National Pizza Week – A Celebration of Infinite Variety

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    ational Pizza Week celebrates the diversity and creativity of this iconic dish. Few culinary delights embrace such a wide array of flavors and styles, encouraging a delicious exploration of regional flair. From traditional Italian recipes to innovative twists worldwide, pizza transcends borders, offering a slice of global culinary artistry. So, savor the week with friends and family, relishing the unique flavors that make pizza such a universal delight.

    Why pizza? Because pizza is one of humankind’s most unifying factors. People find countless reasons to argue and fight – politics, religion, sports… Pizza is the common ground that we as a species can agree upon. From Calgary, Canada to Sydney, Australia and everywhere in between, you can count on pizza. Pizza-consumption statistics are surprisingly sparse in Canada, but just a few years back dining establishments around the University of Texas reported a total of 257,392 slices served up during a single semester.

    The specific number of slices you’ll need while working towards a diploma at ABM College varies by program, but we’re here to dish out all the saucy facts you need to make the most of your pizza-related endeavors regardless.

    History of the Pie

    A scenic landscape of the coast of Italy, the international capital of pizza
    Italy - Image by Pexels

    Most people associate “traditional” pizza with the variety made famous in Italy. Its early roots can be traced back to Ancient Greece and the Persian Empire. While they never reached the same level of fame, many similar meals evolved involving flatbreads baked with sauce and assorted toppings throughout the Mediterranean, China, India, and many more.

    The use of the name “Pizza” was first recorded in AD 997 in Gaeta, a city in southern Italy. In modern times, that iconic name has been used consistently in almost a hundred different languages.

    The first Canadian pizzeria opened in 1948 in Montreal, featuring traditional Italian-style pizza. Not surprisingly, its popularity spread like hot mozzarella. By the 1960s, pizzerias could be found across the country.

    Toppings are Key

    Whether your base is thin crust or deep dish, the real star of the show is the topping. If you asked a hundred different people their favourite combination, you’d probably get just as many different answers.

    Popular meat options are of course pepperoni, bacon, sausage, ham, and chicken. The veggie options are even more diverse and exclusively vegetarian combos are quite common. Mushrooms, onions, olives, and peppers are staples, but options like pineapple and jalapenos have their cult followings.

    People have experimented with a variety of cheese combinations over generations, but a mozzarella and provolone combination earns the crown for both flavor profile and gooey consistency. Pro-tip when loading up on extra cheese – bake the pizza for at least half of the duration before adding an extra layer to ensure the rest of the toppings are heated evenly.

    Regional Variety

    Almost every nation on the planet enjoys pizza with its unique regional flairs. New York-style for example characterized by thin crust and a minimalist approach to toppings. Chicago-style conversely is famous for deep-dish crust with a generous pile of toppings. Unlike most styles, the layering is inverted with cheese directly on the crust and sauce slathered on the top.

    Hawaiian pizza, hot out of the oven and hotly debated at dinner tables around the world
    Hawaiian Pizza - Image by Imgflip

    Contrary to my previous claim that people don’t argue about pizza, there is one particularly polarizing option… Hawaiian. The controversial blend of sweet pineapple and savory ham has been the topic of many heated debates since its inception in 1960. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, there’s one important fact that you probably didn’t know about. Despite its name and obvious inspiration, it was NOT developed in Hawaii. Its creation is credited to a Canadian restauranteur of Greek ancestry.

    Ironically, aside from Hawaiian, no specific Canadian variety is quite as internationally recognizable. In general, however, the default “Canadian Pizza” typically centers around a specific combination of toppings – pepperoni, bacon, and mushrooms.

    Some Assembly Required

    A truly mouth-watering display of culinary prowess as museum worthy mini pizzas are set out to cool
    Deliciousness - Image (and pizza) by Stephen Emond

    There are countless options when it comes to ordering a pizza from international chains to neighborhood hotspots. That said there is no substitute to creating your own. Let the dough become your canvas as you skillfully create your unique taste sensation. The beauty of pizza toppings is that extras can be easily repurposed into salads, sandwiches, and more.

    As a quick and easy option, you can use hamburger buns as your foundation. They make a fulfilling meal and convenient snacks. As the buns are thicker than traditional crust it’s best to put them in the oven for a few minutes ahead of time so they don’t turn soggy with the sauce. Once heated, spread out your sauce, pile on the toppings, and add a generous covering of cheese. Pop back in the oven for roughly 15 minutes at 400F or until the cheese starts turning golden. 

    Dare to be Different

    Cowabunga dude
    TMNT Pizza Party - Image by Giphy

    If you want to mix things up a little, here are a few fun options that are worth trying…

    Taco Pizza:  Add a Mexican twist by adding seasoned ground beef, salsa, refried beans, diced tomatoes, and chopped lettuce with a tasty cheddar topping.

    Baked Potato Pizza:  A great party option, fully loaded with potato, sour cream, bacon, onions, and cheese.

    Philly Cheesesteak Pizza:  The two great tastes together at last. Start with some shredded roast beef add a variety of sautéed veggies and top with a trio of cheeses.

    Greek Pizza:  If you are looking for a vegetarian option fresh from the Mediterranean, combine black olives, red onions, tomatoes, oregano, and finish with some rich feta cheese.

    Low-Calorie Pizza:  Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions get in the way of your pizza cravings. Try a crust made of self-rising flour and non-fat yogurt, top with homemade pizza sauce and load on the veggies and antipasto.


    Pizza is always best enjoyed with Friends
    Pizza with Friends - Image by Giphy

    Some meals are better-tackled solo, but pizza works best as a team effort – both in its creation and its enjoyment. Whether you prefer your pizza traditional or bizarrely unique, have fun and don’t be shy to experiment. However you top it, put your culinary artistry to work and enjoy a slice with friends and family this week.

    Do you know what else is like pizza? Your career. You might find yourself with a Hawaiian, but deep down, you crave the richness of a Supreme. It's never too late to customize your toppings, add new flavors, and create the career masterpiece you truly desire. Just like your favorite pizzeria, ABM College offers a variety of options to satisfy every taste. Let us help you build a fulfilling career that satisfies your unique appetite for success. Don't settle for a slice that doesn't bring you joy – craft a career that leaves you savoring every moment.

    Just like pizza, there is no wrong choice when it comes to selecting your diploma path, so check the menu and debate all your options.

    Just avoid the anchovies… 🤢

    A student writing on their notebook.

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