Monday, November 13, 2006

How the pizza got its name...A very tamil story, but not for the serious minded

Did you know that the pizza was initially a Tamil dish???
Back then, pizza didn’t have any topping, was made of rice, and was called Oothappam (it still is called the same in Tamilnadu).
There was an enterprising Tamil lady, who ran a wayside inn in those days. Business was slow, so she reinvented the Oothappam. She made it out of wheat flour rather than rice flour, which was the standard for dosas. There were other changes, but then the result looked the same.
Slowly, people started trickling in, to taste her new dish, but she wanted more customers.
What did she do? Simple, she pitched in some more creative ideas, by melting cheese, and putting it on top of the wheat Oothappam, along with whatever leftover she found in the house. By the way, she called it a topping.
Finally the business boomed. There was one problem, though. When people tore the Wheat Oothappam into slices, the melted cheese used to tear ever so disgustingly into long strands, and got all over the place, and over people's fingers. (You will find it the same way in today’s pizza).
The lady being very neat, didn’t want cheese strands in her dining area. So she would tear the slices herself and only then give it to the customers. Hungry customers would eagerly wait for her to tear the slices, and then yell “Pitchuttaa!!” meaning “She tore”.
Pitchuttaa” over time was shortened to "Pitcha", and this became the name of the dish.
And then Marco Polo, the Italian wanderer with no work to do (Guess he was on bench), visited India…
After that… you know how the story goes… Pitcha made its way into the Italian menu, got a local name there, and came back to India as Pitza, or the Pizza. By that time generations had come and gone, and the wheat Oothappam was long forgotten by Indians.

It is the same as when Kalari payattu traveled to Japan / China and came back as Karate.
We Indians need some one else to teach us our own good customs… Well, that’s the way things are.

By the way, if you like / hate / don’t care about this story, please leave your comments/suggestions here. I'd be happy to read them


  1. Oh yea? :D

    Thanks for the enlightenment :P

    Oh, by the way, am interested in knowing the story of "Garlic" bread too.. Care to tell us abt it? ;)

  2. complete nonsense. i think we will get along quite well.

  3. can you invite me to view your susie derkins blog