Meet a Long-Lost Father of New York City Pizza
The passionate relationship between Americans and pizza may have begun with Filippo Milone, an Italian baker who faded into obscurity.
How did pizza, a saucy dish originating in a southwestern region of Italy, become so dominant in the United States? Legend has long recognized Gennaro Lombardi as the founder of the country’s first pizzeria. He supposedly received his business license for it in 1905. Over a century later, Lombardi’s is still selling slices on Spring Street in Lower Manhattan.
But according to Peter Regas, a Chicago author who is writing a book about the history of pizza, there’s a little more to the story. Before Lombardi immigrated to the U.S, there was another man named Filippo Milone who started pizzerias—including, it seems, the one Lombardi took over on Spring Street. Regas suspects Milone established at least six pizzerias after immigrating to the U.S. in the 1890s, a few of which—like Lombardi’s—became famous under someone else’s name. Continue reading at History.com.