Some people are surprised to learn there’s such a thing as National Pizza Month, but there is, and there are 31 full days to celebrate since it was established in October of 1984. It may be even more surprising to learn there’s a pizza-themed magazine involved in the story.
Flatbread with toppings is a meal that has been consumed for a very long time. Ancient Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks all had this food tradition. But to get closer to what we like to think of as pizza today means examining the food culture of Naples, Italy, circa 1700.
Then, the working classes often ate meals that could technically be called pizza; some in Naples were, according to History.com, quite snobby about watching their peers eat this street food–as if it were something a bit vulgar.
But pizza would get some royal attention after the unification of Italy; in 1889 the Italian King and Queen visited Naples. King Umberto I and Queen Margherita tried a variety of pizzas from a local vendor, The favorite slice of the Queen? One known at one time as pizza mozzarella. This had white cheese, basil, and tomatoes. From that moment, that type of pizza was dubbed Margherita.
Once the royals started paying attention to pizza, was that the start of a pizza revolution? Surprisingly, no. Pizza remained a regional treat all the way to the 1940s when Italian immigrants brought their recipes along with them to America.
There were a handful of pizza parlors in America prior to this, but nowhere near the wave of interest that would come in the aftermath of World War Two all the way to the present.
Why did National Pizza Month fall in October? Some say it was because the creator of this holiday, Gary Durnell was debuting the premiere issue of his magazine, Pizza Today.
Two PR moves for the price of one? It was a shrewd move by the Santa Claus, Indiana-based pizzeria owner, who started the magazine because he saw the need for a trade magazine supporting the pizza industry. Adding the innovation of National Pizza Month would definitely help a new venture like the magazine.
Pizza Today wound up being a winner. The magazine ran under Durnell or with Durnell’s blessing until 2015 when it was acquired by a company Emerald Expositions in San Juan Capistrano, California. It is still published online at press time. National Pizza Month also carries on, and with good reason–who doesn’t want 31 days of pizza indulgence?
Some sources note that more than 90% of Americans eat pizza once per month. How much does that mean for the industry? In 2021, pizza sales topped $45 billion. That means there are a lot of dedicated pizza eaters out there, and during the month of October you may find discounts, incentives, and pizza-related perks to keep you coming back for more.
What kind? PMQ Pizza Magazine, another pizza trade publication, encourages pizzeria owners to offer National Pizza Month incentives including some of the following:
“Have a Free Slice Day”—Your local pizza house might opt in to this idea, offering a ”Free Slice Day” coupon or coupon code. This promotion is designed to let customers download and print or display. You can always check the official site of your favorite pizza parlor to see if a code or coupon like this is available.
Special incentives for online orders—retailers are encouraged to offer delivery or take-out specials specifically for online orders during the month of October. Does your favorite pizza place have an app? Such specials are often provided via the app to encourage people to use it.
Community involvement–Sometimes you are inspired to support a local business (pizza places included) who support a local cause like an animal shelter. A pizza promotion featuring donations to a worthy local cause could be coming in October.
Special Menu Items For October–Some savvy pizza chefs make special pies especially for the month of October. These could be seasonal items that tie into National Pizza Month, or simply unique recipes people know and love. Sometimes, limited edition pizzas are the best part of October.
Incentives For Posting Pizza–Does your local pizza joint have an Instagram or Twitter account? You may be offered perks for sharing images of their pizzas that you’ve enjoyed during the month of October.
The best way to celebrate National Pizza Month is to eat pizza, but you should also consider learning how to make your own pizza as part of the holiday. With a little practice you may decide you like your own homegrown pie better than the one you can order online from Pizza Hut or get from Papa John’s.
More Pizza Holidays!
Can’t get enough pizza? The celebration doesn’t stop with National Pizza Month. Here are more pizza observances throughout the year:
- National Pizza Week – Begins the 2nd Sunday in January
- Great American Pizza Bake – 2nd Week of February
- National Pizza Day – February 9
- National Deep Dish Pizza Day – April 5
- National Detroit Style Pizza Day – June 23
- National Cheese Pizza Day – September 5
- National Pepperoni Pizza Day – September 20
- National Sausage Pizza Day – October 11
Try these delicious recipes!
- Caramelized Balsamic Onion & Gruyere Flatbread
- 3 Easy Recipes Using Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough
- Easy Blue Cheese Balsamic Pizza
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Flatbread with Mango & Roasted Jalapenos