Pizza Origins Again

We often see pizza being ascribed to the Romans, or to the Romans via the Greeks, but the Daily Pilot adds a twist I haven’t seen before:

Ever had a pizza? I have. Do you know what “pizza” means in Italian? I do. Nothing.

It’s from the Latin word “picea”… what the Romans called a round of dough that was blackened in a clay oven to make a pie shell. Isn’t that interesting? OK, maybe not. But this is more interesting.

Picea is, of course, a Latin word meaning “pitch black”; assorted websites with this origin, however, seem to date the word (and pizza itself) from the Middle Ages. Certainly the ‘c’ wouldn’t have been on its way to a ‘zz’ type pronunciation until that time (in the period of our purview, it would have been a hard ‘c’). Anyhow, we seem to have another example of ‘if it’s Latin, it must be Roman’.

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