Neapolitan pizza-making on UNESCO list

Neapolitan pizza-making on UNESCO list

The art of Naples' dough-twirling pizza makers joined UNESCO's list of "intangible heritage" Thursday, securing the coveted status alongside a host of cultural treasures including a Saudi art form traditionally practised only by women.

"Congratulations #Italy!" it said in a tweet after a meeting in Jeju, South Korea, where the decision was made.

The committee said the culinary practice of preparing the dough, using a wood fired oven was part of a special tradition in Naples - home to some 3,000 "Pizzaiuoli".

A distinctive feature of the cooking is characteristic of rotational motion, which pizza maker makes a pizza base, says the organization.

Massimo Boddi, whose Univerde Foundation was responsible for gathering signatures to launch the pizza bid, said the recognition was an important victory of "tradition over globalization" since each pie is made by hand, individually.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza has a relatively thin crust with the exception of the rim, which, when baked, bloats like a tiny bicycle tyre.

Tradition holds the Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by a local chef in honour of Queen Margherita, who was visiting the city.

As pizza has become a favorite dish around the world, foreign innovations in toppings have often left Italians perplexed and aghast. This is a sticking point for some; as one Italian pizza-lover told Reuters: "I think, and I hope, that this could be the chance to make foreigners understand how pizza is made, without Nutella or pineapple".

Two million people had signed a petition to support pizzaiuolo's application.

Iran nominated Chogan, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling, while Bangladesh submitted its traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet. Other edible members already on the list include Turkish coffee and its surrounding culture, Croatian gingerbread craft, French gastronomy, and traditional Mexican cuisine, which puts pizza in some good global company.

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