Pizza in the UK

Pizzas originated in Naples, Italy. In 1889 a special pizza, containing tomato, mozzarella and basil (the colours of the Italian flag) was served to Queen Margherita of Italy and named after her. To this day this is often regarded as the basic pizza, to which a variety of toppings can be added.

Pizzas have many different bases. The original genuine crust is thin and crispy; many restaurant chains have their own versions, where some are thick and soft and others are even pan-fried. Pizzas can be cooked in a variety of ways: some are baked in a stone brick oven with the heat source from underneath. Another method is in an electric deck oven, where the pizza is placed on hot bricks or on a metal screen, using a long paddle. Others are done in an oven with a conveyor belt. More exclusive restaurants have an authentic brick oven fired by coal or wood.

Pizzas are a favorite choice when eating out. They are available in different sizes, such as children`s sized, small, medium, large and even super sized for two or more people. Salads are often served with the pizzas for a full meal.

Interesting variations have been introduced by some outlets. You can order a pizza with Vienna sausages or cheese grillers rolled into the crust; some have meatballs added into a curved crust and yet another has the filling inside the dough to form a pizza pie.

 Having pizzas delivered to your home by simply phoning your order through is very popular. You are also able to place your order online. Some companies promise to deliver within a set time or your pizzas are free; others guarantee that your food will be hot or you do not have to pay.

 Some pizza companies have a lot of additional information available, such as the nutritional information or any allergens contained in their pizzas. Some have special children's menus, vegetarian options or hot options, which contain chilies.

Many people prefer to make their own pizzas at home. You could use frozen bases and add your own toppings, or make your own dough. You could bake the pizza in a regular oven making use of a pizza stone which gives the effect of a brick oven. Another option is to bake the pizza directly on a barbeque grill; this is called a grilled pizza. You could also bake it in a pan; this is called a Greek pizza or a Chicago Style pizza.

 Most traditional Italian pizzas are round; there are however people who bake them square or oblong. These crusts are usually thick, like a pan-fried pizza.

 Toppings are limited by your imagination only. The most popular are usually bacon, salami, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions. Any kind of meat can be used, such as steak or de-boned spare rib. Although mozzarella is the traditional cheese most often used, cheddar and feta are also popular choices.

 Traditionally, pizzas are not eaten with a knife and fork but by hand after they have been cut into wedges. Although there are special pizza cutters available, most of them are free-running wheel slicers operated by hand, many chefs enjoy using chefs knives when cutting the pizza, whether a round, square or oblong one.

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