Pizza is the name of an oven-baked, flat, usually round bread covered with tomato sauce and often cheese, with other toppings left optional. While originating as a part of Neapolitan cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world.
A shop or restaurant where pizzas are made and sold is called a "pizzeria" (from Italian) although the phrase "pizza parlor" is also used in the United States and Canada.
Various toppings may be added, most typically:
sauce, traditionally tomato-based but pesto, alfredo, barbecue sauce, and occasionally even ketchup are also common .
cheese, traditionally mozzarella but often provolone or a blend of other cheeses .
herbs and seasonings such as basil, oregano, and garlic.
vegetables such as artichoke hearts, bell peppers, eggplant, olives, onions, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and sweetcorn.
meat, such as sausage (especially pepperoni or salami), ham, bacon, ground beef, and chicken, or seafood such as anchovies, tuna, and shrimp
Other common toppings include mushrooms, tomatoes, and pineapple.
Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are made with local ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, which grow on the volcanic plains to the south of Mount Vesuvius and Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, made with the milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campana and Lazio in a semi-wild state
Pizza Romana (in Naples): tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano, oil;
Pizza Viennese : tomato, mozzarella, German sausage, oregano, oil;
Pizza Capricciosa ("Capricious Pizza"): mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, artichokes, cooked ham, olives, oil (in Rome raw ham is used and half a hard-boiled egg is added);
Pizza Quattro Stagioni ("Four Seasons Pizza"): same ingredients for the Capricciosa, but ingredients not mixed;
Pizza Quattro Formaggi ("Four Cheese Pizza"): tomatoes, mozzarella, stracchino, fontina, gorgonzola (sometimes ricotta can be swapped for one of the last three);
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.
On 22 March 2001, Bernard Jordaan of Butler's Pizza, Cape Town, South Africa, delivered a pizza 11042 km (6861 miles) from Cape Town to Sydney, Australia, to set the world record for the longest pizza delivery. This record was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of Records.
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.