March 5, 2016 / 12:24 PM / 3 years ago

Italy seeks UNESCO recognition for Neapolitan pizza making

A pizza is removed from a wood-burning oven, in this file photo in Naples August 27, 2008. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/Agnfoto

ROME (Reuters) - Italy on Friday put forward the Neapolitan pizza as a candidate for inclusion in UNESCO’S cultural heritage list for next year.

The national commission for UNESCO said in a statement that it had voted unanimously to protect the Neapolitan pizza as part of the country’s cultural and gastronomic tradition.

If UNESCO accepts the bid it will win a place on the world body’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as “The Traditional Art of Neapolitan Pizza Makers”.

Traditional Neapolitan Pizza has a relatively thin crust with the exception of the rim, which, when baked, bloats like a tiny bicycle tyre .

It is religiously 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).

According to tradition, the Pizza Margherita was created in 1889 by a local chef in honor of Queen Margherita, who was visiting the city. It has the red, white and green colors of the Italian flag.

Food culture already on the UNESCO list includes Turkish coffee culture and tradition, Gingerbread craft from northern Croatia and the traditional ancient Georgian method of Qvevri wine-making.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Dominic Evans

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