The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be petitioned this year to recognize authentic Neapolitan pizza as a global heritage treasure. Italy boasts a long list of recognized cultural treasures and World Heritage sites, many of them music-, architecture- and cuisine-related, and this year, the official preparation method for this simple, perfect food may join it.
By definition, this ancient pizza recipe must contain type 0 or 00 wheat flour, natural yeast, salt, water, San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil and basil. But before you say, “Hey, I can create an intangible cultural treasure right in my kitchen,” the pizza also has to be fired in a 900-degree oak-fired oven for no more than 90 seconds in order to achieve its signature charred, blistered, 1/8-inch-thick crust. This process requires expertise, and is not something even the most Italian pizza robot can replicate.
The Italian National Commission will officially propose “the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker” as a notable achievement in human history, taking individual skill level, type and heat of oven, and time cooked into account, before a committee with representatives of 200 countries. The world’s best pizza is not something to be taken lightly.