UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is in the business of recognizing and protecting world heritage institutions. We know it mainly for it’s designation of places and landmarks as World Heritage Sites. But it also declares cultural practices as treasures…
Among the more than 350 institutions already declared as ‘intangible heritage’ treasures are food traditions such as Turkish coffee culture and the Gingerbread tradition of Croatia.
Now, the art and craft of the Neapolitan Pizzaiuolo, or traditional Pizza maker, has been added to the list. And Italians say it’s about time:
Maurizio Martina, Italy’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry tweeted: “Victory! Another step towards the protection of Italy’s food and wine heritage”
“After 250 years of waiting, Pizza is humanity’s heritage, its intangible heritage. Congratulations to Naples, congratulations!” Neapolitan Pizza-maker Enzo Coccia told the BBC, on hearing the news.
More than two million Pizza lovers worldwide signed a petition to UNESCO supporting the designation of the Pizza Maker’s art as a treasure.
Not all selfless patriotism…
But the reaction to the World Heritage Declaration for Pizza Making is not all flag-waving and anthem-playing.
One Pizza lover from Bergamo, in northern Italy, Alex Iattoni tweeted: “It’s good that pizza has been recognized as UNESCO heritage. But now we must insert the pineapple in the list of crimes against humanity.”
Pizza in the news!
Pizza has been much in the news, lately… At least, in this blog!
Earlier this week, we noted a Pizza milestone: the first Pizzas to be made in space.
We also noted, with disdain, the trend towards ‘Starch-on-Starch’ menu items in our restos and fast-food outlets – not the least of which is the Mac ‘n Cheese Pizza.
And… We suggested that a home-made Pizza, including a scratch crust, might be just the thing to provide contrast in your diet the day after Thanksgiving…
So… Go ahead and have a slice! And congratulate Italy’s most iconic food on being declared a treasure!
~ Maggie J.