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Pizza is the Neapolitan version of a flatbread known in much of the Mediterranean. Indeed, philologists have occasionally argued that the pronunciation of pizza was influenced by the Greek word pita, its cousin. Neapolitan flatbread had distinguished itself by the 18th century through its various toppings, particularly tomato. Cheese was less essential, but was a common topping by the mid-19th century when pizzas were sold from establishments called pizzerias in Naples, with preparation and eating areas in one room and serving both sit-down and take-out customers. Pizzerias and pizzas then spread around the world on the back of many emigrants of Naples in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries before taking on a life of their own in the United States after ...

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