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Pizza Waltz in Naples to Celebrate UNESCO Registration

Ⓒ AFP – Tiziana FABI – | Pizza Waltz in Naples to Celebrate UNESCO’s Intangible
Heritage Inscription, December 7, 2017

Pizza pastas waltzed through the air, and several
restaurants handed out tickets to passers-by early Thursday
morning in Naples to celebrate the inscription of the local
specialty on UNESCO heritage.

“For us it’s like winning the World Cup,” says Gennaro
Gattimolo, a 57-year-old pizza maker with apron and hands
covered with flour.

Rita Rollen, a retired woman, wrapped herself up to face the
cold of the early morning and come to participate in the
euphoria: “I’m really happy, instead of the Camorra (the
Neapolitan mafia), we are recognized for something positive for
once! Something delicious! “

“There’s nothing better than celebrating with pizza at
breakfast,” said 47-year-old Marco Toeldo, who is third.

In a very superstitious city, the party started on Wednesday
evening in front of the Sorbillo pizzeria. “After 250 years of
waiting, the pizza is part of the Unesco heritage! Bravo
Naples!”, Launched a pizza-maker, Enzo Coccia, to the applause
of the crowd.

Ⓒ AFP – TIZIANA FABI – | Pizza maker prepares pizza in Naples, December 6,
2017

Even the defeat of Naples in the Champions League in the
evening had not showered the enthusiasm of pizza lovers: discs
of dough danced in the air to celebrate this art that goes from
wood ovens used for cooking to this spectacular way of handling
the dough to oxygenate it.

“For centuries, the Neapolitan art of pizza has been based
on a few key elements: water, flour, salt and yeast … and the
excellent products of Campania all around”, explained Mr.
Coccia.

“But it’s also the hands, the heart and the soul of the
pizzaïolo that allow us to do magic,” he added, describing the
handling of dough in the air as “a love and passion that we
transmit to others “.

The humble ancestor of the pizza was initially a flat bread
sprinkled with a little bacon and was less of an act of love
than the need to feed the poor masses of the city at low cost
according to the historian Antonio Mattozzi.

– Stop Heresies –

The first real pizzas appear with the arrival of tomatoes
from America and their entry into the kitchen. “At the end of
the eighteenth century, the first pizzerias were born,” he
says.

Ⓒ AFP – Tiziana FABI – | Pizzaïolo celebrates the inclusion of pizza in UNESCO
heritage on 7 December in Naples

But it was not until another century and Queen Margherita
that this great local success was exported beyond the bay. On a
visit to Naples with her husband King Umberto I in 1889, she
asked to taste the pizza to win the hearts of Neapolitans.

According to legend, the version proposed by the chef
Raffaele Esposito, integrating tomatoes, mozzarella and basil,
in the colors of the very young Italy, conquered it.

For the occasion, this pizza that has kept the name of the
queen was again cooked Wednesday in the same royal oven at the
palace of Capodimonte, now a museum on the heights of
Naples.

According to Gino Sorbillo, a pizza-maker participating in
the operation, he and his colleagues willingly share tips and
secrets “those who want it can make a good Neapolitan
pizza”.

The idea is first to twist the neck to some heresies such as
spreading the dough with a roll or adding pineapple on the
pizza.

“There are young people from all cultures who contact us and
ask us to learn,” he added.

“The pizza has become a universal
heritage, many in the world do not even know it’s Italian,”
said Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, biting
into a slice of pizza just out of the royal oven.

“This decision by UNESCO will establish the truth once and
for all: pizza is a global dish, but it was born in Naples, in
this oven,” he added.

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