Pizza (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpittsa], from the Latin verb pìnsere, to press) is Greek in origin. The Ancient Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs and cheese. In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled πίτα or pita, meaning pie. The word has now spread to Turkish aspide, and Bulgarian, Croatian and Serbian as pita, Albanian as pite and Modern Hebrew pittāh. The Romans developed placenta, a sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey and flavored with bay leaves. Modern pizza originated in Italy as the Neapolitan pie with tomato. In 1889, cheese was added.
In 1889, during a visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Italy was served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). This kind of pizza has been named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.
São Paulo has 6,000 pizza establishments and 1.4 million pizzas are consumed daily. It is said that the first Brazilian pizzas were baked in the Brás district of São Paulo in the early part of the 20th century. Until the 1950s, they were only found in the Italian communities. Since then, pizza became increasingly popular among the rest of the population. The most traditional pizzerias are still found in the Italian neighborhoods, such as Bexiga (official name: Bela Vista). Both Neapolitan (thick crust) and Roman (thin crust) varieties are common in Brazil, with traditional versions using tomato sauce and mozzarella as a base. Brazilian pizza in general, though, tends to have little or no tomato sauce, or uses slices of tomato in place of sauce. Brazilian pizzerias offer also Brazilian variants such as "pizza com catupiry". July 10 is "Pizza Day" in São Paulo, marking the final day of an annual competition among "pizzaiolos". In Brazil, pizza quatro queijos (pizza quattro formaggi) uses mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and gorgonzola, and there is also a variety with five cheeses, which adds catupiry.
Also, the sweet pizzas are delicious: with chocolate, strawberries, peaches, bananas, plums, mangoes, some topped with meringue or ice cream- a sinful delight!