When the food channel first became popular, I noticed the show hosts slowly getting fatter.fat chef Mario Batli known for being one of the first celebrity chefs, wearing crocs and sexually harrassing all his female employees...
well no he's been cleared
Police close sexual assault investigation of celebrity chef Mario Batali
anyway, he's said that NY pizza tastes good cuz of the vaporized ingredients and cooking of an oven that is almost a century old, a gesatalt of flavor.
I would never discount what a fat fat chef says in relation to food. (i'm sure for us that cook, our most prized culinary tools is an old ass well taken care of seasoned cast iron pan).
It would depend entirely on the country. In Italy tomatoes and cheese were pretty much plentiful staples. Along with olives and lots of other stuff. Most farms across Europe made some sort of cheese, or traded for it. Along with jerky and other salted goods it was one of the few foods that could be relied on to eat during the winter.Pizza would have been a wealthy person's food about a century before it was a blue collar meal. The idea of fresh fruit (Tomatoes) and cheese being something blue collar is a product of fabulous wealth (The same wealth that built the skyscrapers). It just didn't exist in times before Capitalism. (And, I'm not saying Capitalism is what caused all this, rather I just think with technology increasing productivity, Capitalism became the most efficient way to utilize the explosion of wealth and innovation.)
It's not at all hyperbole to say that lower middle class in America eat better than royalty just 3 centuries ago (When royalty was extremely decadent, pretty much their apex of wealth.)