Italy has a long and various culinary tradition, but the most famous international symbol of our country is, without doubts, Neapolitan pizza!
Thanks to its tradition and unique taste, Neapolitan pizza could not miss as candidate for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. (For other Italian candidate read the article about Ligurian Pesto).
Actually, in 2009 EU committee officially listed the ingredients from which pizza must be made in order to be regarded as authentic. Imitations of Italian pizza are unlimited, as well as the pizza makers (or pizzaioli) who use ingredients come from others countries (such as Chinese tomatoes and Tunisian olive oil).
The real Neapolitan pizza must respect the original recipe, that is:
- 35cm in diameter
- Slighly-eleveted rim no more than 2 cm
- The base must be cooked for between 60 and 90 seconds in a stone oven with an oak-wood fire
- Dough has to be kneaded only by hand
Italian Parliament also specify which type of flour, yeast, salt and tomatoes, all sourced from Naples, must be used.
Pizza an intangible cultural heritage
This time the Italian National Commission for UNESCO decided to recognize “the art of Neapolitan pizza makers” as tribute to their culinary skills.
Italian pizza has promoted the image of our country in the world and it is a symbol of the quality of our gastronomy, but it is also one of the most imitated Italian specialty, a real flag of Italian sounding products.
Any recognition by UNESCO would help to protect and promote the production chain of authentic Neapolitan pizza, based on excellent ingredients, some of which are already certified, and professional pizza makers.