Italy wants pizza put on UNESCO's cultural heritage list

850,000 pizza lovers worldwide have supported the decision


Italy is seeking UNESCO recognition for its Neapolitan pizza after putting the iconic dish forward for inclusion on the cultural heritage list for 2017.

In a statement, the Italian National Commission for UNESCO said Neapolitan pizza is a part of the country's cultural and gastronomic tradition which "represents Italy in the world".

A petition which collected more than 850,000 signatures worldwide boosted the proposal.

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Culture Minister Dario Franceschini told ANSA: "Becoming world heritage isn't just the way to recognise a true art, but also the way to claim pizza as Italian."

The proposal will now be sent to UNESCO and begin a long, complex negotiation process involving 200 countries.

According to The Local, Pierluigi Petrillo, the legal editor for the dossier, said it would be especially challenging because "UNESCO has never listed a cultural tradition linked to food production".

According to the rules proposed by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, genuine Neapolitan pizza dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer and must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine. After the rising process, it must not be more than three millimetres thick and must be baked for 60 to 90 seconds in a 485C stone oven.

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