The United Nations has awarded the art of Neapolitan pizza making with official recognition as part of the cultural heritage of humanity.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed the craft of Neapolitan “Pizzaiuolo”— or pizza maker—on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, joining other such emblematic intangibles as Belgian beer culture, Arabic coffee, Chinese acupuncture, and the Mongolian coaxing ritual for camels.
“The art of the Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ is a culinary practice comprising four different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker,” UNESCO declares.
Pizza-making takes different forms in Italy, with the most characteristic being that of Naples, the capital of the southern Campania Region, where about 3,000 Pizzaiuoli now live and perform.
“Pizzaiuoli are a living link for the communities concerned,” the UNESCO site states. “There are three primary categories of bearers – the Master Pizzaiuolo, the Pizzaiuolo and the baker – as well as the families in Naples who reproduce the art in their own homes.”
The decision to enrol Neapolitan pizza making in its heritage list was made last week in Jeju, South Korea, by a unanimous vote of the UN Organization’s governing body.
The committee stated: “The culinary know-how linked to the making of the pizza, which includes gestures, songs, visual expressions, local slang, the ability to handle the dough, show oneself off and share it is an indisputable cultural heritage.”
The art of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ just inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Congratulations, #Italy! #IntangibleHeritage #12COMhttps://t.co/z6xL98TZk4pic.twitter.com/HmANxOadG7
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) December 7, 2017
Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris said the UNESCO decision was a “historic recognition” and “a great victory for Naples and Neapolitan pizza,” and thanked all Neapolitan pizza makers, “who live and work in Naples and around the world.”
Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini joined in the celebration, tweeting that it was “recognition for Naples and the whole of Italy” and proclaiming 2018 the year of Italian food.
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