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OCTOBER IS NATIONAL PIZZA MONTH: DID YOU KNOW THAT AMERICANS EAT APPROXIMATELY 100 ACRES OF PIZZA EACH DAY?

 NEW ALBANY, Ind., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Pizza Month, The National Association of Pizza Operators and its official publication, "Pizza Today," pass along the following pizza fun facts:
 1. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day.
 2. Pizza is a $30 billion a year industry.
 3. There are more than 58,000 pizzerias in the United States.
 4. Pizza restaurant growth continues to outpace overall restaurant growth.
 5. According to a recent Gallup Poll, kids between the ages of 3 and 11 prefer pizza over all other food for lunch and dinner.
 6. Pepperoni is America's favorite topping, followed by mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion.
 7. Pizza-eating American consumption:
 -- 1,929,590,000 Pounds of Mozzarella Cheese
 -- 44,529,000 Cases of Pizza Sauce, or
 -- 3,710,750,000 Pounds of Tomatoes, mostly from California
 -- 2,775,641,000 Pounds of Flour
 -- 371,075,000 Pounds of Pepperoni
 -- 192,959,000 Pounds of Sausage
 -- 148,430,000 Pounds of Mushrooms
 -- 74,215,000 Pounds of Ham
 -- 59,372,000 Pounds of Green Peppers
 -- 59,372,000 Pounds of Beef
 -- 29,686,000 Pounds of Bacon
 -- 2,716,269 Cases of Olives
 -- 1,217,126 Cases of Pineapple
 -- 1,113,225 Cans of Anchovies
 -- 742,150 Pounds of Hot Peppers
 8. Gourmet toppings are gaining ground in some parts of the country, with such toppings as oysters, chicken, crayfish, dandelions, sprouts, eggplant, Cajun shrimp, artichoke hearts and tuna.
 9. Pizza makers have tried virtually every type of food on pizza, including peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, and mashed potatoes.
 10. Pizza, as we know it, originated with the introduction of tomatoes to Europe via 16th century Peruvian explorers.
 11. In 1889, an Italian tavern owner named Don Raffaele Esposito developed a pizza featuring tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil -- ingredients bearing the colors of the Italian flag. He named it the Margherita Pizza, after the Queen of Italy, Margherita Teresa Giovanni. Thus, the modern day tomato-and-cheese pizza was born.
 12. The annual Pizzaaahlympics, a series of pizza tossing events that tests the skills of pizza makers from around the world, is held each year in Las Vegas at Pizza Expo, the world's largest pizza-only trade show.
 13. Parade Magazine estimates that 94 percent of the population of the United States eats pizza.
 14. Pizza has played a role in the movies, with appearances in such films as Splendor in the Grass, The French Connection, Mystic Pizza, Do the Right Thing, and most recently, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
 15. The world's largest pizza was built by Lorenzo Amato and Louis Piancone in Tallahassee, Fla. The pizza was 10,000 square feet and measured 140 feet across. It weighed in at 44,457 pounds.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos and video footage are available from contact./
 /CONTACT: Catherine Turcotte of Turcotte & Company, 812-738-1201, for "Pizza Today"; or Jim Reed of "Pizza Today," 812-949-0909/


CO: "Pizza Today" ST: Indiana IN: FOD SU:

KL -- CLFNS1 -- 7077 09/30/93 07:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993
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