By: Andrew Silverstein

Plant City may have a lot more to do with the history and origins of the famous pizza pie than you may think. The Esposito family and their business, Esposito's "Espo" Pizza, operate here.  From the looks of it, it's a seemingly normal, friendly, neighborhood pizza joint.  Then you hear the story of the Esposito name and you realize it's way more than that.

Their ancestor, Raffaele Esposito is, according to many, the father of modern pizza. He owned a tavern in Naples called Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi in the late nineteenth century.  When the queen of Italy, Queen Margherita di Savoia, came to visit Naples, Esposito made her three pizzas; one with pork fat, cheese, and basil, one with garlic, oil, and tomatoes, and another with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes (the colors of the Italian flag).  The queen loved the third one, Esposito kept the pie around naming it "Pizza Margherita", and thus, the standard for modern pizza (mozzarella, tomatos, bread) was born.

Today, the Esposito family and Espo Pizza honor their ancestor by creating a wide variety of delicious pizzas honoring this time-tested method.  Choose from your standard pizza with homemade dough and an assortment of toppings including pepperoni, Italian sausage, and ham.  Or, opt for one of their gourmet pizzas.  Some of these include a white garlic pizza topped with olive oil, fresh garlic, parmesan, and a special blend of mozzarella cheese, as well as a marinated chicken and broccoli pizza with Italian dressing marinated chicken breast, broccoli, sauce, and a special blend of parmesan and mozzarella.

Other menu items include strombolis, calzones, sandwiches, pasta, salad, and much more.

If this sounds like your kind of place, head out to Esposito's "Espo" Pizza in Plant City today