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Pizza migration

Don't be fooled that making a pizza is as simple as: pirouetting a ball of dough; ladling tomato sauce; slapping on a few anchovies; and sprinkling a pile of cheese. To remain relevant and capture the potential market, the pizza had to evolve. Problems had to be overcome; problems that could only be solved by patented inventions ‐ inventions that migrated the classic Italian, circular flat, pizza‐oven cooked, trattoria‐served meal into a consumer‐era German Dr Oetker ready‐to‐eat, devil‐may‐care‐shaped, home‐heated snack:

Migratory development 1 (shape): How to sell pizza to beachgoers on a hot summer's day?

Marketing food on the promenade is more restrictive than catering at a vegan convention. There's only one craving, and that's for a nice, cold ice cream. To attract the eye of passers‐by, Robert Grzyb narrowed his options down to two: wear a skimpy speedo; or yield to the demand. With wisdom of age on his side, Robert instinctively set about rolling his pizza into a cone:

Pizza Patent

Migratory development 2 (cooking method): How to cater for a market that's done much too much, much too young?

Not everyone has an oven, but to make beans on toast for tea, you've got a toaster. To crack this market, Buitoni Foods simply: crafted a bread‐sized pizza, added an upper layer of dough and sealed the edges to contain the "toppings" while toasting.

You may be wondering what makes this different to a Calzone? Well, have you ever tried sticking one of those into a toaster?

(US3615679)

Pizza Patent

Migratory development 3 (convenience): How to make a ready‐to‐eat pizza exciting?

For years, your choice of ready‐to‐eat pizzas was limited to:

Neither was particularly appealing.

That's until Joseph Bucci hit upon the solution:

  1. Prepare a dough base
  2. Spread tomato puree over the base
  3. Pre‐cook
  4. Quick‐freeze
  5. Apply wet food toppings on top of the tomato coating
  6. Quick‐freeze

During the intermediate freezing step, the puree "sealed" the base, preventing the wet toppings from making it soggy.

(US2668117)

Pizza Patent

Migratory step 4 (the disc): The existing solution in search of a problem

Call me a party‐pooper, but when baking anything, doesn't everyone typically reach out for a baking tray? Well, this "solution" was apparently not obvious to Charles Pizzo. Tasked with baking a pizza, Charles hit on the idea of first placing it on a round, flat disc (… kind of like the base of a cake tin). Coupled with some convincing reasoning:

"the prior types of baking pans have either been of rectangular shapes not suitable for pizza pies or have had peripheral structures which would prohibit rise for pizza pies"

Charles was issued US patent no. 3347181.

Pizza Patent

See more food patents.

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