Pizza is a world-popular dish of Italian origin, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference.
Originating in a part of Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant that primarily makes and sells pizzas is called a "pizzeria". The phrases "pizza parlor", "pizza place" and "pizza shop" are used in the United States. The term pizza pie is dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.
The Ancient Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs, and cheese. The Romans developed placenta, a sheet of flour 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.
The bottom base of the pizza (called the "crust" in the United States and Canada) may vary widely according to style–thin as in hand-tossed pizza or Roman pizza, or thick as in pan pizza or Chicago-style pizza. It is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with butter, garlic, or herbs, or stuffed with cheese.
In restaurants, pizza can be baked in an oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or ...