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For the modern American family, frozen pizza is like manna from heaven on the average weekday night. The next time you grab your favorite frozen pizza from the freezer section at your grocery store, consider these interesting facts that helped make "homemade pizza" like this available today.
An article published in The New York Times in 1950 hailed the arrival of the precursor to the frozen pizza to the City that Never Sleeps, the ready-to-cook refrigerated pizza first introduced by Leo Giuffre. These pizzas were pre-prepared, but the cooking was left to the customer.
Giuffre rolled out his pizzas in Boston, and after being considerably well-received, Giuffre quickly expanded and opened a second location in Queens, New York.
These original take-and-bake pies were simple, 9-inch rounds, without any special toppings aside from tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and seasonings like thyme and oregano. This made them inexpensive, just 49 cents per pizza, and easy to take home and personalize; The Times suggested adding anchovies, mushrooms, bologna, or green pepper before popping them in the oven.
After just 10 days of opening his second location in New York, Giuffre's company was tasked with churning out 3,000 pizzas per day. The success of this first-of-its-kind product made it clear that looking for a way to freeze pizzas for later use at home could be met with equal levels of enthusiasm. Keep watching to learn The Truth About Frozen Pizza!
Refrigerated pizza came first | 0:00
First frozen pizza company - 1951 | 1:17
First patent in 1954 | 2:21
Totinos started the craze | 3:13
Federal cheese regulations | 4:29
Red Baron launched in 1976 | 5:40
Bagel Bites launched in 1985 | 6:37
Pillsbury invented the microwave crisper | 7:24
DiGiorno’s rising crust frozen pizza | 8:12
North Americans buy the most | 9:07
Thin and cauliflower crusts | 9:55