Neapolitan pizza is the most famous Italian food product in the world. A real symbol of Italy, a mix of art, culture and tradition. It has its origin in the Italian city of Naples where it developed during the 18th century. After having spread across Italy, it was brought to the United States by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century, making it famous throughout the world.
The recipe was never changed wherever the pizza was made, keeping its old tradition alive today. Although there are many types of pizza, the “Marinara” is considered the oldest one, only topped with tomato, oregano, garlic, and olive oil, while the most famous is the “Margherita”. According to a legend, the latter takes its name from Queen Margherita of Savoy. A famous pizza maker made a pizza in honour of her visiting the city of Naples and created a “Margherita” featuring all the colours of the Italian flag: red tomatoes sauce, white mozzarella and green basil. The recipe has been used ever since and pizza has become an authentic masterpiece from Italy.
Neapolitan pizza is of fine, elastic and soft pasta, round shaped, and made only with the best, ethically sourced ingredients: San Marzano tomatoes from Mount Vesuvius area, Italian basil, extra virgin olive oil and mozzarella from Campania region. Buffalo mozzarella is also commonly used by Neapolitan pizza makers. It is produced from buffaloes of the Campania region and it is protected with its own “European protected designation of origin”.
Pizza starts like every great recipe: with passion! A passion for Naples, Italy, and their history of tradition. It is the result of a secular art that has to be guarded with a slight amount of jealously. Italians consume 7,6 kg of pizza per capita a year for a total of more than 1 billion pizzas. They are followed by the Spanish with 4,3 Kg per capita and the French with 4,2 Kg. However, Americans are the biggest pizza consumers in the world with more than 13 kg per capita a year. The pizza has truly become a passion that has spread worldwide.
Since February 5, 2010, pizza is officially recognised as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed product in Europe, certifying its specific characteristics. In 2011, the Governing Council of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO has presented a candidacy to include “The Traditional Art of Neapolitan Pizza” in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity. A world petition, “Pizza UNESCO”, has been launched with the aim of gathering 2 million signatures in 100 countries and plans to obtain a positive vote from UNESCO when it will meet in Seoul, South-Korea, for the final decision between 4 and 8 December. More than 1 million and 300 thousand people from more than 50 countries have already signed the petition. Citizens and personalities from all over the world are supporting this initiative.
It is necessary to protect a sector with a value of 10 billion euro and with 100 thousands workers, to whom a further 50 thousands have been added at the weekends, It is important to protect the original recipes of the pizza’s. Its link with the area of origin and ancient art is being influenced by globalisation.