The Delicious Pizza and Spaghetti
When one mentions Italian cooking to most foreigners they almost automatically think of pizza and spaghetti. This is a sad oversimplification, because Italian cooking is as diversified as it is delicious.
The centuries during which Italy was a collection of separate kingdoms, duchies, and republics has given the modern Italians a cuisine with as many subtle variations as their language. Pizza, for example, is a south Italian regional dish that was once served because it combined all the virtues a thrifty cook looks for - it was inexpensive, simple to make, nourishing, and tasty.
The popularity of pizza as a meal or a snack in America is probably greater than in Italy where it is safe to guess that many people have never even tasted one of their best-known exports.