UNESCO has just announced that it will recognise the art of Neapolitan pizza as deserving of World Heritage status on the the Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
The move comes a week after over two million Italians signed a petition asking for recognition, which declares that the Naples-originated practice of “pizzaiuoli,” or pizza makers, which includes preparing and flipping pizza dough, topping it, and baking in a wood-fired oven, is an essential part of the country’s cultural and culinary tradition.
Other delicious edible members already on the list include Turkish coffee and its surrounding culture, Croatian gingerbread craft, French gastronomy, and traditional Mexican cuisine, which puts pizza in some good global company.
The status, which seeks to raise awareness of valuable cultural traditions, encompasses the whole cultural world around Neopolitan pizza, which traditionally comes in two versions: Margherita, with tomato, mozzarella, oil, and basil, and Marinara, which is topped with tomato, garlic, oregano, and oil.
According to tradition, Pizza Margherita was created back in 1889 to honour the Italian Queen Margherita as she visited Naples, which may be why its colours match the red, green, and white of the Italian flag. And while it’s likely nothing can stop the never ending list of new, strange pizza attempts, it’s clear that the original pizza tradition continues to be running as strong as ever.