In its original form, a pizza (occasionally, pizza
pie) is an oven-baked, flat, usually circular bread covered with
tomato sauce and cheese with optional toppings. The cheese is
usually mozzarella (the traditional Italian pizza uses buffalo
mozzarella) or sometimes a mixture of several cheeses such as
parmesan, romano, ricotta and feta. Various other toppings may be
added, most typically:
Herbs and seasonings such as basil, oregano, and
Vegetables such as bell peppers, green peppers,
asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, olives, onions, and
Meat or fish products such as sausage, (especially
pepperoni or salami), ham, bacon, ground beef, anchovies, chicken,
Other common toppings include mushrooms and pineapple.
The crust is traditionally plain, but may also be
seasoned with butter, garlic, or herbs, or stuffed with cheese.
In some pizza recipes (termed "white pizzas") the
tomato sauce is omitted, or replaced with another sauce (usually garlic
butter but can be sauces made with spinach or onions). Pizza is normally
eaten hot (typically at lunch or dinner), but leftovers are often eaten
The word "pizza" is from the Italian word pizza (IPA: [pittsa]), with
plural form pizze (IPA: [pit:tse]). The term was originally used to
refer to a range of dough-based dishes, and is thought to be derived
from pinza ← Latin pincere "to mash up".
A restaurant that serves pizza is called a pizzeria (from Italian); in
the US, the phrase "pizza parlor" is also used. Pizza can also be
purchased in grocery stores or supermarkets (usually, but not always,
frozen); in many countries, pizza can also be ordered by phone (or,
increasingly, via the Web) to be delivered, hot and ready to eat, to
almost any address within range of the restaurant.