NEAPOLITAN ART OF PIZZA-MAKING GAINS UNESCO STATUS.
The United Nations has decided to add the Neapolitan art of pizza-making to its list of “intangible heritage.” The craft of the pizzaiuolo, the pizzamaker who tosses his swirling dough into the air, was given the coveted status Thursday by the world heritage committee of UNESCO.
The decision came after a petition signed by two million Italians, many of them aggrieved at the culinary abominations they witness abroad, such as topping pizza with pineapple, mayonnaise and even cannabis. It is not just the flamboyant twirling of dough into the air that convinced the committee, but also the songs and customs that surround the process.
A STORIED PAST
Legend has it that the Pizza Margherita was created in 1889 to celebrate a visit from Queen Margherita of Savoy. Its three main ingredients, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, reflect the national colours of Italy.
HOW TO MAKE A NEAPOLITAN PIZZA
According to the international regulations of the True Neapolitan Pizza Association, dough is made from only water, sea salt, yeast and flour. It is leavened and then rolled out using a motion from the centre outward by hand — never with a rolling pin or a mechanical press. The oil must be extra virgin olive oil, the tomatoes must be of the San Marzano variety and the cheese must be buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte, made from cows’ milk. The cooking should be done only in a woodfired oven between 430C and 480C. The pizza need be baked for only 60-90 seconds.
WHAT ITALIANS ARE SAYING
Maurizio Martina, Italy’s minister for agriculture, food and forestry, tweeted: “Victory! This is another step toward the protection of Italy’s food and wine heritage worldwide.”