Lifestyle

In honor of National Pizza Day, learn more about the popular pie

Feb. 9 marks National Pizza Day, an occasion when many varieties of pizza are celebrated and eaten all across America.

From pepperoni to pineapple, pizza can be covered in all your favorite toppings. It can be eaten hot or cold, for breakfast or for dinner.

To celebrate the occasion, you could order pizza from your favorite local spot, try something new, pop a frozen pie in the oven — or make your own pizzas at home. Crescent rolls in particular make a great base for homemade pizzas.

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The day was established in the early 2000s, although the exact origins are unknown.

To help celebrate National Pizza Day, here are some fast facts you may not have known about the popular food item to discuss with pals over a large pizza pie.

  1. 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the United States
  2. Domino’s is the most popular pizza chain
  3. Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping
  4. The first pizza restaurant in America opened in New York City
  5. The most expensive pizza in the world will cost you $12,000
  6. Pizza has been delivered in outer space
  7. The world’s biggest pizza was made by Pizza Hut in January 2023
  8. The top five nights to eat pizza are Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Day

1. 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the United States 

Pizzas are sold in massive numbers each year. 

To break it down even further, there are 350 slices of pizza ordered by Americans every second.

There are 3 billion pizzas sold every year in the United States. (iStock)

Although pizza is eaten across the country, it’s particularly popular among New Englanders. 

Connecticut was found to be the state that loves pizza the most, according to a survey by Zippia. 

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2. Domino’s is the most popular pizza chain 

Domino’s pizza takes the cake for the most popular pizza chain, according to Statista. 

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise when considering the number of Domino’s locations there are throughout the United States.

With more than 6,500 restaurants spread across the country, you can order from the chain from pretty much wherever you are on the map.

Some other popular pizza chains are Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Papa Johns and Papa Murphy’s, according to the site.

3. Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping

Pizza toppings are endless, from bacon to chicken, to extra cheese, to the controversial pineapple on pizza. 

Even with the endless toppings to stack high on your pie, the classic pepperoni still stands as the No. 1 most popular pizza topping.

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A whopping 36% of all pizzas sold are coated with pepperoni, according to Southern Living. On the other side of the aisle, there are anchovies, which are the least favorite topping among pizza consumers.

Pizza pepperoni above view. Homemade pizza.

The most preferred pizza topping is pepperoni, with onions and sausage being some other favorites. (iStock)

Some other frequently picked toppings are some extra cheese, mushrooms, onions, bacon and sausage, according to Southern Living. 

If you want to add some nutritious value to your pizza, some toppings to choose are ham, Parmesan cheese, pineapple, extra sauce, garlic, chicken, broccoli and spinach.

4. The first pizza restaurant in America opened in New York City

New York City was the first to hop on the pizza train when a grocery store called Lombardi’s starting selling pizzas in 1905. 

After this, pizza joints started opening all around the city and then spread to other locations throughout the United States, becoming the booming business that it is now.

Lombardi's pizzeria NYC

Lombardi’s is the oldest pizzeria in the United States. (Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

5. The most expensive pizza in the world will cost you $12,000

If you’re in NYC, an average slice will cost you around $3. That’s the same price as a subway fare, which is an average of $2.90 for riders.

That greatly varies from the most expensive one in the world, which would cost you $12,000.

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This pricey pie was created by Renato Viola and is called The Louis XIII Pizza.

This pizza is served up with three different types of caviar and seven different kinds of cheese. It is also paired with Champagne and is prepared for you right in your own home.

6. Pizza has been delivered in outer space

Pizza has gone galactic. In 2001, a pizza was delivered to the International Space Station by the Russian space agency.

Yuri Usachov was the recipient of the 6-inch pizza and became the first astronaut to enjoy a slice in space.

7. The world’s biggest pizza was made by Pizza Hut in January 2023

The record for the world’s biggest pizza, as noted by Guinness World Records, was created in January 2023 by Pizza Hut and YouTuber Eric “Airrack” Decker. 

The pizza was created in the Los Angeles Convention Center and had impressive numbers of 13,653 pounds of dough, 4,948 pounds of sauce and 8,800 pounds of cheese in the pizza. The pizza was 13,990 square feet.

Eric "Airrack" Decker attending Pizza Hut event

The world’s largest pizza was made by Pizza Hut in collaboration with YouTube star Eric “Airrack” Decker. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Pizza Hut)

After the pizza was made, it was donated to local food banks.

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Prior to the new record, the world’s largest pizza was a pie created in Rome in December 2012.

Another pizza-related record was broken in January 2024 when French pizza chefs Benoit Bruel and Fabien Montellanico used 1,001 types of cheese on a pizza, breaking the previous record of 834 types.

8. The top five nights to eat pizza are Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Day

While pizza is ordered by Americans 365 days a year, there are certain days that are more popular than others.

Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving Eve are all the busiest days of the year to purchase a pie.

On Halloween, a pizza is a quick meal you can eat before heading out to your festivities. On Super Bowl Sundays, pizza is typically part of a larger spread.

The day before Thanksgiving is full of cooking prep before the main meal, so there’s no time to whip up a meal that night, making pizza an easy dinner.

New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve are also busy days for pizza restaurants across the United States. One contributing factor is that many gatherings are held, and pizza is a fairly inexpensive way to feed guests.

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