UNESCO Declares Neopolitan Style of Pizza-Making “World Heritage” Status
Pizza is often the go-to dinner for tired parents and hungry college students as well as a reliable option for any party menu. While mass-produced pizza from franchises all over the country adheres to their ingredients and rapid oven-to-box procedures, there is one method of serious pizza-making that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has deemed worthy of “World Heritage” status, and that is the Neapolitan.
Neapolitan pizza consists of tender wheat flour, natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer’s yeast, sea salt, water, San Marzano tomatoes and bufala Campana mozzarella cheese. Hand-kneaded and hand-rolled, the pizza is then cooked in a wood-fired oven at 905 degrees for one minute to a minute and a half. With two million people signing a petition to support Neapolitan pizza’s application for the UNESCO list, and UNESCO agreeing that it falls in line as a cultural art form, this method is now protected and recognized worldwide.
In order to gain World Heritage status, an entry has to be judged on the basis of how important it is to humanity and possess a significant unique cultural, historical, scientific, or geographical identity. By having this status, it designates a property as protected and preserved within its traditions and level of cultural importance. For example, I can’t just toss pizza dough around, pour tomato sauce on it, plop a few slices of mozzarella cheese, and stick it in my oven and call it a Neapolitan pizza because I didn’t follow cultural protocol. All I made was a wannabe-Neapolitan pizza mess.
So next time you sit down to a fresh-out-of-the-forno Neapolitan pizza, remember that you’re eating a cultural trademark of the highest standards.