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Cooking Neapolitan pizza made to the UNESCO world heritage list

08 December 2017

The world is in amore with pizza pie, and now recognizes that preparing it is an art form.

UNESCO on Thursday added the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or "pizzaiuolo", to its list of "intangible cultural heritage of humanity".

Food culture already on the UNESCO list includes Turkish coffee culture and tradition, the gingerbread craft of northern Croatia and the traditional ancient Georgian method of Qvevri wine-making.

"The art of the Neapolitan pizza-maker contains Italian know-how. especially traditional knowledge that has been transmitted from generation to generation", he said in a statement.

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Tradition holds that the Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by a local chef in honor of Queen Margherita, who was visiting Naples, south of Rome on Italy's Tyrrhenian coast.

It was unclear how much pizza was involved in the celebratory giveaway.

The recognition of pizzamaking came after an intense lobbying campaign, including a petition signed by more than two million Italians, many of them fed up with culinary abominations they see overseas such as topping pizza with pineapple, prawns, mayonnaise, or even cannabis.

On Thursday it was given the coveted status by the United Nations cultural body's world heritage committee meeting this week on the South Korean island of Jeju.

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A pizza maker prepares a pizza at the pizzeria Sorbillo in Naples.


The first pizzas appeared in the Mediterranean city around 1750, with Lombardi in Manhattan's Little Italy laying claim to bringing it to the opening a pizzeria in 1905.

"The element originates in Naples, the capital of the Campania Region, where about 3,000 Pizzaiuoli now live and perform", wrote the 24-member UNESCO Committee during its annual meeting, which this year runs December 4-9.

Other honorees included the German organ craftsmanship, Dutch windmills, Saudi Jeju wall paintings and Kyrgyzstan's horseback game of Kok Boru, traditionally played with a dead goat.

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Cooking Neapolitan pizza made to the UNESCO world heritage list