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Neapolitan pizza making given ‘intangible cultural heritage’ status


December 20, 2017
By Canadian Pizza
Neapolitan pizza making consists of four different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker.

Paris, France – UNESCO has added the art of Neapolitan pizza making to its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in an effort to boost international awareness of its significance.

The designation aims to ensure better protection of important “intangible cultural heritages” worldwide and the awareness of their significance.

UNESCO describes the “Art of the Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ ” as a culinary practice made up of four different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker.

According to the organization, the practice originates in Naples, the capital of the Campania region of Italy, where about 3,000 Pizzaiuoli now live and perform. There are three categories of bearers – the Master Pizzaiuolo, the Pizzaiuolo and the baker – as well as the families in Naples who reproduce the art in their own homes.

Neopolitan pizza making fosters social gatherings and intergenerational exchange, and assumes a character of the spectacular, with the Pizzaiuolo at the centre of their “bottega” sharing their art.

Every year, the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli organizes courses focused on the history, instruments and techniques of the art in order to continue to ensure its viability, UNESCO says on its website.

Knowledge and skills are primarily transmitted in the “bottega,” where young apprentices observe masters at work, learning all the key phases and elements of the craft.