Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in America. It is served on more than 35 percent of all pizza orders. If you peruse the frozen pizza section at any grocery store, you’ll find every brand offers this variety. Americans love it. But how did this craze get started?
Before we can answer that question, we must properly define pepperoni. This will give us a better understanding of where this delicious food came from and how it made its way onto our frozen pizza slices.
What is pepperoni?
Pepperoni is a cured meat product. It is traditionally made by combining pork and beef, then seasoning the meat with garlic, peppers, fennel or mustard seeds. The spicy combination is then stuffed into a casing. Before putting it on your frozen pizza, pie-makers cut it into thin slices.
This, however, is the American version of pepperoni. If we look at the word literally, its Italian origins are quite different than this definition. “Peperoni” is the Italian word for large peppers. Italians don’t have a salami called pepperoni. Some salamis are similarly seasoned, but none are called by this misnomer. So, if you order a pepperoni pizza in Italy, don’t be surprised if it comes out with red and yellow peppers on top instead of the round slices of meat you thought you were ordering!
Where did pepperoni originate?
If the Italians didn’t give us pepperoni, where did it come from? Its history is a bit vague, but it probably originated in the early 1900s in Italian-American society. Many Italian-Americans opened butcher shops and pizzerias, and it’s suspected this is where pepperoni was introduced. It was already popular as a snack or at mealtimes, and probably transitioned to a pizza topping around this time.
Why is pepperoni so popular?
You might think pepperoni is so commonly found on frozen pizzas because it tastes so good. While this may be a big factor, its original popularity probably has less to do with flavor and more with refrigeration. In the 19th century, when those butcher shops and pizzerias opened their doors, keeping things properly cooled was not as easy as it is today. Pepperoni didn’t require refrigeration. It was easy and inexpensive to store, and therefore an instantly popular choice for pizza makers.
When was pepperoni introduced to frozen pizza?
Frozen pizzas hit the American market in the 1950s. By then, pepperoni had been established as a standard pizza topping. Pizza-lovers nationwide continued to enjoy the tasty meat in frozen form on the earliest frozen pizzas. Today, Americans eat more than two billion slices of frozen pizza each year. That’s a lot of pepperoni.
Who can read about scrumptious pepperoni and not crave it? To add the best tasting pepperoni pizzas to your selection, contact Giovanni’s Frozen Pizza today. We are your premier pizza manufacturer and distributor. Our pepperoni is sliced right off the stick. Contact us today with any questions. After one bite of our pepperoni pizza, it won’t matter where pepperonis came from or whether they are properly named. Our customers simply want more!