In the United States, pizza may as well be its own food group. More than 75,000 pizzerias help move an estimated $45.1 billion in pies annually. According to the Department of Agriculture, 13 percent of Americans eat pizza on a given day, while four percent of kids who grab a slice are eating it for breakfast.
If your interest in pizza extends beyond consumption and you want to achieve a better understanding of its history and influence in modern civilization, then the U.S. Pizza Museum should be on your to-do list the next time you visit Chicago's South Loop. Opening August 10 at the Roosevelt Collection at 1146 South Delano Court West, the museum will present a curated collection of vintage pizza boxes, menus, ads, and other items of historical merit. (Yes, that means several Noid-related artifacts will be on display.)
Founded by pizza historian Kendall Bruns, the U.S. Pizza Museum grew out of a series of pop-up events and an online presence, and will now join the Roosevelt Collection's assembly of shopping and tourist destinations. According to Bruns, pizza has been long overdue for a critical examination.
"As America's favorite food, pizza provides an easy entry point to learn about history, pop culture, and the people behind the pizza," he said in a press release. "We expect the exhibits to have a nostalgic effect on viewers, and I'm thrilled to work with Roosevelt Collection to bring it to life. Visitors will benefit from free entry to the museum and an ongoing calendar of activities."
The Pizza Museum will be open Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October, with plans to continue operation if demand warrants. While the museum doesn't actually make pizza, Aurelio's of South Loop will be providing pies during opening weekend.