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Just for Kicks


God bless the day Gennaro Lombardi was born. Lombardi, responsible for bringing pizza, the “most delicious dish EVER” to the States, kicked off what would become America’s favorite food today. Lombardi’s Pizzeria opened in New York City in 1905, and soon after, this culinary masterpiece swept the nation, spawning various incarnations and many imitations along the way. No other dish has been replicated more, or modified to embrace the demand of local cuisine. The classic, thin-crust New York City pie was inspired by its origins in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza. Let’s trace its roots back to see where all this yummy stuff began.

Behold the margherita pie! Legend has it back in 1889, Rafaelle Esposito, a local pizza maker, created three different style pizzas for King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The Queen fell in love with one particular pie, not only for its incredible taste, but for the colors in the dish; The colors represented Italy. Green for the basil. White for the cheese. Red for the tomato sauce. Soon that style pizza was widely adopted and appropriately named “the margherita” in her honor. Esposito’s creation is only one of two style pizzas considered “authentic” by Neapolitans. The other is the marinara. The marinara style pizza dates back even further, about eighty years prior to the margherita. The marinara, a “flat bread” thin-crust pizza, loaded with tomatoes, oregano, garlic and olive oil, is essentially what we now refer to as tomato pie. The marinara pizza received its name after a seaman’s wife. The moglia, (that’s Italian for wife!), prepared this simple, tasty meal for her seafaring husband when he returned home from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples. The name stuck amongst locals who frequently witnessed the marito (husband) being treated to this little slice of heaven by his amore. These two classic styles became the inspiration for Signore Lombardi as he embarked to New York City, creating the “Big Apple pie” we know and love today.

DEEP DISH! You can easily distinguish a Chicago style pizza from the rest – cuz it’s all about the height and density. The towering crust on a Chi-Town deep dish pizza resembles that of an actual pie, more so than its flatter counterparts, and it’s stuffed like one too. This humongous, cheese-filled, tomato sauce extravaganza was invented at Pizzeria Uno back in the 1940s, and still cranks out large quantities to the hungry masses today. Pizzeria Uno became so popular in the windy city, it franchised across the U.S., bringing stuffed pizzas to all – widening waistbands from there to Tallahassee.

It was only a matter of time before the pizza craze went west. And it did so in glorious, gourmet fashion. California-style pizza came about in the 80’s combining a thin-crust style with loads of different toppings. Wolfgang Puck catapulted his culinary vision to commercial success through his restaurant, Spago, and then later with the California Pizza Kitchen. A traditional pie solely offering sauce and cheese was re-imagined and substituted with unique ingredients like pineapple, avocado, salmon, capers and prosciutto. The idea evolved as popularity grew, and like Pizzeria Uno, this modern style pizza soon became a nationwide staple with people having the choice of going classic, Chicago or contemporary.

Tell us… who makes the best pizza in the U.S.? Chicago – California – New York City? Let us know in the comments!

For over a quarter-century, MeMoi has been at the forefront of the women’s legwear industry, designing socks, tights, leggings, shapewear, sleepwear, lingerie and loungwear for women.

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