THE RESCUE OF THE PIZ­ZA­IUO­LO: SO­MET­HING BEYOND THE ART OF HANDLING WATER AND FLOUR

Arte por Excelencias - - Italia -

The art of the piz­za­uo­lo na­po­le­ta­no is an In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tu­ral He­ri­ta­ge of Humanity (ICH). It was es­ta­blis­hed so by UNES­CO on De­cem­ber 7, 2017. Every day in Italy, five mi­lli­on piz­zas are baked. Every ye­ar, the­re are mi­lli­ons of ot­hers ea­ten around the world: it is es­ti­ma­ted that count­less por­ti­ons are bit­ten every se­cond. Known worldwi­de as a ty­pi­cal Ita­li­an fo­od, it is of­fi­ci­ally re­cog­ni­zed from this da­te for its cul­tu­ral va­lue. Mo­re pro­perly spe­aking, it is re­fer­red as piz­za­uo­lo na­po­le­ta­no and a true art. It is a com­pe­ti­ti­on that has had a func­ti­on of so­ci­al rescue, of an iden­tity ele­ment of a pe­o­ple, not only Ne­a­po­li­tan, but of the who­le of Italy. It is a mark of Ita­li­an­ness in the world. It is not just about piz­za or a sim­ple com­bi­na­ti­on of water and flour stuf­fed with fresh moz­za­re­lla and to­ma­to that re­pre­sents cen­tu­ri­es-old daily Ita­li­an fo­od for its sim­pli­city. It is the pro­duct of a mas­tery. The Ita­li­an pro­toty­pe is al­most uni­ver­sally su­perim­po­sed with the ima­ge of the Ne­a­po­li­tan, with his sayings, his ges­tu­res and, of cour­se, his fo­od. Ne­a­po­li­tans ha­ve long be­en iden­ti­fi­ed for the art of making piz­za, in which they re­cog­ni­ze va­lu­es of co­e­xis­ten­ce and co­he­si­on, par­ti­cu­larly when they are far from ho­me. The art of piz­za­uo­lo na­po­le­ta­no in­clu­des in it­self the Ita­li­an know-how, made up of ges­tu­res and abo­ve all tra­di­ti­o­nal know­led­ge, han­ded down for ge­ne­ra­ti­ons: the tech­ni­que, the fa­mi­li­a­rity with the raw ma­te­ri­al, plus the Ita­li­an pas­si­on for go­od fo­od makes the difference, from two sim­ple in­gre­di­ents such as water and flour. From to­day on, being piz­za­iuo­lo will ne­ver be a “boun­ce” job, a se­cond op­ti­on with which to lo­ok for a job in nort­hern Italy or abro­ad to get ahe­ad in li­fe. It will mean being the prac­ti­ti­o­ners of a cu­li­nary art fi­nally re­cog­ni­zed as one of the hig­hest Ita­li­an cul­tu­ral ex­pres­si­ons. The piz­za­iuo­li will be am­bas­sa­dors of a pres­ti­ge of Ita­li­an­ness to ex­hi­bit and te­ach abro­ad with pri­de, with the awa­re­ness that this art, far from being of litt­le va­lue, re­pre­sents an icon of so­ci­al co­he­si­on and cul­tu­ral rescue. With the ma­gic of an es­sen­ti­ally mi­ra­cu­lous city like Na­ples, a po­pu­lar pro­duct, the very he­ri­ta­ge of a pe­o­ple, has be­co­me an iden­tity for a na­ti­on: the sym­bol of our cul­tu­re, our way of li­fe, our co­e­xis­ten­ce.

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