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POSTED | 16:03 PM | 07-12-2017

Naples pizza-making gains status

The art of Naples’ dough-twirling pizza makers joined UNESCO’s list of “intangible heritage” on Thursday (Dec 7, 2017), securing the coveted status alongside a host of cultural treasures including a Saudi art form traditionally practised only by women, AFP reported.

The art of the ‘pizzaiuolo’ -- handed down for generations in the southern Italian city -- was given the nod by the UN cultural body’s World Heritage Committee, who met on the South Korean island of Jeju.

Two million people had signed a petition to support Naples’ application, according to Sergio Miccu, head of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli -- no doubt buoyed by his offer of complimentary pizza if the age-old culinary tradition joined the prestigious list.

“We’ll be giving out free pizza in the streets,” Miccu earlier told AFP.

Proud pizza-makers in Naples celebrated even before the distinction was announced on Thursday, pounding the dough and handing pizzas out to passers-by who chewed it up in celebration.

“How perfect to celebrate with pizza for breakfast. The word pizza must be the most famous in the world, in every language, and now everyone knows we invented it!” said Marco Toeldo, 47, who was on his third slice.

The Neapolitan custom goes far beyond the pizzaiuolo’s spectacular handling of the dough -- hurling it into the air in order to “oxygenate” it -- to include songs and stories that have turned pizza-making into a time-honored social ritual.

 

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