A waiter serves pizza Margherita at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy. Picture: REUTERS
A waiter serves pizza Margherita at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy. Picture: REUTERS

Jeju, South Korea — The art of Neapolitan pizza making won World Heritage status on Thursday, joining a horse-riding game from Iran and Dutch windmills on Unesco’s culture list.

Unesco accepted the art of Neapolitan "pizzaiuolo" on the world body’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. "Congratulations #Italy!" it said in a tweet after a meeting in Jeju, South Korea where the decision was made.

Italy had argued the practice of pizzaiuolo — from preparing and flipping the pizza dough to baking it in a wood-fired oven — was part of the country’s cultural and gastronomic tradition.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza has a relatively thin crust with the exception of the rim, which, when baked, swells up like a tiny bicycle tyre. It is rigorously made in a wood-burning brick oven and has two classic versions: Marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano and oil) and, the most famous, Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, oil and basil).

Tradition holds that the Margherita pizza was created in 1889 by a local chef in honour of Queen Margherita, who was visiting the city. It has the red, white and green colours of the Italian flag.

Unesco also accepted Chogan, an Iranian horse-riding game accompanied by music and story-telling, and the craft of millers operating windmills and watermills in the Netherlands.

Traditional boat-making on the Indonesian island of South Sulawesi, and Nsima, a maize-based culinary tradition from the African country of Malawi, also joined the list. Food culture already on the Unesco list includes Turkish coffee culture and tradition, the gingerbread craft of northern Croatia and the traditional ancient Georgian method of Qvevri wine-making.

Reuters

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