Why Pizza is Called Pizza?

Last Updated on April 10, 2022

Neapolitan pizza - why pizza is called pizza

What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.

Shakespeare was a smart man, and he was correct (as usual).

But what about pizza? What is in a name there? Does it still taste the same no matter what you call it?

These are tough questions, but we’re up for the challenge.

Let’s take a closer look at the delicious dish that is pizza, and why it is called…pizza.

So why is pizza called pizza?

It is said that the name pizza came from Pitta (Greek for “pie”), Torta (Italian for “pie” or Bizzo (Langobardic for “bite”). All of which do describe it very well.

I would imagine you could imagine both these being combined into Pizzo. Which could mean bitesized pie.

“O” is often pronounced as an “a”.

So overtime “Pizzo” could easily be known as “Pizza”

It’s hard to know for sure as records show that it could date back over 1000 years. The first recorded text in Latin that relates to Pizza has been dated back to 997 in Italy.

The Origin Of The Pizza Name

There has been a lot of debate over the years on where the pizza name originated from. Is it from Greece or Italy?

There was a study done in 2015 by food historian Giuseppe Nocca. This study can be found in the Italian newspaper La Repibblica if you’re interested in reading it.

This study had basically shown that the first mention of pizza was from Gaeta which is a small town located in the North of Naples. Funny enough, Naples is known as the birthplace of modern pizza.

The text is believed to have been from 997 AD, making it the oldest mention of pizza.

It is also said that the first pizzeria was established in Naples.

The first pizza was supposedly made by Raffaele Esposito. He made a pizza in the late 1800s for Queen Margherita. Does that name ring any bells?

The pizza made used sauce, mozzarella and basil. Can you guess how it got given its name?

This has become the pizza that is associated with Naples and traditional Neapolitan pizza.

It’s actually said that he originally chose those 3 ingredients, because they represent the Italian flag.

Would we have seen pizzas becoming as popular as they are now, if Queen Margherita didnt visit?

Pepperoni Pizza Made on the Ooni Fyra Wood fired Pizza Oven

What Are The Different Names For Pizza? and where did the name come from?

There are a number of different names for pizza and some debate on where the name originally came from. Does it come from the Greeks, the Italians or perhaps even from Germany and the Lombardic language.


Some believe that the name pizza came from the Greek word Pitta. A pitta is known for being round, flat and is cooked in a wood-fired oven. All you really need to do to make a Pitta a pizza is add a sauce and toppings. It is said that this is what the Italians did.


There are some that believe that the name pizza comes from the Lombardic word Bizzo. If we translate this into English then it means bite or mouthful. This does make sense as a slice of pizza is a bite full.

Why Do We Call Pizza Pie?

Have you ever wondered why we call pizza pie? Back in the 20th century, Italian immigrants came to America.

They brought Pizza with them, although these were known as Pomidore Pizza. If we translate this into English, it’s “tomato pie”. This does make sense as the main ingredient is a nice tasty tomato pizza sauce.

It’s known as a pie as its round and often cut into slices. Even now many people in New York still call pizza pie.

How to Pronounce the Word Pizza

There are many different ways to pronounce the word Pizza, generally it depends on where your from.

If in Italy Pizza is often pronounced as “Pid.dza”. This is very different to the English way of pronouncing it.

In English there are two ways. The first is as though there is a “t” sound. In this case its pronounced “Pit.tsa”. This is very close to how they pronounce it in Naples, making it sound more like traditional Neapolitan.

In England Pizza is however pronounce as “pee.zza”, this also sounds more like the Naples way with the “zz”.

Final Thoughts

Pizza has been a food staple for centuries, but it wasn’t until Queen Margherita came to Naples that the first mention of pizza was made.

The text from 997 AD is believed to have been from Gaeta which is a small town located in the North of Naples.

It’s said that this is what the Italians did and thus, the name pizza came from the Greek word Pitta. A pitta is known for being round, flat and is cooked in a wood-fired oven.

The Lombardic word Bizzo is also another possible word for pizza as it means bite or mouthful.

There are many different ways to pronounce the word Pizza, but the most common ones are “Pit.tsa” and “pee.zza”.

No matter how you say it, pizza is a delicious dish enjoyed by many!

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