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Manuel Marino Music Composer

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Manuel is a passionate, driven, and techsavvy AV technician, artist and music composer with over ten years of experience, specializing in the captivating world of music and entertainment.

Manuel is an expert in creating soundtracks for short filmsfeature films and video games.

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If contemporary Americans were transported to Italy in the 1700s, they might struggle to recognize the pies sold at that time as pizzas. Although pizza had been available for centuries, it lacked many of the ingredients used today. Initially, white sauce, not tomato sauce, was used. Tomatoes were native to the Americas and unknown in Europe until the 1500s. However, their discovery did not immediately gain acceptance, as many believed tomatoes were poisonous. It wasn’t until the 1600s that tomato sauces were first used on Italian pizzas.

In the early days, pizzas were not a specific product. They were small, flatbreads that bakers used as inexpensive testers to check oven temperature. Instead of discarding them, bakers sold them to those who couldn’t afford more substantial items. The less fortunate began topping their pies with whatever sauces and seasonings they had. Eventually, street stands emerged, and bakers started selling pizzas through their windows. However, it wasn’t until the turn of the twentieth century that these humble pies gained popularity among more affluent consumers. Legend has it that in 1889, an enterprising baker named Raffaele Esposito presented Queen Margherita with a special pie named in her honor. He prepared a pie in the colors of the Italian flag, using tomatoes for red, basil for green, and mozzarella for white. By all accounts, his creation became a hit with the queen.

Even after pizzas became popular in Italy, American pizzerias were mostly confined to Italian neighborhoods. That began to change after World War II. American soldiers who had been stationed in Italy developed a fondness for the pies. Less than a decade after the war ended, pizzerias started appearing in affluent, non-Italian neighborhoods.

Gennaro Lombardi, a grocer in New York City, is often credited with opening the first true pizzeria in the country in 1897. A full pie cost five cents, but not everyone could afford that amount. To cater to a wider audience, Lombardi started selling slices, with the size determined by what the customer could afford.

Most pizzerias were small and family-owned until businesses realized the growing popularity of Italian pies. Shakey’s was one of the pioneers, starting in 1954 on the West Coast. Pizza Hut opened its first restaurant in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas. Others quickly followed, including Pizza Inn. However, pizzas were mostly consumed on-site, or customers would pick them up, which often meant waiting for up to thirty minutes. In 1960, Domino’s opened its first store and chose to focus on delivery. Situated near a university, the delivery service allowed students and homeowners the convenience of placing their orders over the phone.

Today, chains like Papa John’s, Mazzio’s, Little Caesar’s, and Godfathers have joined the industry. Each offers a slightly different recipe and range of products. It is not uncommon for customers to be able to order salads, pasta, wings, and breadsticks at their local chain pizzeria.

Preferences for crusts often lead to more debates about what makes a great pizza than the actual toppings. Some pizzerias create a thin, crispy crust, similar to crackers rather than bread. Others prefer a thick, doughy crust that needs to be baked in a pan. Diners can find a wide range between these two extremes as well. Occasionally, specialty crusts, such as those with a cheese filling, have appeared with varying degrees of success.

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