WHETHER you’re the kind to get on board with nationally celebrated days or not, there’s one date in the calendar which is more important than most: National Pizza Day.

We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pizza in Brighton and Hove with plenty of offerings on almost every corner.

From the artisan, sourdough creations at Fatto a Mano, with sites in London Road in Brighton and Church Road in Hove, to the cosy Italian eatery VIP in the Old Steine, pizza lovers the city over needn’t travel far for their share of dough-y goodness.

The Argus paid a visit to Franco Manca in Regent Street to have a taste for ourselves ahead of the big day (which falls on February 9 each year) - and we were spoilt.

Welcomed by supervisor Vincenzo Geraci and head chef Enrico Cortivo, we took a seat and watched the men at work.

Their open kitchen means not only can diners watch their meals be cooked (which is something of an entertainment piece in itself) but they can also smell it as the aromas of Italy fill the air.

It’s a concept that’s becoming more and more popular across the city as pizzerias host guests with good old-fashioned hospitality.

Franco Manca is one of the more recent additions to Brighton’s pizza scene, having arrived in the city in 2016 with its brand of sourdoughbased pizza.

But long-time residents will remember a time where the scene was led by one restaurant only: Donatello.

Based in Brighton Place, Donatello has served affordable pizza for more than 25 years, and this National Pizza Day is no exception as the restaurant is offering a special menu of two courses for £5 in celebration of the Italian dish.

Sue Addis from Donatello said: “We always aim to provide a fantastic value meal for our customers at Donatello and this menu was our way of providing something affordable.”

Italian chain Prezzo, at the Marina, is also running 30 per cent off their whole menu for the day and will launch ‘black pizzas’ for National Pizza Day - made with a charcoal dough.

Meanwhile Pizza Pop in Baker Street, Brighton, run a deal on pizza with Prosecco so diners can celebrate the national day in style.

Other options across Brighton include Pizzaface in St George’s Road, Pizza500 in Preston Road (long argued to be the best takeaway pizza in the city) and Dead Wax Social - the best pizza you will find in a pub.

Pizza facts

  • The average pizzeria uses roughly 55 pizza boxes per day.
  • We consume around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni every year.
  • 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly.
  • Pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales.
  • Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second.
  • More than five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to order vegetables on their pizza.
  • The longest pizza delivery was from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia.

Pizza: the history

GENNUARDO Lombardi opened the first American pizza shop on Spring Street in New York City in 1905.

Fifty years later, and Americans still viewed pizza as a foreign food.

Since the 1950s, pizza became a main food source in New York.

Pizzerias began opening in New York and borrowed non-Italian ingredients, and non-Italian restaurants began serving the pizza until it formed a league of its own.

Soon there were stands on the streets in Little Italy that served English muffin pizzas which categorized itself as “the traditional pizza with Thomas’s English Muffin as its base.”

Fast forward a decade and pizza hit the big time. Mainly with the invention of frozen pizza.

In the 60s pizza really hit it big. In particular, the invention of frozen pizza. The origin of the word pizza is uncertain.

It is Italian for ‘pie’ and may have come from Latin pix ‘pitch’ or Greek pitta.

It is common belief that pizza was an invention by the Italians.

However, the history of pizza goes back to the ancient times in the Middle East.

The Greeks, Egyptians, Armenians, Israelis, and Babylonians were making some derivative of pizza in the ancient times.

They would cook flat bread in mud ovens. Working men and their families ate it, it was thrifty and convenient.

The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were topping the bread with olive oil and spices, now known as focaccia