Pizza was brought over to Brazil by Italian immigrants at the end of the 19th century. Today, it has completely become a part of Brazilian culture. New York City is the largest consumer of pizza in the world, but in second place is none other than the city of São Paulo. Plus, pizza was chosen as the food that is the face of São Paulo in a questionnaire given by a TV station. Within the city there are 6,000 pizzerias, and around 300,000 pizzas are eaten in a single day.
In New York, pizza is eaten as fast food, but here almost all pizzerias open at night. Brazilians usually eat a full meal of white rice, meat, and salad at lunchtime. Even if they only eat one slice of pizza, there is no custom of eating just pizza for lunch with a friend at a pizzeria. Usually, pizza is eaten at night.
You’d be surprised at the variety of the menu. Even so, in São Paulo mozzarella cheese and Calabresa (similar to pepperoni) pizzas are popular. Normally, pizza has a thin crust and is laden with toppings. The 8-piece large size is popular because you can choose 2 different kinds.
In addition, those who prefer a lighter pizza can enjoy toppings such as zucchini, broccoli, scarola, and arugula.
In São Paulo, many people liberally drizzle olive oil over the toppings to eat pizza, while many squeeze ketchup on pizza in Rio de Janeiro. It seems pizza is eaten in different ways in different cities.
The 8th Expo Pizzaria was held the other day. Every expo introduces new pizza machines, utensils, high quality flour, and various toppings. Apparently, in recent years toppings have included cheeseburgers, stroganoff, and salmon. A lack of comments about them perhaps indicates they aren’t popular. A slightly Japanese-style combination of shimeji mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and buffalo mozzarella is delicious.
How about a sweet pizza for dessert? Pizza topped with chocolate and strawberry is very popular. The chocolate and banana, and cheese and guava jam are also quite tasty. Please give them a try.
Castelões, the first pizzeria in São Paulo, was opened in 1924 and is doing a thriving business even now. Its thin, crispy crust is famous.
Over here, July 10th has been pizza day since 1985. On that day, pizza can be eaten more cheaply than normal, and every pizzeria is packed with customers.
Brazil has a saying, “Acabou em pizza” (translation: ended with pizza). In the 1960s, an argument broke out within São Paulo’s soccer team, the Palmeiras. After a marathon meeting that lasted over 10 hours, everyone was starving and a huge pizza order was placed. The meeting ended ambiguously. An article published the next day by the sports reporter, Milton Peruzzi said that, “everything ended with pizza,” thus giving rise to the expression used when something ends without anything being clearly resolved.