We bemoan the world’s diet: too much fast food, too much junk food, too much processed and industrialized food. How did the so-called “American diet” become so dangerous and why did it become so popular around the globe? This lecture traces the rich and varied history of the world’s most popular dish, pizza, in an attempt to answer these and other questions. Using Italy, the United States, and Japan as case studies, this lecture explains how pizza permanently altered the culinary and dietary landscapes of cultures around the world.
Carol Helstosky is an associate professor of history at DU, where she teaches modern European history. She is the author of Garlic and Oil: Food and Politics in Modern Italy (2004); Pizza: A Global History (2008); and Food Culture of the Mediterranean (2009). She is the editor of the forthcoming Routledge History of Food (2015) and is finishing a book titled Italian Forgers: Art, Deceptions and the Market in Modern Italy. She is researching the history of U.S.-Italian relations at Italy’s Aviano Air Force Base.