.
3. The Queen loved the bread, but it was not appropriate for a Queen to dine on peasant’s food.
4. Famous “pizzaiolo”, Raffaele Esposito, created a special patriotic pizza for Queen Margherita for that occasion; the pizza had toppings that resembled Italian flag (red tomatoes, white mozzarella and green basil).
5. As the word got out, that pizza was one of the Queen’s favorite foods, the Queen and pizza became even more popular among the Italian people.
6. Pizza Margherita became standard.
C. The first true pizzeria ever was opened in 1830.
1. Until about that time, pizzas were sold from open-air stands and street vendors.
2. World’s first true pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port’ Alba, opened in Naples and is still in business today.
D. Thanks to Italian immigrants, pizza made its way to the whole Europe and America by the beginning of 1900’s.
1. In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi opened the 1st US Pizzeria in New York City.
2. But the real “pizza-boom” came after World War II, when American and European soldiers returned from Italy. They ate it there; it was love at first taste! Therefore, they demanded it at home as well.
(Transition: This is how pizza got its fame. But what does pizza actually mean today? Is it successful in beating other foods? Definitely yes.)
II. Pizza Epoch (Presence of Pizza)
A. Pizzas are not any longer limited to Margherita, Napolitana and Bologna.
1. Even though Margherita, Napolitana and Bologna are basics until today, pizza is perfect for improvisation. That is why there are many variations: stuffed pizza, crust pizza, pizza pockets, calzones, grilled pizza and so on…
2. Pizzas vary through the world and are adjusted to local tastes.
3. Through the time, virtually everything was put on the top of pizza: pineapple, peanut butter, potatoes and even jelly.
B. Pizza is a big business.
1. It makes more than $32 billion per year and grows steadily 5–6% every year.
2. Pizza accounts for more than 10% of all foodservice sales.
3. There are more than 60,000 pizzerias in USA.
4. The popularity of pizza has gone that far, that February 9 became an International Pizza Day.
C. Even thought pizza has “not invented here” stamp in USA, it became as American as baseball or apple pie.
(Transition: Now you know a brief CV of pizza. Let’s have a look on its successes and interesting facts about pizza.)
III. Interesting Facts About Pizza
A. Americans are real pizza lovers and biggest pizza eaters in the world.
1. They eat 100 acres, or about 60 full-sized football pitches, of pizza a day.
2. They eat more than 3 billion of pizzas a year, 350 slices per second.
3. In average, it is about 46 slices of pizza for every man, woman and child in USA every year.
4. October is a national pizza month in USA.
B. There are also several pizza related Guinness World Records.
1. Largest pizza ever baked was 37.4 meters in diameter. It was made at Norwood Hypermarket in South Africa on December 8, 1990. It weighted almost 10 tons.
2. Largest pizza order was placed on August 19, 1998, when an American company ordered 13,000 pizzas for its employees at 180 locations across the USA.
(Transition: You can see that we live in sort of a “pizza-world”. If we sum it up, pizza definitely deserves its fame.)
A. Pizza is really a great food. It even helps kids at school. How? Well, that is how they learn fractions, isn’t it. Three-quarters is always better than one quarter.
B. I hope you enjoyed our little journey to the world of pizza. And since you persisted to listen to me till the end, here is my thank you.
(Somebody will distribute pizza to everybody there)
C. Before you start eating your slice of pizza, stop and think of the Queen Margherita and Chef Rafaelle, and be grateful that a Queen would dare descend to eat peasant bread. I wish you a Bon appetite!
www.mamatheresa.com/history-pizza.htm - www.mamatheresa.com/history-pizza.htm
www.pastrywiz.com/season/pizza.htm - www.pastrywiz.com/season/pizza.htm
www.pizzatherapy.com - www.pizzatherapy.com
www.pizzaware.com/facts.htm - www.pizzaware.com/facts.htm
www.chicagostylepizzainc.com/ownership/pizzafacts.shtml - www.chicagostylepizzainc.com/ownership/pizzafacts.shtml
www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/pizzahistory.html - www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/pizzahistory.html
www.vtvt.essortment.com/historypizza_rlrk.htm - www.vtvt.essortment.com/historypizza_rlrk.htm