Can a Pizza Be Protected By UNESCO? Italians and the United Nations say yes! The UN along side of their protected places list, now have started a cultural heritage list which recognises festivals, music and crafts separate from it's usual recognition of castles and estates.
Italy seized upon this opportunity and has put forth a list of items for the 2011 cultural heritage list for consideration. This list includes pizza from Naples, Sienna's Palio horse race, violin-making in Cremona and the workshop of Antonio Stradivari , Viareggio's extravagant carnival procession and ancient festivals in towns such as Nola and Viterbo where locals carry huge statues on their shoulders, and the small grapevines planted in depressions in the volcanic soil on the island of Pantelleria that produce a Moscato dessert wine.
We shall have to wait until the fall to find out which ones are acceped to the list.
So how does pizza protection work exactly? The UN officially protected label means that all pizzerias claiming to serve authentic Neapolitan pizzas must cook it a certain way with only local ingredients. For example, only San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella are permissible. Pizzas must also have a raised crust, can be no thicker than an eighth of an inch, and the dough must be hand-stretched before being cooked in a wood-fired oven.
What does this mean for American pizza? According to the True Neapolitan Pizza Association they will be labeled impostors.
Read the Guardian for even more info.