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8 Amazing Facts about Pizza That Everyone Should Know.

The power of pizza cannot be ignored: Americans now spend $37 billion a year on pizza, according to a new report from the Department of Agriculture.

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Scroll down to discover some incredible stats and statistics that you can break out next time you’re digging into a cheesy pie.

1. About 1 in 8 Americans eats pizza any given day.

Pre-teens eat about two times the national average, while Americans over 60 years old eat about half the national average.

2. More than 1/4 of boys between 6 and 19 eat pizza every day.

The above USDA graph shows the percentage of the U.S. population who consumed pizza on any given day. Women eat less pizza than guys at just about every age level, but girls between 6 and 19 still eat more pizza than any other category of guys.

3. The word pizza first appeared in 997 AD.

The term pizza first appeared in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD. The text stated that a tenant of a certain property was supposed to give the bishop of Gaeta “duodecim pizze,” or twelve pizzas, every Christmas day, and another twelve on Easter Sunday.

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“It was not, of course, the pizza we know of today. Tomatoes had not yet arrived in Italy, but leavening had been discovered around 1500 AD, so the pizza of 500 years ago is thought to have been more like what we now call focaccia, a leavened round crust of thin savoury crispy cooked dough, sometimes even laden with raisins and honey,” writes The Florentine.

4. The most expensive pizza in the world costs $12,000.

When you order Pizza Louis XIII from chef Renato Viola, you might have to take out a second mortgage. The whole preparation takes place at your house and includes the presence of a sommelier, a sous chef, and chef Viola himself. Toppings for the pizza include three types of caviar, red prawns, Mediterranean lobster, and sea cicada. The pizza comes with Remy Martin Cognac and Champagne Krug Clos du Mesnil. Annoyingly, this $12,000 pizza is only eight inches in diameter.

5. The world’s largest round pizza is 131 feet in diameter (and gluten-free).

The world’s largest round pizza was made in Italy—duh. Dovilio Nardi, the founder of a pizza chain that caters to people with celiac disease, led the team of chefs who made the pie. The 51,257-pound pie contained 19,800 pounds of flour, 10,000 pounds of tomato sauce, 8,800 pounds of mozzarella cheese, 1,488 pounds of margarine, 551 pounds of rock salt, 220 pounds of lettuce, and 55 pounds of vinegar. 

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The chefs named this garguantuan doughy monstrosity “Ottavia,” a reference to Octavian Augustus, Rome’s first emperor.

6. In the U.S., 4% of pizza eaten by children is for breakfast.

Although pizza is predominantly a dinner food for adults, 58% of pizza consumption for kids (teens and under) is for snacking, breakfasts, and lunches. Should we blame pizza bagels for this? Probably.

7. In 2011, Pizza was considered a “vegetable” by the government

School meals that are subsidized by the government must contain a certain amount of vegetables. In 2011, a serving of pizza containing at least two tablespoons of tomato sauce actually met those vegetable requirements. Ridiculous. During the Reagan administration, ketchup counted as a vegetable.

8. In 2014, a pizza delivery guy received a $1,268 tip.

Domino’s pizza delivery driver James Gilpin recently delivered two pizzas—which cost $12.50 total—to the IWU chapel at Wesleyan University. There, he was greeted by a body of 3,000 students and residential education CEO Keith Newman. Newman gave Gilpin a $1,268 tip collected by the students, $70 in gift cards, and a lot of inspirational notes written by the students.

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