In a country with more than 75,000 pizzerias generating around US$45.1bn annually, where 13% of its citizens eat pizza on any given day, and 4% of its children eat it for breakfast, there seems cause to acknowledge the cultural impact of the baked yeasted flatbread food product. And what better way to do that than set up the US Pizza Museum.
Next time you are in Chicago’s South Loop, head for the Roosevelt Collection mall at 1146 South Delano Court West and delight in the curated collection of vintage pizza boxes, menus, ads and other pizza-related ephemera.
Founder of this curiosity is ‘pizza historian’ Kendall Bruns. Bruns believes critical examination of the cultural impact of pizza has been long overdue. The new museum, born out of a series of pop-up events and an online presence, will right this wrong. Pizza-related souvenirs will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop.
“As America’s favourite food, pizza provides an easy entry point to learn about history, pop culture, and the people behind the pizza,” said Bruns in a press release. "We expect the exhibits to have a nostalgic effect on viewers.” He added that visitors will benefit from free entry to the museum and “an ongoing calendar of activities”.
A spokesperson for the Roosevelt mall opined that the US Pizza Museum “will expand our cultural offerings and give Chicagoans and out-of-towners another reason to visit”.
It’s very easy to scoff.