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Pizza fans all over the USA celebrate National Pizza Week

We live in a nation that is obsessed with pizza. With the average America consuming at least 46 slices of pizza per year, according to, you could almost call it an addiction. Luckily, this is an addiction that is 100% legal, and is celebrated every year in the second week of January during a celebration known as National Pizza Week.

Today pizza comes in many shapes and sizes since its migration to the country in the late 19th century.
Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen

Pizza lovers have their own preference as to which dealers they go to for their fix, but diners in our nation's capital now have a new place to find the ultimate tomato pie. During National Pizza Week, people are invited to Rialto, located in the heart of Georgetown, to enjoy a variety of specialty Neapolitan freshly made in-house pizzas.

“We have devoted a section of the first floor to the gourmet pizza station where our Pizziaoli is constantly creating traditional and unique pizzas for our customers,” explains Ryan Fichter, executive chef at Rialto. “People love the familiarity of pizza while we add a fun, different twist to the traditional style.”

Today pizza comes in many shapes and sizes since its migration to the country in the late 19th century. Whether diners want to enjoy a traditional pizza this week, or they would like to expand their culinary horizons and try a new twist, Rialto will have it covered.

They are offering a variety of unique gourmet pizzas to choose form, including:

  • Margherita de Bufala. Imported Bufala, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil.
  • Rucola e Proscuitto. Arugula, Proscuitto, and cherry tomato.
  • Al Funghi. Mozzerella, Basil, and mixed seasonal mushrooms.
  • Salsicca E Rapini. Mozzarella, homemade sausage, and broccoli rabe.
  • Quattro Formaggi. Provolone, mozzarella, Fontina, and Parmesan.

“We are very excited to welcome everyone to Rialto for National Pizza Week, added Chef Fichter. “We think it’s going to be a great opportunity for people to try a variety of styles. Try one pizza, or make it a goal to try them all!”

Of course, one cannot survive on pizza alone (though it may be tempting to try!) When it comes to other great Italian dishes, pasta is not only something many people find comforting, but one look at the facts and it’s easy to see that American’s love their pasta. In America, the average person consumes around 20 pounds of pasta each year. It ranks as the 6th highest per capita food consumed in the country. In fact, Americans consume 24 percent of the world’s pasta. No matter how it’s prepared it continues to rank as a frequently consumed food for people of all ages.

“What’s not to love about pasta? Even those who try to cut it out of their diet end up coming back around, it’s just that good,” Fichter, the executive chef at Rialto, explained. “In addition to being tasty, pasta is also affordable, versatile, and simple to work with. Even those with limited culinary experience can create a great meal using pasta as the bases.”

While there are some people who shy away from pasta believing that it is unhealthy, others are learning that it can be a part of a healthy diet. Pasta can be used as the basis of a healthy dish that is loaded with vegetables, healthy sauce, and even lean meats. Whole wheat pasta can also be a good source of fiber. Used as the basis in dish with other healthy ingredients, such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, and/or vegetables, it can become a healthy dinner option for the whole family.

Although pasta history is believed to date back to the times of Marco Polo, and originated from the noodles eaten in Asia, it was in 1740 that the first pasta factory was opened in Venice. Pasta has a lengthy history that eventually reached American shores and in 1914, America was the largest importer of it at the time.

While America imported the most pasta at one time, and still imports a lot, it now ranks second for pasta production in the world. Each year the country produces around 4.4 billion pounds of pasta. On average, the average price paid in the country per pound of pasta is only $1.45, making it an affordable meal.

“We in America love our pasta and once you see the facts it makes it all so clear,” adds Chef Fichter. “Think about your top favorite dishes to eat. There is a good chance that pasta is one of them, if not more. It’s been around a long time and is here to stay and continue to bring comfort to many.”

Rialto, a new restaurant located at 2915 M Street NW, offers gift cards. They are located in an historic building the heart of Georgetown. The restaurant offers world-class Italian food and an upscale atmosphere. The décor is unique, custom made, and most of the items have been imported from Europe. The restaurant features partially open kitchens, fresh pasta, imported specialty ingredients, fresh seafood, and a cheese counter. The menu offers a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, served in both family style and piattini style (small dishes) to encourage sharing.

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