Why round pizza comes in square boxes?

05.08.2021

Why round pizza comes in square boxes

Pizza is Italian food that has become a worldwide phenomenon. Nearly every national cuisine has added this dish to its menu and seems like it's here to stay. This embodiment of delicious taste has all sorts of features in different countries, including some appearance changes. Nevertheless, round pizza is still the most popular one.

"Why does the circular pizza have a rectangular box?" - did this question ever cross your mind? It is strange enough indeed. But here are some of the most common reasons for it.

So why is pizza o-shaped?

    - When preparing a dough, a ball shape is preferable because of its forming and stretching capacity.

    - The pizza pastry is rolled from the center to the periphery, and that makes the final product round.

    - Advanced chefs use techniques like tossing and twisting the dough during the cooking process, which also helps create a round shape.

    - You can easily divide the round pizza into equal slices, like a piece of cake. 

    - This form is symbolic - if you've seen pizza at least once, you would never confuse it with anything else.

    - It is one of the rules and traditions started by the original pizza from Napoli.

The efficiency of making the pizza round

As with any flour product, the first step is dough preparation. It is kneaded in a bowl and then equally divided to make the pizza base. First of all, these portions must rise, and only then one can begin making the shortcakes. You need to pre-shape the raw ingredients to make this process a success and for the flour product to turn out beautiful and neat. Whether they are professional or amateur, chefs choose the ball-shaped dough without a second thought. No wonder - dividing one large chunk of pastry into six equal balls isn’t that difficult, but making six equal squares is a time-consuming and nerve-wracking endeavor. 

Finally, we have reached the stage of stretching the dough balls. Of course, you can stretch it into any possible shape you want, but the round one is the clear winner once again. It is simply the easiest choice - all you need to do is put a rolling pin in the middle of the ball, and then start stretching the dough to the periphery. There you go, circles appear almost on their own!

Seasoned chefs, who have perfected their skills, often use the technique of spinning the dough rounds in the air. This method helps achieve the ideal smooth, round and thin pizza base. The rotation applies a centrifugal force to the shortcake, creating a round shape as a result. 

Come to think of it, cakes, pies, and cookies all prove the round shape to be pretty convenient. While cooking a treat with a rich filling, you have to make sure that everyone who tastes it feels every ingredient present. The round dish is easy to cut from the outer crust to the center. This way every portion captures all the filling delights. 

Moreover, round pizza is extremely eye-catching. Once you try a tasty slice, it will always whet your appetite at the mere sight of it. Based on human experience, it is safe to say that if something becomes so high-profile, the public's attention will not pass it by.

All of the above has led to pizza being round by tradition, and old traditions are often respected cause it's hard to find alternatives for them. It is known that true pizza originally comes from Naples, Italy. Today, when cooking Neapolitan pizza, chefs of that region have to follow a list of rules, or their product won't be considered authentic. One of these traditions implies the o-shape to be a necessity. By the way, some of the other rules are somewhat unusual - like using only the mozzarella made from buffalo milk in Campania.

There is Rectangular Pizza Too

You don't see square pizza very often, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist altogether. Probably the most famous square-shaped pizza comes from Sicilia. 

The peculiarity of this cooking technique is that the dough for this pizza does not need to be pre-stretched. You just have to put the flour mass on a baking tray greased with oil, put that into an oven, wait for some time - and it's done, one tasty rectangular pizza at your service! As it fries in oil, it forms in a moderately thick and very crispy pizza base. Moreover, cooking such a pizza is way simpler than the round one. It is especially appropriate when you need to quickly come up with something for a large group of guests.

Then why is the pizza box square?

Have you ever seen a circular pizza package? Odds are you haven't. The thought probably wouldn't even have crossed your mind if you hadn't come across this article. 

Some explanations for such a combination are the following:

    - Rectangular boxes are way more material-saving (one carton sheet per package) than round ones (several sheets per box).

    - It is easier to save space in the warehouse when using square boxes because they can be spread out into one flat sheet. 

    - Flat boxes do not move on their own inside a carriage, meaning they are much safer and cheaper to transport.

    - Rectangular geometry saves packages from falling off the shelves and fits perfectly into the fridge.

     - Square boxes are widespread and do not require a specialized production plant - that is why they cost less to make.

    - An o-shaped box has no advantages over a square one, not even in size.

One paper sheet is not enough to make even one round box because a circular shape requires connection details or more complex and costly production. 

The rectangular shape wins over the round one once again when it comes to storage. Namely, the one-piece structure allows easy unfolding, which, in turn, clears up space during the shipment. 

Square boxes possess smooth corners that fit together like puzzle pieces, which is not the case with their round buddies. When round boxes are stacked, the space between them allows movement during transportation. This fact increases the risk of damage to the product's appearance. But it does not pay off - circular cartons require just as much space as square ones.

Grocery stores store pizzas on racks and in freezing cameras, and there aren't many orbicular freezers, are there? The rectangular package is more comfortable to place into a rectangular area, that is all.

Last but not least - the square shape is universal for packaging almost any product. It is very rare to see packaging match the contents to the smallest details. That is why manufacturers have mastered the system of making a single template product. Of course, you can make a sneaker-shaped box if you wish, but you always have to pay more for an individual order.   

To sum up, in terms of logistics, square-shaped boxes are more advantageous than round ones.

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